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NW Louisiana - My Turn To Ask The 64 Grand Question!

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Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject: NW Louisiana - My Turn To Ask The 64 Grand Question! Reply with quote


My name is Stacey - 43 yo mom of an 8 y/o 3rd grader I'm interested in home schooling. I just don't want to end up in a "mess" here where I'm ultimately going *gee, seemed like such a good idea at the time!*

We're in Shreveport Louisiana. All 3 of my sons have gone through the public school system and did well as far as the curriculum is concerned. My main issue, as was theirs, has always been in the social structures and the general mentality of the admin - requiring things I strongly disagree with, or not allowing things that, in my opinion, are irrelevant to ability to learn.

In the current school, my 8 yo sails over the class in academics, but requires more focus, otherwise he gets done ahead of everyone and then, having nothing to do, gets disruptive horsing around. I agree this is an issue, however the particular school looks at it as if he brought a gun to school and threatened to rape the girls. It's entirely too intolerant and I'm constantly having to deal with teachers/admin who present his "behavior" as if it's something drastic, when it ends up being minor nonsense. While I can understand their basis for the "zero tolerance policy" they enforce, I see that they've basically gone off the deep end and if a kid sneezes while the teacher's speaking, the kid gets written up, ISS, or the dreaded conference. It's not just mine. I'm just sick to death of it and have wondered if they're really capable of corralling elem. students.

Most of the schools in good areas enforce this ZTP, but they're becoming more intolerant of things that don't necessarily fall into the underlying basis for "zero tolerance" - and this has begun taking its toll on my 8 yo. I'm seeing indications now they are considering him a "troubled" student because of the excessive conduct business, but the behaviors include things like giggling in line, or whispering something (so as not to be disruptive), or for being late in line, not getting there quick enough, or getting his feelings hurt and moping when he's passed over for this or that. He's not "misbehaving" in my opinion, but this analretentive intolerance this particular school doles out has crossed my last nerve.

If he were threatening students or fighting or vandalizing, etc, then I could understand...but his behavior is minor non events and the label of "problem child" disturbs me, for this sort of thing will be transferred and others involved may get the impression he's a delinquent and start out dealing with him intolerantly.

The recent incident was this morning, which motivated me to consider hs more seriously - he asked last night to eat breakfast at school this morning. I said it was fine. Sent him off early so he could. He didn't bring money so they told him he couldn't eat. He's 8, in his mind they wouldn't allow him to eat period so, which was where he went astray, he decided since school hadn't started yet (it was 7:45), he'd come back home and eat instead. We live directly across the street. He was 10 minutes late, I was aware of the situation, and then next thing I know, school is calling to "scold" me for letting him come home, threatening to suspend him over it. They informed me, no money, no meal, period. I informed them I had no cash on me at the moment but they could've easily called to let me know and send a note and I'd send the money up tomorrow.

Instead of being rational and reasonable, they ignored the reality they're a public school funded by tax payer dollars and proceeded to come off like a military school. I finally got exasperated and informed them that if they suspended him over this, I'd just file a lawsuit at this point, I've had enough. That's the sort of thing that happens constantly. I understand about him leaving, but he did not leave during school hours, he left before the first bell, and because he reasoned it out that they wouldn't feed him there, so he'd come back home and eat - in his mind school hadn't begun yet anyway so it's not an issue.

I just moved here so moving isn't on the table. I don't want to change schools, my overall opinion of the way schools handle most everything has dropped. I am not a teacher, I have no idea how to even go about this, but as a parent I'm confident I can teach my children correctly, without being suffocating and restrictive and irrational over things that don't matter in the long run.

I'm not looking into this out of impulse or temporary irritation - I've considered this for several years as I've watched society being dumbed down, the intelligence and common sense level of kids in school, coming out of basic education, and it makes me afraid for the future of mankind ;-p Some of them scare me.

What I prefer is a secular based - a non religious bent, we do not subscribe to any religion and that's not a base I want taught. We're on the science side, not the creationism side....but from looking around for local resources, the options seem to either be private or religious based.

He's only got a month and a half this year so I wouldn't take him out just yet. I'd like to learn more about my options and maybe begin over the summer if that's available.

Do you provide a step by step course of action template on what to do and how to go about it? I'm reading the various topics but so far the step by step suggestions seem to be more "theory" than actual methodology. So far, I've gotten the impression that "to start" I need only make a decision and take him out, tell the school I'll be homeschooling and then......? He's home from school now and then what? The "then what" is the blank spot. Also, that makes me wonder about the legality of pulling him out on grounds of home schooling. If he misses 2 days now, they're ready to kick him out anyway! ;-p Surely there are guidelines on this point, correct? Where do I go in my area to find out specifically how to go about this?

I appreciate any feedback, and will continue researching the forums.

PS If you are up in this area, please contact me....thanks!
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HSLDA summary of homeschooling options in Lousiana:

SBESE-Approved Home Study Programs:

Nonpublic (Private) Schools Not Seeking State Approval:

Lousiana Homeschool Groups:

There are so many curriculums to choose from that I hesitate to pick one. I will say that I like Saxon for math up through Alg. II, but choosing an overall curriculum depends a lot more on your personal style than anything else. I suggest visting some of your local homeschool support groups, or even better, a large homeschool event, and taking a look at what's available before you make your pick. You only have to cover 180 days per year while homeschooling in LA, so it won't hurt to give your son a week or two off while you check out your options.
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Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:53 pm    Post subject: Thank you! Reply with quote

I appreciate that. And I apologize for the lengthy intro - I guess I was venting ;-p

Since registering here, I've been interoduced to deschooling, unschooling, eclectic homeschooling.

My main concern isn't so much what to teach or how, as the potential backlash. I understand it's all legal, but the long term brainwashing we're all "supposed to" go to public/private school for 12 years or else we're "drop outs" is preventing me from accepting this is all legal ;-p

My fear is that I take the steps as described - submit the notification to the state for the private school status, withdraw my son, and get on with the home schooling....and then about the time we get it together and are rolling along, somebody appears from the woodwork accusing me/us of truancy, or wanting to call child services or something, and I end up in "trouble" thinking this is legal *here* when maybe it's just barely acceptable in some other state.

I guess I am more nervous there will be some unexpected punchline.

Also - the private school is more an option of "title" than organized school? I don't literally have to create a "school" right? Shocked It seems that this is mostly about a title status so I can go on to develop my own curriculum better suited for his needs, without having the state coming after me to throw me in prison or take away my children or otherwise disrupting our lives.

Getting passed that one, I admit I'm drawn to the "radical unschooling" method. I get it in theory - but then formal education fears make me nervous it's not really "school" and I could be accused of just pulling him out of school so he can learn on his own, (as if he doesn't anyway!) but it's actually indefinite hookie, and this is the shakey ground I can't defend - since every person I've ever known has gone through compulsory education.

Anyone else faced down this fear? Any suggestions?
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Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 29
Location: PA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't let the legalities bother you. Take comfort in the fact that you aren't alone. There are lots of homeschoolers out there! Just familiarize yourself with your LA homeschooling laws by visiting the link above for the HSLDA. They offer legal protection to homeschoolers if you pay HSLDA dues. You can visit their website to familiarize yourself with the services they offer.

Personally, I've never viewed homeschooling as "dropping out," and I feel this is because I grew up with friends who homeschooled, although I wasn't homeschooled myself. Maybe you would feel more comfortable with the idea if you joined a local homeschool group to meet others near you in person who homeschool. They could also offer tips on homeschooling in your state from their own experiences. Good luck! Very Happy
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Joined: 13 Mar 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Louisiana

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:44 am    Post subject: in louisiana too Reply with quote

I also live in Louisiana and understand your fear. I just have one question to you...Is your child's sense of accomplishment and self-esteem worth fighting for? I know my child's is and I'll go toe to toe with anyone who knocks at my door trying to tell me otherwise. In short, don't worry about anything and do what's best for your child.
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