What we are using

30 March 2008

Life before Homeschooling

In celebration of Home Education week, Principled Discovery is hosting a week of reflection on homeschooling. The first topic is "Life before homeschooling."

The best way I can describe life before homeschooling is to describe the day I decided to pull BB from school.

We started the day early as usual, for a Friday. I made breakfast for BB and CC and drove BB to school and CC to daycare. I stopped and chatted with Miss S. our wonderful home daycare lady. She is a mother of 8, homeschools, and runs a home daycare. We were discussing how some of the parents just don't seem to want to take responsibility for their children. I had started working 3 day weeks so that either Hubby or I could be home with the kids every day - except Friday.

Hubby and I worked at the same company and had lunch together on Fridays. As we were eating, my cell phone rang. It was the vice-principal at BB's school - he was in seventh grade. She proceeded to tell me that BB had been in a fight with FIVE boys after lunch. He had ripped the shirt of one of the boys and she thought that he should pay restitution for the shirt. What?! Was my son okay?! In her opinion, my son was responsible for starting the fight. I asked if she could possibly be serious. Why on earth would my son attack five boys? I asked her if perhaps because of his height that she was more likely to blame him than other boys. Did she think my son was stupid? I was concerned with his safety in a place where he could be attacked and then blamed.

This incident was preceded by 9 years of parent teacher conferences that always started out "Your son is exceptionally bright, but......." He didn't pay attention in class. They gave him additional books to read while they were teaching the other children, but we should really pray for him because he was not obedient. He refused to do work; he wouldn't listen in class; he didn't seem interested in the lessons; he didn't turn in his homework so they couldn't put him in gifted classes; he has a sarcastic sense of humor; he is color blind and in trouble for choosing the wrong color from a box of unlabeled crayons which apparently means his refuses to follow directions; he would only do one or two problems on a page and then skip the rest; really, he should be in the gifted classes, but since he refuses to do his work in the regular classes, we just don't feel that he would succeed in the gifted classes. Every year since K4, our parent teacher conferences were some variation on that theme.

I felt my bright son slipping away from me. He thought he was dumb because he was getting C's and D's. He didn't find anything that interested or challenged him. Making breakfast for him in the mornings and driving him to school just didn't seem like it could ever be enough. I was afraid that if I didn't do something radically different that I would lose him forever.

That was my life before homeschool. He is graduating the year.


Mrs. Darling said...

I began my homeschool journey much the same way only my daughter has a processing disorder that the teacher wouldnt recognize so she fell further and further behind until at the end of third grade she was testing out at the third month of first grade. I had no choice but to homeschool.

Good luck with your son!

Dana said...

Wow...gifted kids are particularly misunderstood in school. They are frequently left to their own devices because teachers feel they don't need to spend time with them...that and boredom is often mistaken for disobedience.

I am glad he had such wonderful parents who were there to see the problem and give him what he needed!

Angela said...

Tell the rest of the story..I jumped here from somewhere else and now I am dying to hear how you made the switch, I had this same problem with my son in 3rd (except no fights), I pulled him that summer and now he excels and at his pace. Great site!