Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Interesting conversation

Sunday afternoon I had an interesting conversation with one of my neighbors. She is the mother of two of MB's friends. She had called to invite MB to the school field trip to the zoo with her daughter for Thursday. I had to decline as we have the zoo already on our schedule and MB missed her piano class last week because she was sick. I appreciate her invite though because I do keep wondering if there is a way I could give MB first hand experience with how a class is managed - but the timing just didn't work out.

We moved on from that to discussing MB going to the elementary school next year. Apparently she talks about it with her daughter and all that. Neighbor mom asked me if it was true. And, to be honest we are still waffling. It is up to MB at this point and she keeps changing her mind. Anyway, neighbor mom told me not to do it. She started telling me about her last three years of experience with the school and the issues she has to deal with. She volunteers in the classrooms, and was a elementary teacher in a previous state, and told me about how the classes are managed at the school. Nothing that would fit MB's style of learning at all - which is the major problem she is having with her oldest son.

She is seriously considering homeschooling beginning next school year because of all the troubles. Her son, who is smart, is getting very discouraged and his grades have plummeted this year in 4th grade. Her daughter, in first, comes home whiney and exhausted (not her personality at all) because of the amount of quiet, seat work they are expected to finish during the day. Her daughter has been held in during recess because she will not read the 1st grade level books as homework, and instead wants to read the chapter books she likes. Apparently her 15 minutes of homework reading must be in the "See Dick" range.

Her last words were: "MB is such an original. I would hate to see what the school would do to her."

I so appreciate another, insiders viewpoint on the public schools. It was very interesting getting the inside scoop on the actual school MB would attend. I so don't want her to go. It tears me up just thinking about it.

But, MB is an experiential learner and until she actually experiences a ps class she is always going to wonder if it is like it is on tv or in books. She has this fairy tale idea of school. And if a month or six weeks in school would be enough to see that school is not like that then maybe it would be worth it. We could chalk it up to a personal experiment.

My biggest fear: that she would actually like it and want to stay.



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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.