Saturday, September 27, 2008

No Parent Left UN-Queasy

I recently had the pleasure (?) of viewing Where We Stand, a PBS special on our nations schools. Coincidentally, the Ohio Public School system was used as an example throughout the program. So, not only did I get a punch in the gut about my daughter's fate as a potential public school customer, but Ohio kicked me in the shins for good measure. The entire show was unexpectedly nauseating. I have entertained the idea of homeschooling for awhile now and this may have pushed me over the edge. I will never cease to be shocked at our country's cultural tendency to view constant growth as the ultimate marker of success. From physical growth charts, to income growth, to intellectual growth, there seems to be no tolerance for standing still. My husband and I frequently talk about how we SHOULD send our kid to public school, to show our commitment to improving education for all kids, but how do I explain that to Violet. "I'm sorry honey, I know that we are putting YOUR emotional, social and intellectual development at risk, but it's for the good of your great-great grandchildren." I have but one child to give this planet and I am not so sure that screwing her up with a 12 year sentence of social and academic bullying is the way to go. I see her so joyfully learning new things and yet I know that after 2 or 3 years in school she will dread every day and start a countdown to summer vacation, as I did. Can we devise a way to teach kids to love learning and maintain certain standards at the same time? Just like with universal healthcare, other countries seem to be doing it and America resists, because America is the best and we don't take orders from no one...Of course, all of this personal turmoil might be mute if I lived 2 miles up the hill in the Oakwood School District. I think that perhaps our gentile poverty may guide us in the right direction, yet again. We are fortunate enough to afford my staying home, but not wealthy enough to afford private school, so the Heathen Family Homeschool is now in session. A strict dress code of pajamas and unbrushed teeth will be enforced!

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