Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Broken System..........

I saw this article online and it just makes me shake my head.  This is the kind of thing that makes sense on PAPER, but not in real life.  There are far too many variables in real life.  This statement is particularly annoying to me.. 

Take away time, take away learning. As the co-founder of the Knowledge Is Power Program, a national network of extended-day public charter schools, I know there is no substitute for the hours a student spends with an effective and inspiring teacher.
The key words in that paragraph are an effective and inspiring teacher ....... perhaps other districts are different and I know that there are a handful of teachers that truly care about children and want to shape their little minds, but the majority of teachers in our school district are there for the paycheck and summers off.  I know this because I worked there for two school years.  I truly believe that God provided me the job to show me what was going on in our schools.  It was after beginning that job that homeschooling became so important to me.  I was privvy to the inner workings of our local school system and it terrified me!  With the teachers who do truly care, the spirit is quickly sucked out of them by the political machine (the local school board) or the demands the government  puts on them regarding state testing and the like.  It isn't the fault of the teachers, most of them do the best they can.  It's a broken system and I'm thankful that we removed The Youngun from it before she was broken as well. 

The Youngun and I were doing some schooling today and she did a couple workbook pages and took a little quiz that I made up about wolves.  I graded them and she said......... Mom, I hope I didn't get an F!  I said.....We don't have F's here, just Good jobs! or Ooops, we need to work on that!  My friend Darlin' Deb came over to visit and we were talking about this subject.  Take an average public school classroom of 27 kids..........they take a test.........5 of them receive F's.......5 receive D's..........the rest of the class C's B's and A's.  Those 10 children obviously didn't get the material.  They obviously didn't understand it, so common sense dictates they need to remain with the subject, and do more study on it.  Do you think that's what happens?  Nope.........they get the tests handed back to them and they move on to the next topic.  Even if the kid takes the test home (which wasn't allowed in my daughter's public school class, because of the fear of cheating.......they use the same tests year after year after year, so they won't send graded tests home, but that's a whole 'nother blog post!!) the average parent isn't going to go over it with the child, and even if they do they may not know the answers, or how to reteach the material.  If the classroom teacher stopped moving forward for those 10 children, in order for them to understand and retain the material, that wouldn't be fair to the other children in the class.  How in the world does a piece of paper full of red marks inspire a child?  How does that teach them what they so obviously didn't know, retain, or understand?  It breaks kids and makes them think they are dumb, so eventually they just stop trying!  See.........a broken system.  It just doesn't work!! 

The Youngun is a fabulous reader, good at english and grammar, pretty darned good at science (as long as it's in regard to life sciences) and isn't very strong in math.  The beauty of homeschooling for us is that she can read whatever she wants to read (her school wouldn't let her read above her grade level) and we can take math as slowly as we need to, and believe me we are taking it slowly.  She was bored out of her mind in reading and grammar, and getting left behind in math.  Having her home with me, we can tailor the curriculum to her needs, and with enough prayer and preparation she will have an effective and inspiring teacher!  I love homeschooling and struggle with wishing we'd done it sooner.  I don't play that game though.........God puts us where He wants us, when He wants us there and that's a beautiful thing! 

Please forgive me if this post seems random and rambling.....I've read over it several times and it even seems that way to me, but it's stuff that I wanted to get off my chest!  Thanks for reading!
Till next time...........GOD BLESS...


  1. Amen! I have a particular issue with parents that don't take an interest in their child's education. Obviously you aren't one of those, but I seriously wanted to slap the person I overheard going, "I'm not a teacher - that's what the school's for!" SERIOUSLY!?! People expect the schools to raise their kids - well they aren't going to do that at all. The schools won't teach your kid about life - sure they get interaction, but who's going to instill morals and behavior guidelines that don't involve stickers as rewards?
    I agree that the system is broken - a friend of mine who studied abroad in Scotland said that Europe is just disgusted by our standardized testing system and that the jr. high kids could run circles around her collegiate brain! Hmm. . . maybe they've got something there. . .

  2. Thanks for the comment MilkMaid! It's so true! I could blog for hours on the topic of people who bring children into this world and then want nothing to do with them!! I want to educate my child......the values that are taught in the school system aren't values I'm particularly interested in my daughter having. Thanks again for the comment!

  3. You are truly blessed to be able to stay at home with your daughter...and so is she. I would have loved to have done this for my children but i divorced their dad who was alcoholic when they were 13, 9 and 4, and the rest of their life became a blur as I struggled to give them a home with a backyard and some degree of stability in their life. At times I held down 3 jobs and was just too tired to read stories when I got home. It is my biggest regret. However... I peruse many blogsites that homeschool and pass on info to my children to use with my grandchildren, All is not lost!

  4. Thanks wendyytb! I am thankful to God every single day for the life that I lead. I'm glad that you were there for your kids in the best way you could, and kudos for getting them and yourself out of a horrible situation! I applaud you!

  5. "an effective and inspiring teacher?" that sounds to me like a good parent! i started getting pretty bad grades in reading in the 6th grade. that really confused my parents bc i loved to read. My dad took my to the library every saturday and they figured out that I was only reading the stuff from the library and ignoring my school reading bc the 6th grade stuff was sooo far below my reading level. Things are so much better for a child when their parents take an active role in their education (even if they aren't able to home school!)

  6. Well said!
    These are the exact reasons
    that I decided to homeschool our kids.
    Most teachers do only teach for a paycheck. They could care less if a child learns or not. There ARE good teachers out there but they are quickly being outnumbered by those who just need a paying job.
    Our schools just pass every child right through the door whether they learn or not.
    That's great for those that grasp a lesson easily but for those that just don't catch on as easy, well they just fall through the cracks.
    It's not fair to any of our kids!
    Homeschooling can be frustrating and time-consuming at times but at least I know that a lesson taught is a lesson learned. If someone needs extra help then they will get my help until they have fully learned the lesson.
    As for values or morals ~ I'm not sure that our teachers even know what those things are.
    I could go on and on but I will stop. Thanks for the post. It's nice knowing that I'm not the only person that feels this way about our school systems.

  7. Again, I nod my head in approval. I definitely feel the same way. Many, many kids fall through the cracks, I'm sure my son would have been one of them had he still been attending public school. I will never bring "Grades" into our learning adventure. I do not agree with it, I like the way you worded it as either a "good job" or "a oops we need to work more on that subject".


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