Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Hairbrianed Homeschool Schemes

So... life happens as it's known to do and suddenly things end up much differently than you had planned.

I know most of you have herd this story or parts of it. But I want to post it so THERE!

Ever since school started and well even before it had, I've been concerned about how my son would handle going from a half day of kindergarten to a full day of school plus and extra hour because this particular charter school goes all the way to 4pm.

I loved this school and my sons teacher I've herd lots of good things about her. Every morning I woke my boy up at 7am dressed him in a nice white polo and slacks, fed him, kissed him and dropped him off to school at 8am and returned to pick him up, but each evening at 4pm instead of my son I came home with a cranky tired irrational monster. He reeked havoc on our family life and I couldn't get him to bed at night soon enough.

My poor boy, one day I picked him up and he looked so miserable I thought something bad must have happened at school. When I asked he responded with a heavy sigh "It was a loooooooong day" and ended with another sigh.

I was feeling a bit jealous yes that I was missing all the good and pleasant behavior, but mostly I was feeling concern that he shouldn't be at school that long, 8 hours is a long time!

I put him in Kindergarten last year on a whim when baby sister was born. That was a life save let me tell you! But I hadn't been planning to send him at all that year he was barley old enough, and I was actually hoping they would hold him back and repeat Kindergarten again.

I felt pretty strongly that I ought to do something, I wanted to start picking him up early from school but I was pretty sure that wouldn't go over well with the school. Daddy Jason figured we should just ask them to have him repeat Kindergarten.

So here we go to have a chat with his teacher and the principal, they said basically what I thought they would say, that he was thriving and that going back wouldn't help him at all academically yada-yada-yada... and the only good thing they could possible see in it at all was: he'd be home more. BINGO!

Then they gave me helpful hints like, put them in bed at 7pm and told me "your not alone, parents of the full-day kindergartners tell us this same thing". Then they gave me the line and I thought it meant something to them at the time "I know you have to do what you feel is best as a parent".

It actually gave me confidence that they would support my decision. Jason and I prayed about it and not matter how backwards it seemed we felt very strongly that our son needed to be home more and so we decided to put him back in half-day Kindergarten.

So there I go to the school and I tell the Principal my decision, she was obviously disappointed and tells me that since he didn't have "retention" written on his records she would have to see how it was going to work out and that I might need to write a letter stating that I wanted him retained, she would get back to me.

I wait but as I wait I'm frustrated because I want him to start in his new class as soon a possible so that he can adjust to his new class and teacher and get settled in while it's still the beginning of the year.

All this time I've been talking to my son Z asking him how he feels about school and his class and how he would feel about moving to a new class and I talked about home school a few times (I was gonna' home school last year but didn't).

I decide that the day had come for him to start going to his new Kindergarten class, so here we go to the school and get seated in the principals office Z and I together. And then she starts her speech like this "I've thought a lot about it but I need to do whats in the best interest academically for my students and I'm not going to allow your son to go back into kindergarten, it just would not be in his best interest." I was floored of all the things, I didn't expect that! So then I asked if I could pick him up early from 1st grade every day. No she couldn't allow that either. Then she says that line again "I understand that you have to do what you feel is best, we'd hate to lose your son".

I couldn't believe what I was hearing she offered no help whatsoever, completely denied my request and with that last comment "we'd hate to lose your son" basically kicked us out of the school. Suck it up and take the long day of school or get out.

I've herd of many a parent asking to have their child repeat Kindergarten for whatever reason they wanted, be it to be bigger for sports, or to get ahead and so on, and so I guess I thought there wouldn't be any problem.

Far be it for me the PARENT to know whats best for my child.

I didn't tell them what I wanted to do yet I was still dumb founded, but as soon as my son and I walked out of the office he stars pulling on my arm and saying "I wanna do home school mom I wanna do home school". He refused to go to class and only went in to get his things and tell his teacher he was gonna do home school.

So here we are now a week later, I've pulled him out of that school and I've been looking at other schools and the only thing that feels right and the only thing my son wants to do is home school.

I've gotta tell you I felt a bit of a loss, I've had to morn for that ideal I've had where I have this great relationship with the school and his teacher and then theres all the school supplies, the backpack and lunch box that are no longer needed.

Now I'm the one shouldering the responsibility of his education.

This is a different path here than the one I took a few weeks ago, we took an unexpected turn on the road, it's different here but I think this path is better and I think I'm gonna like it.


Lorajean said...

Wow Carianne!! Big changes for sure! you'll have to let me know how it all goes I'm really interested in how you figure it all out with home schooling. I've go a lot of time to decide but its something i debate in my head a lot. "home school - time with kids, or public school - sanity" I know myself all too well. I have lot of weaknesses and think i would make a horrible school teacher sometimes. Good luck!
Love Lola

D-lyn said...

Carianne you should be proud of sticking up for your son!
In fact you are a very good mom, and a very good writer. This letter should be published. Every mom should hear it and every mom should know they do KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR THEIR SON!