Saturday, July 14, 2007

Are You Going to Kindergarten?

Fall is approaching and G is 5 so the "Are you going to Kindergarten?" question has been coming up a lot lately. Mostly he says no and that is it, then the person looks scandalously to me where it is my turn to say yes he's old enough but we are going to home school. Then comes a true variety of responses... OOH (take your pick of vocal range- surprised or condemning)... I couldn't do that...do you have any background in education... good for you... I don't blame you... Well, you are a teacher. It for some reason amazes me that people don't then stick around or ask for a rational. I know they are scrutinizing me in their minds... why don't they want to talk about it any further? Well here is my statement... if they'd ever listen.

I loved teaching school... I cannot picture myself teaching anywhere but in public school. I would go back to the neighborhood and families I left when I decided to stay home. Those children need loving, caring, knowledgeable, hard working teachers. And teaching those children is the first time I ever felt called to do anything in my life. Until I had my son. Now I am called to give him my best! I tried to go back to the classroom after he was born but I could not do it. I was his momma and I was suppose to be the one guiding him and enjoying his triumphs. Schools are full of teachers...some are amazing... some are not. Children are amazing.... many of their habits leave a lot to be desired. G is a polite,gregarious, empathetic, humorous, chocked full of questions boy. I don't want him to have to silently sit criss cross applesauce for 2-8 hours while the teacher corrals 18-25 (or more) other children. I want more. I don't want him to quit asking questions and wondering about life and the world for the sake of classroom management. Now I certainly won't allow him to run namby pamby and never learn self control. That is why we take part in story time, group music lessons, and sports and plan on joining Scouts or Keepers, and 4-H, and a co-op. I want to see him master essential skills rather than dabble in a myriad of "standards". I want him to study the fun stuff every teacher wishes they had time to do with their class if only... I want him to learn things for knowledge and enjoyment not for a test on Friday. I want to study for the day and be done to enjoy the rest the day has to offer not send him away for hours then spend the rest of the evening doing things to prove what they are suppose to be doing in class. I want more. I want more. I believe I can do this for my son and his future. I am sure going to give my best shot!

9 comments:

nina said...

Awesome response. You know better than most how much time is spent "not learning" in school. I look forward to folllowing your journey through Kindergarten.

Joni said...

I too am a former public school teacher. I loved teaching in public school. And I have a son who will be "officially" kindergarten age this year. I second many of your reasons for homeschooling. I also want to buck the system as far as testing goes. I am so very weary of the testing mentality that robs children (and teachers!) from the joy of real learning. Keep in touch if you'd like and we'll journey together!

Sarah said...

People are always amazed at the number of former public school teachers who homeschool, but it seems obvious to me. For one, we've been through the education program at college. I know that too many students were getting certified to teach merely because they couldn't think of anything else to major in. And following that, the public school system consists of some amazing, excellent, gifted, loving teachers; some very, very bad teachers; but mostly teachers who are simply mediocre. Why would I take a chance at mediocrity for my children? My son was in PS for two years. One year he had one of those unbelievably wonderful teachers. The next he had one of the mediocre ones who came back to work when her baby was 4 months old (although her husband asked her not to) so that she wouldn't lose her room. (Wouldn't lose her ROOM? Good grief!) And finally, teachers know all of this--so they are, in fact, very likely candidates for homeschooling! Anyway--I enjoyed your post. I also LOVE teaching and fulfill that love by teaching classes at our local homeschooling co-op. SmallWorld visiting from the Carnival of HS.

Sherry said...

18 years of homeschooling for me, so you can take my word for it, you won't regret the amount of time and effort it takes. What you gain is far more than what it costs. Blessings to all you beginners.

Crimson Wife said...

My oldest is turning 5 in October so she gets that question a lot. She always replies "No, we're going to HOME school" as if she were about to add the comment "Well, DU-UH!" (which of course she wouldn't, as we don't use that particular phrase in our house).

Most of the reactions we get are positive or neutral, but we do get the occasional uninformed person who starts to argue about the "S" word. They're in for an earful when they try to pull that on me, LOL!

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Surfing through from the carnival... Great post! I homeschool with no credentials, but have lots of friends who homeschool with past experience in elementary education; they've spoken of the trap they fell into trying to bring the classroom into the home, but you sound as it you'll escape that frustration. Enjoy! :)

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

I think it's quite telling the number of former teachers who are homeschooling. Perhaps others should look at what that says.

Shannon said...

I also find it SO interesting that people do not want to hear about it. They instantly make their judgments and that's that.

ella said...

What a great post.

I have been homeschooling my 5 year old son for a few months now and his capacity for learning is incredible. I entered into homeschooling with some reservations but it is a joy to teach him and seeing him learn the way he does makes it entirely worthwhile. There is no way I could imagine him sitting in a class of 29 other children and remaining interested in the work.