Is it time to think differently about education?

March 1, 2007 at 9:22 pm 2 comments

I shared a few posts last week about education.  Last night my wife and I attended a meeting at the high school my youngest daughter will be attending.  What I heard was discouraging.  My daughter has become very interested in music and it has really helped her become a better student.  If I understood the speaker correctly last night, my daughter could have her electives taken away from her so they can give her “credit recovery” classes in the subjects she can’t pass the GQE in.  Losing orchestra would devastate her.  It is what keeps her going, and she’s shown steady improvement in playing the violin.  She is an inclusion student – meaning she has an IEP and gets special instruction for some of the subjects that give her trouble.  I’m really beginning to question the methods that are being used.  I don’t think the system worked for my eldest daughter, who is mildly handicapped, and is now struggling to fit in with life outside of school.  So I started some research today, and I wanted to throw this on the internet in hopes that some families will find this post and maybe respond. 

I’ve been aware of home schooling.  It has been considered in our home, but we’ve always been concerned that we won’t be effective teachers.  I’m wondering how other families overcame that notion.  I’d like to get some perspective from both sides.  Did it work for you?  If so, why?  If not, why?

Also, I just found this article on unschooling (related article), which appears to be an interesting notion, and I think it has some merit where my kids are concerned.  My kids are inquisitive, but I’m afraid they don’t ask all their questions in school like they do at home.  I like to hear from parents that have tried this too, along with the why’s and why not’s. 

Yes, I’m giving educators the opportunity to help us too.  I have another meeting scheduled to discuss my daughter’s IEP and future.  I just think I’m getting a bit more serious about alternatives.  I need something that works for her and helps become the young lady I know she can me.  And if conventional thinking doesn’t work, I can pursue the alternatives.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to search the ‘net  for other articles and blogs, and try to get some perspective.  To those who respond – thanks in advance.


Entry filed under: Education, Family, handicapped children, homeschooling, unschooling.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dana  |  March 2, 2007 at 12:12 am

    I think what you mention is a common concern, ie., that we won’t be a good enough teacher. One thing to consider, however, is that all research shows that parental involvement influences a child’s educational success more than any other factor. Even while your child is in public school, you have more influence than the teacher, which is interesting.

    You are more capable than you know. I think parents naturally attend well to their children’s needs. I haven’t had the experience of pulling a child out, so can’t talk about that specifically. We have homeschooled all along, and my oldest is only in 2nd grade.

    I think homeschooling is a wonderful opportunity for a family to learn together, and to learn to enjoy learning. There may very well be gaps in the education in the end, but there are gaps in the learning of a public schooled child, as well. But even at that, there are so many opportunities now to help in subjects you don’t feel competent in, whether it is a particular program, online course or just another person in the area willing to help out.

    Anyway, good luck with the decision. Only you can really know whether it is right for your family, and I”m not one to really advocate for trying it out for a little while. Except maybe over the summer, if you want a taste of what it is like. But that is obviously up to you, as well.

  • 2. Amy Wells  |  March 2, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Great post! Homeschooling can be really effective, but the costs and benefits need to be evaluated before even starting, and a lot of the success will depend on the child’s personality and aptitude for the lack of structure compared to traditional school.


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