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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #13351

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    I have weighed the pros and cons over and over and over. I just don't trust nor like the system. I went to great (rated) public schools and I just had no passion to learn. I was bored out of my mind sitting in a desk all day copying notes from an overhead projector. I want my kids to have real life experiences and for them both to hold onto the huge zest they have for learning right now.
    But I did love the social part of high school. And the girls I was friends with there are still some of my closest friends.
    We're just going to play it by ear. Year to year.

  2. #13352

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    Bridget, I totally wish you lived closer. I'd trade "lesson days" with you and the kids. And you know what? For anyone who says they couldn't do it - you're underestimating your children. And yourself, but mostly your children. I don't "do" much other than engage with my kid and make sure he has fun stuff to keep him occupied and good life experiences. He's taught himself everything so far.

    And yep, I don't trust the system because the system exists specifically to dumb people down enough so that they swallow, hook, line and sinker, the idea that they have a responsibility and a place in the system. Our schools prepare children to be worker bees. And we all know how happy that's made everyone.



  3. #13353

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    God I wish that too, Stacy. That's the element missing from my plan. The community. Madison is about 45 minutes from me and there is a large home schooling community there. But here, not so much.

    I just made the most delicious broth ever from this bacon that my cousin gave me. She has an organic farm but the bacon I don't love because it's really thick cut and kind of chewy instead of crispy. But the broth is and I made a mushroom soup out of it. I can't stop eating.

  4. #13354
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    I just tried to write out my thoughts about homeschooling and ended up erasing the whole thing. I go back and forth in my head about what I think about it and in the end I just don't know what I think of it. I've seen some really great examples of homeschooling. And I've seen some really great, hands-on, project based schools, too. I think the jury is still out for me.

    I never thought when I was younger I'd end up working in the school system, especially not the district I work for (I actually flat out refused to interview there when I was first looking for work, but they made me a very unexpected offer). I see every extreme and everything in between. For the most part, though, I stay in my own little communication world. I could never be a classroom teacher.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  5. #13355

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    That sounds delicious Bridget! How do you make the broth?
    Yes I do underestimate Josh sometimes. He's much smarter than I realize. I probably do underestimate myself too. I just feel like I'd be better at filling in the gaps that education might leave, rather than providing the whole lesson myself.

  6. #13356

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    The issue isn't academics, in my opinion. The issue is the life lessons often taught by people who have no business being teachers, role models. And the impact of peers - peers are largely unecessary, and in my opinion, harmful to the growing brains of our little people.



  7. #13357
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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    I think homeschooling is wonderful when it's done right. I have no doubt that Bridget and Stacy are awesome teachers. I just don't think I could do it.
    I know I couldn't. I can't even articulate to Bobbie how to parallel park in a way that she understands. I can actually parallel park anything, anywhere, anytime...but teach it? Nope. I'm like that with everything too. It's so much easier for me to just do it myself. Home teaching my kids wouldn't have done them any academic favors.

    I admit, however, that I did look into homeschooling Bobbie for her senior year, but that's because I have no doubt she'd be able to self-teach, and perhaps even teach me!! Owego didn't accept her, said she'd have to wait till she's 18. Well, she turns 18 in April and school is over in June. It's not good enough.

    I almost cried for her, but she said it's ok. She's disappointed, but said she'll be all right making it through 1 more year at this hick school.

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgetwu75 View Post
    I went to great (rated) public schools and I just had no passion to learn. I was bored out of my mind sitting in a desk all day copying notes from an overhead projector. I want my kids to have real life experiences and for them both to hold onto the huge zest they have for learning right now.
    That's exactly how I was. I ended up quitting at the end of 10th grade because I couldn't force myself to go any more. I absolutely lost any interest in pretending any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by stash View Post
    For anyone who says they couldn't do it - you're underestimating your children. And yourself, but mostly your children. I don't "do" much other than engage with my kid and make sure he has fun stuff to keep him occupied and good life experiences. He's taught himself everything so far.
    Perhaps that's true, but I've spent many frustrating hours with the girls, especially in the middle school years, trying to read their text book and research on the net so I could try to help them with homework---without success. Kim Sanders (sandersmommy) has helped my kids a LOT with stuff that I just didn't know or didn't know how to articulate in a way that they could understand. You really do need to have some sort of teaching ability to be a success at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by stash View Post
    The issue isn't academics, in my opinion. The issue is the life lessons often taught by people who have no business being teachers, role models. And the impact of peers - peers are largely unecessary, and in my opinion, harmful to the growing brains of our little people.
    I absolutely agree with this. My kids have made some great friends, but they're a very small percentage of the douche-bag snots that is the majority in a public school.
    Last edited by missychrissy; 09-07-2010 at 08:19 PM.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  8. #13358

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    Sorry Bobbie didn't get into Owego Glad she seems to be okay with it though!

  9. #13359
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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    Sorry Bobbie didn't get into Owego Glad she seems to be okay with it though!
    Thanks. She sent me the text this afternoon and I almost started crying for her at work. She seems to have taken the 'no' better than I did.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  10. #13360
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    On another note, 2 of my kids (50% of them ) have birthdays coming up. I sent my dad and his wife an email letting them know that this year they're having separate parties. Jess's will be on the 18th, and Conner's the 25th.

    Dad wrote me this morning and said that him and his wife won't be coming because Rich's mother (Marilyn) and stepfather (Jon) will be there (long story short, my father is married to Rich's stepdad's mother). Shelda (my dad's wife) is mad at her own son for something that I haven't been paying any attention to.

    I didn't write back and I don't think I'm going to. I have to say, I'm extremely disappointed in my dad. This isn't him. This isn't how he was my whole life. He put up with my mother's paranoid, bipolar, verbal and emotional abuse for all the kid's birthday parties, Christmases and Thanksgiving Dinners. He always took it in stride and let her say whatever she wanted to and still came for his grandkids. His wife, on the other hand, will shut her own kids out and has on many occasions for various reasons. I cannot believe he's going along with her. I'm beyond disappointed in him.

    If I were to write back, I'd simply tell him the only ones that stand to be hurt are the kids, because Jon, Marilyn, me and Rich really don't give a rip if they're there or not.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  11. #13361

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    Chrissy that sucks.

  12. #13362

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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    That sounds delicious Bridget! How do you make the broth?
    Yes I do underestimate Josh sometimes. He's much smarter than I realize. I probably do underestimate myself too. I just feel like I'd be better at filling in the gaps that education might leave, rather than providing the whole lesson myself.
    I can understand that. Home schooling isn't best for every parent or every child. Who knows if it will even be what my kids want. I'm trying to keep an open mind to whatever happens. I have this fear of throwing my kids in with masses. I don't want them to be mainstreamed. Not that every child who goes to public school is. Not by any means. It's just hard to remain true to yourself amidst the pressures. It was for me though I think I was successful for the most part.

    I made the broth by just boiling the bacon along with a whole unpeeled onion, some whole carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, sea salt. I simmered it for about 4 hours then cooled it and skimmed the fat. Tasty.

  13. #13363
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    I was bored a lot in school, too. I think my parents were really good about continuing to teach informally whenever I was around them.

    I find that the twins have learned a lot more at home with me about basic lessons, like reading and writing and drawing and counting, but at preschool they're learning different things that it hasn't occurred to me to discuss with them. And they were both interested in having friends, which was the main reason I enrolled them, since we couldn't ever have enough of a regular schedule to go to classes or meet the same children on a regular basis. Luckily I found a preschool where the other children are really nice and the teachers are vigilant about interactions. I do think one of my biggest fears was about other children being mean to them, but every time I walk in there all of the students seem happy and cooperative.


  14. #13364

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    I think I might feel differently if I were parenting a different child, too. Oscar is extremely bright (I'm not saying this to brag, it's simply a fact). He's very verbal, very outgoing, and very demanding in a whole lot of ways. I find that many adults, even those who are supposed to be "trained" to deal with all sorts of kids (like teachers) condescend to him or get annoyed with him because he's so completely talkative and "in your face" a lot of the time. I simply cannot imagine putting him in an environment where that behavior risks being squanched... partially because I was that kid. I was the kid who had a huge imagination and a huge desire to share it. And I was the kid who was teased and treated like a nutball by teachers (mostly, not really by peers until later, like 5th grade).

    If I had a calm, "obedient" kid, maybe I'd feel differently.



  15. #13365
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    School was usually pretty easy for me (minus a few areas here and there over the years). But my mom always said only boring people get bored so I always went out of my way to not be bored. If a subject was boring or the class wasn't getting it, I would just work ahead or write notes. If I finished a test early, I always had a book to read. If we say had to do a book report, I might pick Grapes of Wrath or 1984 instead the easy looking thin book. I took mostly honors classes except when they conflicted with French (got up to level 5 before college) or Orchestra.
    Grade school I liked, junior high not so much..that is just not a fun age group....and high school I liked. I'm glad that I got to have that experience and get to know so many different people...being part of student government, we also took it upon ourselves to befriend the exchange students and I got to become friends with students from Russia, Brazil, Poland, Germany, Moldova, Romania, Norway and Thailand. I still chat with my friend from Poland though she now lives in Australia.

    That said, if DH and I were still living in Milwaukee....we would either homeschool or private school (even a religious one would be better than the public system there). But we have decent schools here.
    I think that probably the biggest thing was that I had parents who were involved in my education....they knew the teachers, they sometimes went on field trips with us, they were there for every single orchestra concert, and they did things with us outside of school like travel or go to museums. I was very much encouraged to read (funny part is neither of my parents really read anything other than newspaper) and they were there to help with homework if needed or help with spelling practice and really took an interest in our day.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  16. #13366
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    Quote Originally Posted by stash View Post
    I think I might feel differently if I were parenting a different child, too. Oscar is extremely bright (I'm not saying this to brag, it's simply a fact). He's very verbal, very outgoing, and very demanding in a whole lot of ways. I find that many adults, even those who are supposed to be "trained" to deal with all sorts of kids (like teachers) condescend to him or get annoyed with him because he's so completely talkative and "in your face" a lot of the time. I simply cannot imagine putting him in an environment where that behavior risks being squanched... partially because I was that kid. I was the kid who had a huge imagination and a huge desire to share it. And I was the kid who was teased and treated like a nutball by teachers (mostly, not really by peers until later, like 5th grade).

    If I had a calm, "obedient" kid, maybe I'd feel differently.
    Bobbie can be described as a calm, 'obedient' kid. She's always been one to try to please her teachers and worked very hard in school, and even she wasn't immune to the rottenness of some teachers. When she was learning her multiplication table in the 3rd grade, she was called on to answer 3 x 7. She got it wrong, and the teacher just lit into her and said, "Oh come on Bobbie! Three time seven is not _______!!" (whatever her answer had been). Bobbie was absolutely humiliated, and from then on she really struggled with basic math. I still hate "Mrs. Smyth-with-a-Y"

    Every year I've had to battle with every teacher over one thing or another. Sometimes more often than just once. I really wish there were better alternatives where we live.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  17. #13367

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    I wish there was a better system for us, in general, Chrissy. It's really, really sad.



  18. #13368

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    I have to add to that that in our community, to send Oscar to a school that I think is even remotely acceptable (but still a "system") I'm going to be dishing out $8,500 a year. Double that for the new kid. We can afford it, but JESUS, it shouldn't cost that much to make sure your kid thrives at school.



  19. #13369

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    I was very shy and pretty good at school up until 9th grade. The high school in my town was one of the most competitive ones in the state and I was just lost. I was much happier and more successful when my parents sent me to private school but I feel like maybe it was even too easy.
    And I remember loving middle school! Maybe selective memory though. LOL

  20. #13370

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    Stacy, I feel like that about Savana. I can tell she annoys her dance teacher. She loves nothing more than to share her knowledge and it's not always appropriate. I hate the look on her face when people don't respond to it.

    I had some really, really great teachers and some teacher and sports coaches who made me feel like I was a nothing. Middle school was a "mean girls" nightmare for me but my mom and dad were so adamant that I keep my head up and above all the taunting so I learned some good lessons there. I loved high school. I was a peace and love kid so I got along with everyone.

    Chrissy, you remind me of my mom. She always went to head with teachers who did kids wrong. It didn't matter if it was us or another kid. She was all over it.
    And it does suck that the system sucks. I wish there were more options and I wish there didn't have to be. Education for children should be the most important thing. Period.

  21. #13371

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    I never really loved school at all, I think because I'm more of a solitary person, but I always loved to learn and still do. I did think school was boring but really I would rather have had my nose stuck in a book all day. But I did love the social aspects and the friends I made and sometimes a teacher or class would provide me a glimpse of something I didn't know about that would make me kind of obsessed with a subject and I'd go off at the library and sit there all weekend (my brother ran up fines of like $100 on my library card when I was a kid so I was forced to read library books at the library itself). Luckily our libraries were open 7 days a week. I still miss my hometown libraries because of how great they were and really still are.

    But Ky is not a fall in line obedient child and is very imaginitive and in your face but he just THRIVES at school. I also know that I am not the homeschool type. It drives me crazy when we do our summer school, as I do homeschool him during at leas 6 weeks of the summer to make sure he doesn't forget materials. He is very willful and doesn't want to do anything other than draw. It was a battle to get him to read as well as I wanted him to, but he has surpassed my expectations in reading now and actually loves to read, but he didn't just 2 years ago and if left up to his own decision or if I let him lead me in this area, he would not be as successful academically as he is now since reading is such a major component of every academic subject.

    Luckily he is at Kindezi (his new school) and really I am near tears a few times a week because I'm so happy he loves his school so much. He has 6 kids in his class, his teacher just loves him and he is free to be his talkative silly self while also steered way more gently toward doing his work than I would do. Every day he tells me all the new things he is learning and what he did in school and both DH and I are actually thinking that we may stay here in Atlanta until Elle graduates 8th grade (as Kindezi will be adding a grade each year until 8th grade and siblings are automatically admitted) just so she can only go there for K-8 as well. And that is a big deal since I really don't like living in Atlanta, but I know I will not find a comparable school public or private that can do what this school does.

    I actually did consider homeschooling Ky as well, but like I said, I'm not patient enough, especially with more complex work that will come into play with grades 3 and up. I taught Ky everything he knew really up through 1st grade and he went to school basically for social interaction and to have fun, and I am not up to doing it beyond that.

    Erin
    Last edited by Ky'sMom; 09-08-2010 at 11:49 AM.

  22. #13372

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    I only had one really bad teacher that sticks out in my mind. My second grade teacher Mrs. Wallace. I was (am) a very disorganized person and we had those desks that the tops lift up. I could never find anything in it because it was such a mess. One day I couldn't find something and she came over and dumped out my desk in front of the whole class. I was mortified.

  23. #13373
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    So DH and I were driving back home a week ago and had an interesting conversation....we seem to be thinking that we don't end up having a baby in say the next 8-10 years (I'm almost 32 so time is limited).....I think that we might end up looking into adopting a teen from foster care or a little bit older sibling group. I don't think that we could handle one with severe issues....but I think that some are just hard to adopt because they are older and everyone wants little babies and toddlers. I don't think that we are ready yet to be parents of teens and we would want to be more established first (basically more money since so much went into the house this year). But I don't want to be an older person and not have anyone to leave my money and house to and be all alone. My BFF said she thought we would be great with teens and could give clear boundries and consequences.....plus like things like hip music and video games.
    We both also liked the fact that we could get matched....for example a teen boy that was really into hunting and jock stuff....might not be the best fit for either of us.....but a teen boy that say liked D&D and sci-fi....might be a better fit since we are pretty nerdy.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  24. #13374
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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    I only had one really bad teacher that sticks out in my mind. My second grade teacher Mrs. Wallace. I was (am) a very disorganized person and we had those desks that the tops lift up. I could never find anything in it because it was such a mess. One day I couldn't find something and she came over and dumped out my desk in front of the whole class. I was mortified.
    I was in 3rd grade gym class when I had my first asthma attack and couldn't breath. He stood there and mocked my breathing. Luckily I was smart enough to leave the gym, get some water and got my breath back....than I went to the principals office and said I wanted my mom. She was REAL unhappy and the principal was very unhappy (he liked my mom and liked me and I was a perfect student) but the a-hole had tenure so basically nothing they could do to get rid of him. After that day, I never cared about gym again and stopped trying.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  25. #13375

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    I had endlessly bad teachers. Fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh grade, and several in high school. I was taunted for the way I talked (like a grown up!), was tortured when my math skills weren't very good, and was tortured for not being very physically coordinated in phys ed.



  26. #13376
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    Quote Originally Posted by stash View Post
    I had endlessly bad teachers. Fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh grade, and several in high school. I was taunted for the way I talked (like a grown up!), was tortured when my math skills weren't very good, and was tortured for not being very physically coordinated in phys ed.


    I know my feelings on teachers is very biased, and not in a positive way. I had a very few that stand out to me as 'good' teachers. I have a multitude of 'bad' stories to share. The worst one for me was the teacher that somehow thought it would help me by having my 3 closest friends in a meeting with a guidance counselor. There they discussed my mother's mental illness and how difficult my home life was and what my friends could do to 'help' me.

    Yes. They did. If I knew then what I know now...can we talk about HUGE breach of confidentiality? Not to mention it was in 6th grade, where even the best of friends can be transient. Of course something happened later in the year and one of them wasn't quite my bff any more and she told everyone.

    I can talk about my mother's illness now, but when I was in school I prided myself on being able to act normal, even if my mother had tried to kill me over the weekend (literally). To have my secret out there---yeah, I hate school to this day.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  27. #13377

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    Okay that's about as sucky as it gets.



  28. #13378

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    My third grade teacher yelled at us all the time and I started getting headaches almost every day that year from being so stressed out.
    It was 4th grade that I started to fall behind in math and had to stay after school all the time to finish my timed multiplication tables. I hated math in all forms after that.

    In high school most of my jackass teacher moments were me sticking up for other kids in my class and getting in trouble for it. I remember this one horrible teacher that treated some kids like crap and was sweet as pie to the others. She was so obviously racist and even treated the "popular" kids best. Yuck. I had this black kid in my creative writing class who was really, really smart. I knew if for a fact because he tutored me in calculus during our free hour just to be nice. I had several classes with him and new he was very intelligent. I overheard her telling him one day that he had type to type his papers at school and was not allowed to type them at home or she'd never give him anything higher than a "c". The thing was I'd been typing my papers on my own time all year and she was fine with it. It was like she assumed the kid was cheating because he was so smart and she was racist. I called her out in front of the whole class and she she stammered and stuttered and then called my mom to report me for disrespectful behavior. Well, as soon as I told my mom the reality of the situation she tore into the teacher as well and needless to say, that kid was allowed to type his papers at home from then on.

    It makes me sad to think about all the little you's out there getting mocked and tormented by crappy teachers. I think if anyone ever did that to my kids I'd be seeing red.
    Last edited by Bridget; 09-08-2010 at 12:42 PM.

  29. #13379

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    And the thing is Bridget, I sorely believe that until kids are old enough to understand what ****os people can be, and how to handle it without internalizing it, they shouldn't be exposed to that rot. It's not overprotectiveness, it's reasonable parenting.



  30. #13380
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    I'm sorry that you guys have had so many bad teachers. I had a few here or there but a number of them really stand out....1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, were all great. I learned logic, chess, got to memorize poems (to this day I can still recite most of the ones I did...and so can my parents LOL). Junior high was more of a blur but I loved my French teacher and orchestra teachers. Oh and nineth grade biology was fun. High school again French and Orchestra but also a couple of the english teachers, political science, economics, the activities director was really a big part of my high school.
    Didn't like my advanced anatomy and physiology teacher....she actually I thought I shouldn't go with orchestra to play at Carnegie Hall in NYC because I would miss too much of her class. I didn't need her or her stinking class so I basically skipped the whole last month of it (I was 18 and didn't need the credit to graduate and was already accepted to college and had scholarships) and got a big fat F. LOL Kind of funny when today I'm a medical librarian and spend a lot of time with human anatomy and physiology when I'm doing research for our medical staff.

    I think education is seriously one of those things that is just so dependent on where you live.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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