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Can I ever survive being a public school parent?


bethben
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Yesterday, a woman was canvasing the neighborhood to make sure people had registered their children for the neighborhood charter school and know about the upcoming dates of open houses etc.  She commented on how wonderful the school was because it had so many computers.  I told her that I understood why schools used computers in elementary grades (mostly to give children a little more individual learning at their own pace) but that overall, I wasn't a fan of using computers so much for elementary students.  When they initially told me she needed to take a test on a computer (for 4th grade), I told them they wouldn't get accurate results because my daughter had barely used a computer (I start keyboarding and basic internet skills in 4th grade).  They kept telling me, "Well, that's how we test everyone" and couldn't give me an alternative.  Thankfully, the testing will be in the fall and she is learning keyboarding this summer.  

 

Anyway, the canvaser launched into how we need to compete with a global economy, how we have to compete against immigrants for high tech jobs, and how access to computers will help us do so.  That the whole goal of education is to get a good job.  I am too well read!  I kept thinking about how I want my children to have an education that teaches them how to think and how to learn.  A job is a byproduct of a child who can learn anything and think through problems without having been told "this is how you do it".  So, when she launched into global economy stuff, I kept my mouth shut and argued with her in my head.  It was an "I'm the professional educator and you're a lowly parent" feeling.

 

My daughter is going to school next fall.  It was a difficult decision based on her intensity with me (not with other teachers she's had for co-ops) and her strong need to be around others.  There's lots of reasons why.  I know I cannot change a whole system.  I also know that my dh will hear a lot of ranting from me next year.  I know this doesn't have to be forever, but I have a strong feeling she will thrive in that setting.  I never thought I would ever send a child to public school.  Yet, here I am doing just that.  So, how do I not let my blood pressure spike when I come across nonsense that I know is going to smack me in the face?

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Well, if it makes you feel any better, I have a lot of friends who are public school moms, and they pretty much share the same views of education that I have.  You will find many like-minded parents and teachers as well, and it will be fine.   :grouphug:

 

 

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If they're not teaching programming, there's no need to have computers in the school at this age. And I would've said that.

 

Our schools do not have computers for EVERY student.  But they do have computers and I'm okay with it.

 

It allows them to access a much larger library of AR tests -- and to access those tests from the classroom, not having to leave the classroom to go to the library just to take a test.

 

There is also a much larger range of research subjects available on even kid-level libraries that the school has access to than the library can possibly have in their library.  Giving children who are doing reports more choices.

 

They have a classroom full of computers that students go to once a week, to learn how to use.  Good thing to. Now that my son is a 4th grader, he is doing reports on PowerPoint (or rather, the Google Docs version of Power Point)  and he's comfortable with it partly because of the work they did before on the computer in the years ahead.  And yes, they do coding too.  Very basic level of coding. But getting started thinking through how to give those directions to a computer.

 

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Our schools do not have computers for EVERY student.  But they do have computers and I'm okay with it.

 

It allows them to access a much larger library of AR tests -- and to access those tests from the classroom, not having to leave the classroom to go to the library just to take a test.

 

There is also a much larger range of research subjects available on even kid-level libraries that the school has access to than the library can possibly have in their library.  Giving children who are doing reports more choices.

 

They have a classroom full of computers that students go to once a week, to learn how to use.  Good thing to. Now that my son is a 4th grader, he is doing reports on PowerPoint (or rather, the Google Docs version of Power Point)  and he's comfortable with it partly because of the work they did before on the computer in the years ahead.  And yes, they do coding too.  Very basic level of coding. But getting started thinking through how to give those directions to a computer.

 

Well... let me clarify a bit here. I'm not 100% opposed to computer use at that age. (It'd be a bit hypocritical, right?) However, I am very opposed to people lecturing me using fatuous codewords like "global economy", especially if they're combining that with low-level xenophobia (gotta compete against immigrants!)

 

And if I got a response like that about something I *am* strongly opposed to - as the OP seems to be - I'd be really, really upset.

 

This might surprise everybody, but sometimes, I have a hard time not saying what I really think.

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My DS is starting public high school in the fall. I have no doubt he will love it and thrive, and the timing is really perfect for him so we are all excited but yeah, I wonder how *I'm* going to make it through.

 

I'm very aware I'll make a terrible public school parent--I encourage my kid to question what he's told, to speak his mind, to self advocate and to distrust authoritarianism in any form. "Fly your freak flag" is a common refrain in my house. We are hopeless at social media and clueless about Google docs, which is what they use for everything, apparently. Teachers are going to have prove themselves, to him and to me.

 

It's going to be an interesting ride. ;)

 

I figure if other intentional and opinionated parents can do it, so can we. And the kids will be just fine. :)

Edited by MEmama
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Good luck!

 

And as for people who think capacity for high-tech, internationally competitive work is achieved by handing out iPads in kindergarten... bless their hearts. People currently doing such work will generally disagree.

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They kept telling me, "Well, that's how we test everyone" and couldn't give me an alternative. Thankfully, the testing will be in the fall and she is learning keyboarding this summer.

 

Anyway, the canvaser launched into how we need to compete with a global economy, how we have to compete against immigrants for high tech jobs, and how access to computers will help us do so.

The state standardized test changed to online from paper based when my oldest was in 4th grade. Kids at my son's test site liked it as they played stuff like Raz-Kids and ABCmouse since kindergarten at the computer lab during the technology class period. It was less painful than coloring bubbles for state testing.

 

My area is predominantly H1B and foreign born. The charter schools we visited in 2011 and after all asked for donations. One stated an optional donation of $3,000, another an optional donation of $6,000 on their application form. That is to top up the "insufficient" funding from the state. There are also plenty of fundraisers.

 

When my kids were in public school, we just avoid all the fund raising, paid all the field trip fees, donate to the classroom stationary whatever amount we are comfortable donating and pay up the minimum amount suggested for the classroom gift to teacher for teachers day gift.

 

The parent teacher conferences were okay since my kids had flexible teachers who try to accommodate. We only had a conference a year since the 2nd and 3rd conference in that school were for kids who are falling behind only.

 

It really depends on mostly the teacher and partially the school admin. We are allowed to take five consecutive days off during the school year so my kids went to Legoland for a week during the school term but after state testing. The school admin and teachers just told us to enjoy our trip.

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I think there's nothing wrong with diplomatically telling her you disagree with her presumed goal of education.  

 

On the other hand, I have no problem with a 4th grader taking a test online without prior keyboarding skills, depending on the test.  My 3rd grader took her Stanford 10 on the computer last month.  If they actually need to type, say a paragraph, and haven't learned how to type, I would expect accommodations would be made.  If I were sending kids to school, I would probably expect computers in the classroom and it would probably be one of my lesser concerns regarding transitioning to school.  

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I worked in 2 schools this year.  One was a high school and the other was a K-8 school.  BOTH schools used computers all the time.  It is  a losing battle if you need it to be a battle.  I don't think of it that way.  All the state tests are computerized.

 

All my lesson plans, grading, and communication was on the computer.  All data we needed to keep was on the computer.

 

I can't think of too many jobs that don't use computers, so I can see why they are moving that way.

 

 

Edited by DawnM
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I think the test is probably just a series of mult. choice questions where you click on a bubble. Ds had to take a placement test before he went to private school last year. I was not in the room so I didn't see the format. At home he does stuff on the computer but we have not done keyboarding yet. I think keyboarding is not just a matter of "when can they benefit from keyboarding?" but "can their fingers reach the keys." Honestly, I don't know if his fingers can easily reach the keys. He will be entering 4th.

 

He had to do AR tests in school on an ipad. Again, just a matter of clicking answer. That was touch screen. At home I sometimes have him do the Bookadventure.com tests on books he's read. You could sign up and have your child do something like that. It would probably be similar to the types of things she will have to do at school (not sure if they do the Accelerated Reader program at her public school).

 

Some things you will not be happy about, but I imagine that's how it is for most parents/families. I was so mad the first day I dropped ds off at school (transportation issue which meant I would have to drive him daily) and the office where you pick up the intent to homeschool form is right next to the school. It took everything I had to not march over there and ask for a form :laugh:

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I think there's nothing wrong with diplomatically telling her you disagree with her presumed goal of education.  

 

On the other hand, I have no problem with a 4th grader taking a test online without prior keyboarding skills, depending on the test.  My 3rd grader took her Stanford 10 on the computer last month.  If they actually need to type, say a paragraph, and haven't learned how to type, I would expect accommodations would be made.  If I were sending kids to school, I would probably expect computers in the classroom and it would probably be one of my lesser concerns regarding transitioning to school.  

 

Basically agreeing with this post. Just want to say to the OP that the computers will likely be in a computer lab. They might access them 1-2x a week or something, not daily.

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Basically agreeing with this post. Just want to say to the OP that the computers will likely be in a computer lab. They might access them 1-2x a week or something, not daily.

Not necessarily. Local schools have grants for a tablet for every kid, k-12, for daily in class use.

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I think there's nothing wrong with diplomatically telling her you disagree with her presumed goal of education.  

 

On the other hand, I have no problem with a 4th grader taking a test online without prior keyboarding skills, depending on the test.  My 3rd grader took her Stanford 10 on the computer last month.  If they actually need to type, say a paragraph, and haven't learned how to type, I would expect accommodations would be made.  If I were sending kids to school, I would probably expect computers in the classroom and it would probably be one of my lesser concerns regarding transitioning to school.  

 

The test required the child to type a paragraph and other sentences.  I told the person of whom I was asking about the test that my daughter did not have any typing skills.  Her reply was that most children didn't have typing skills who were taking the test.  The little voice yelling in my head was, "Then how can this be an accurate test of their true skills?!?!?!"  I refrained.

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Not necessarily. Local schools have grants for a tablet for every kid, k-12, for daily in class use.

 

I was thinking of traditional computers, not tablets. Yes, tablets might be granted to children but wouldn't have be out all day long. I'm sure the teacher could put them away and bring them out at certain times.

 

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The test required the child to type a paragraph and other sentences.  I told the person of whom I was asking about the test that my daughter did not have any typing skills.  Her reply was that most children didn't have typing skills who were taking the test.  The little voice yelling in my head was, "Then how can this be an accurate test of their true skills?!?!?!"  I refrained.

 

Hunt and peck. You're overthinking it. Unless it's a timed test and this will slow them down drastically, just let your child hit the keys. Unless the keys have been worn down she should be able to see the letters. Ds sometimes types little things into the computer but he hasn't been formally taught to type.

 

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They aren't being graded on their typing skills. They are being graded on the content of their work. Can they capitalize a word, end a sentence properly, etc.? That is the impression I have here. Just show your child how to use the shift key to capitalize letters. Have her look by the Num Lock (or top of keyboard somewhere) to recognize when caps lock is on or not. Shift won't affect it, though. I'd just teach her that stuff.

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I hate these threads and should ignore them but I can't. Nothing is perfect, not even homeschooling. There are a lot of great things about public school.

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1. It takes kids about 5 seconds to learn how to take tests on a computer, even quicker than bubble tests. Heck, I grew up without computers and had to take a major test on a computer just a few months ago. Learning to point and click is not rocket science. Keyboarding takes a little time to practice if one wants to be fast. it is great you are teaching this to your daughter during the summer.

 

2. Competing with immigrants. I am just so shocked someone would say this, I do not know how I would respond. DH is an immigrant. He has probably saved more lives than I could possibly count. He never had a computer growing up even though he uses one 24/7 now. And, I do not think he has ever beat out an American for a job. His is one that has had a shortage for the past 30 years. There are jobs for anyone willing to do it. My first thought is that the police would have been called to my home if I had heard that. I might even be typing this from jail.

 

3. Being a public school mom. Uhm, I am not sure I am the best to give advice, but, one of mine survived the process very well. I was never there, never spoke to the teachers except at conferences, and pretended I didn't hear when my child said crazy things coming out of that place. He did well. I survived. When one went to a private school, I was always there, always helpful, always trying to make a teacher's life better. That was way more fun.

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The test required the child to type a paragraph and other sentences. I told the person of whom I was asking about the test that my daughter did not have any typing skills. Her reply was that most children didn't have typing skills who were taking the test. The little voice yelling in my head was, "Then how can this be an accurate test of their true skills?!?!?!" I refrained.

The writing portion which is typed was untimed so my kid could do his "four finger typing" (pointer and middle finger for each hand). All the tests were untimed but his class had plenty of gamers who could type fast with just their pointer fingers so they finished ahead of the estimated time.

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Basically agreeing with this post. Just want to say to the OP that the computers will likely be in a computer lab. They might access them 1-2x a week or something, not daily.

 

Nope.  There is a string of computers in each classroom.  It was specifically pointed out on the tour as if I should be very impressed.  Maybe they use computers the same way I do - for math drills or looking at pictures of cool things dd wanted to see.  I'm more OK with her using computers more as she is in 4th grade.  I just don't think it should be a source of pride that there are so many computers in those younger grades.  I remember being distressed the first call that I made where they told me dd would have placement testing on a computer of which she was mostly ignorant about.  I actually said, "We used books for school..."All I know is that dd loves to learn.  She begged me to not sell the k-3rd grade history books because she loved them and reads them constantly.  We shall see what a year of this does for her love of learning.  I shall also see if having her taught by someone else is worth all the nonsense I'm sure to find.  

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Nope.  There is a string of computers in each classroom.  It was specifically pointed out on the tour as if I should be very impressed.  Maybe they use computers the same way I do - for math drills or looking at pictures of cool things dd wanted to see.  I'm more OK with her using computers more as she is in 4th grade.  I just don't think it should be a source of pride that there are so many computers in those younger grades.  I remember being distressed the first call that I made where they told me dd would have placement testing on a computer of which she was mostly ignorant about.  I actually said, "We used books for school..."All I know is that dd loves to learn.  She begged me to not sell the k-3rd grade history books because she loved them and reads them constantly.  We shall see what a year of this does for her love of learning.  I shall also see if having her taught by someone else is worth all the nonsense I'm sure to find.  

 

Hm. Maybe you can ask about the frequency/main uses of the computers? I might have asked during the tour, but it's probably not too late. Saying "we used books" might make them defensive as I'm sure there are still some books in the classroom. We use a combination of online and offline resources. There are definitely pros and cons to both.

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Listen, I'm probably the world's worst ps mom. I'm not involved. I don't monitor homework. I never participate in committees or fundraisers. I sign whatever dd brings home without reading it. 

I don't give teacher gifts. I don't bake for the appreciation luncheon. I don't lobby for more music or fine arts in schools. I disagree with the PTA because they are antihomeschool so they will never, ever get my money. 

 

But my kid--my kid's going to be a Sr this year. She does her own homework without being told, runs her own schedule, participates in club committees, and generally has a handle on things. 

Eh. 

When I handed her over to the ps, I handed her over. She has her supplies, I take her to school, I call in to excuse absenses when she has a dr's appt or needs to stay home, and either me or my husband manages to go to the yearly

Open House or quickie conference time when it comes up. That's about it. I do ask her every day how her day went, and we talk about a lot. 

 

We're ok.

 

Be as involved as you want to be. Complain if you want to. Supplement at home if you need to (I make sure she's well-read, at least). 

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I was a public school mom for a very long time and I hope I never have to be one again. :glare:  I always laugh when people argue that children need computers at school so they can compete in the world. How many children have you met who haven't quickly figured out how to use technology? When my oldest was in elementary school, we didn't have much technology. We didn't even own a TV! He now has a good job at a well known international company working in computer security. Schools make a big deal about how many computers they have, but I'm not impressed.

 

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I sent a child to public school last fall, and he's going again this year for 5th grade.  He's very...intense..., very extroverted, and he's very bright  He prefers that all of his instruction be things he's never heard of before (novelty, no review), but nothing that he has to struggle with in any way.  And that he have someone by his side coaching and guiding him through his entire lessons and work.  If I do not provide that, he is quick to point it out in a loud, obnoxious way.  :)  But somehow, miraculously, at school, he both a) mostly gets that, and b) doesn't complain when he doesn't.  It's been very, very good for both him individually and our relationship.

 

There are things that annoy me, but I look at my boy and how he is thriving, and I think of how our relationship is so much better, and the little things become well, little things.  It was an okay trade-off for us.

 

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I sent a child to public school last fall, and he's going again this year for 5th grade. He's very...intense..., very extroverted, and he's very bright He prefers that all of his instruction be things he's never heard of before (novelty, no review), but nothing that he has to struggle with in any way. And that he have someone by his side coaching and guiding him through his entire lessons and work. If I do not provide that, he is quick to point it out in a loud, obnoxious way. :) But somehow, miraculously, at school, he both a) mostly gets that, and b) doesn't complain when he doesn't. It's been very, very good for both him individually and our relationship.

 

There are things that annoy me, but I look at my boy and how he is thriving, and I think of how our relationship is so much better, and the little things become well, little things. It was an okay trade-off for us.

For the most part, this is my daughter. She went to a co-op for a day a week last year and her teachers raved at what a wonderful child she was. She loved the program. She also found out that although this school has a longer day, they have three recesses. Along with the ability to get their hot lunch program, she is becoming more enthusiastic.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I think there would be a wanted poster with my picture on it down at the school if my kids went.... :laugh: :glare:

 

That was pretty much me when my kids were in ps even though I always tried to be polite.  

 

As far as computers, here they are used by every student because of the high-stakes testing.  It's especially sad, IMO, for the elementary school kids because they are pressured to learn to type fast before they are ready because the testing is done on computers.  And the schools waste so much time teaching these poor young students to type and have to sacrifice other things like art, music, P.E., recess, handwriting, etc. so they can type fast enough to do well on the state tests.  I was very outspoken about the harm high-stakes testing does to young children, but got zero support from other parents.  It was so frustrating and I eventually gave up.  

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I'm fine with the schools teaching typing at the expense of handwriting.  As long as kids can form legible handwritten words, I'm good.

 

I hated "handwriting" with a passion as a kid.  Always got Cs and Ds no matter how hard I tried.  Got penalized for erasing holes through the paper after all the "do overs" due to my lovely handwriting.  What for?  As a teen I figured out a trick that made my writing pretty good.  But today, thank goodness, kids don't need to worry about that.  They can whip out a draft essay faster and spend more time focusing on quality.  The teachers need never have to grade a scribbly smudgy handwritten theme paper.  I'm having a really hard time finding the downside here.

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I'm fine with the schools teaching typing at the expense of handwriting.  As long as kids can form legible handwritten words, I'm good.

 

I hated "handwriting" with a passion as a kid.  Always got Cs and Ds no matter how hard I tried.  Got penalized for erasing holes through the paper after all the "do overs" due to my lovely handwriting.  What for?  As a teen I figured out a trick that made my writing pretty good.  But today, thank goodness, kids don't need to worry about that.  They can whip out a draft essay faster and spend more time focusing on quality.  The teachers need never have to grade a scribbly smudgy handwritten theme paper.  I'm having a really hard time finding the downside here.

 

DH, my kids, and I all had similar experiences with writing cursive.  But there is research showing a connection between cursive and brain development.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201303/why-writing-hand-could-make-you-smarter   I am skeptical and do think proper keyboarding is more important than cursive handwriting, but I don't like seeing kids who aren't ready for it pushed to do it because of high stakes testing.  IMO, it's like toilet training - you can push to get it done early, but it will take a lot less time if you just wait until the child is developmentally ready.  And it's not fair to the kids to make them feel bad at school because they can't type fast enough when they aren't ready to do so.  

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Yes, our district is 1-1, meaning all kids 4th-12th have a laptop. They may get one in 3rd grade, I am not sure. When my 5th grader went for the last third of the school year, that was one of the school's big selling points. I was unimpressed. My child used the computer daily. As a matter of fact, it was the primary source of math instruction. It was lame and while the intent was to deliver targeted instruction, it meant my child (who was ahead in math) received little direct instruction in math. 

 

As far as surviving in your role as public school parent, my trick (and I had two that ultimately ended up at school this year, one for the entire year and one at the end) was to pick my battles. And really, that meant I let it go. I figured if I was utilizing this option, it would be rude to come in demanding things be done a specific way. There were positive and negative aspects of public school, just like there were in homeschooling. I volunteered and was a present member in both of my children's school communities. I offered help and support to the teachers both at the high school level and elementary. Were things done the way I wanted or to my standard? Not usually, but I channeled my inner Elsa and let it go. When I did need to get involved (due to a missed accommodation request for my high schooler), I was polite, but persistent. 

 

It is not a perfect system. My high schooler will continue next year. My 6th grader is taking the summer to decide what is the right fit. Both of my children that went to school realize they gave up some things to gain others and vice versa. That is the way of life.

 

Edited to add-I tried not to complain too much to my husband and friends, but I probably complained more than necessary. If we have chosen this path, complaining only keeps strife and negativity front and center. Even though school was not my initial vision (definitely not for my 5th grader!), I thought it was important that we try to be positive. I wanted my kids to have their experience without me clouding it with negative talk and feelings surrounding it because their decisions to go to school ultimately wasn't about me, it was about their needs. IMO, they had (have) a right to figure out what best met their needs without me unduly influencing them. 

Edited by AppleGreen
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I hate these threads and should ignore them but I can't. Nothing is perfect, not even homeschooling. There are a lot of great things about public school.

 

For me, it's not that I think public schools are so much worse than homeschooling per se. I mean, I have beliefs about education, but I think public schools can be excellent for many kids. It's more about control. I can live with me screwing things up. I have trouble watching other people screw things up. It's really a personality thing - not an indictment of public schools. But I do know it would make me a terrible public school parent.

 

Bethben, when I'm in situations where my values and ideas are simply on another planet from everyone else's, in some ways, I find it easier to back down and say absolutely nothing and go totally hands off on a situation. For me, the temptation in that situation would be to find allies and agreement and so forth with people, but it would be a rabbit hole to insanity, at least for me, because it would falsely make me feel like I could affect change when in reality I couldn't. I think to protect myself, I'd have to go totally hands off and tell myself that the best thing I could do for my kid, my sanity, and really for the school and the teachers I'd end up harassing, would be to be utterly and completely uninvolved as possible. Like, have your dh read the letters home and only convey the logistics, don't volunteer for anything, don't get involved in the community, don't analyze what she's learning. Just assume they're doing a decent job unless you specifically hear otherwise from your dd or her grades or her teachers.

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I raged for quite a while to no avail. I coped once I realized that the school was offering a product, just one product, that's what they have and that's what you get if you sign up for it. That may include standardized testing (which I am completely against) and large amounts of computer time so I must be ready to not make too much of the testing results and to limit computer time at home. I also must focus my energy on figuring out exactly what the product contained (in order to not waste time duplicating it). Then I supplement with the things I think are important that are not included in the our local public school product: classic books, nonfiction books in history and science, phonics based spelling with spelling rules, lots of poetry, art appreciation, nature study, museum visits, etc. I can rest easy knowing the school has the fractions and the five paragraph essay covered, and I am providing the child with the opportunity to be well read, exposed to many cultures and their arts and literature, nature, etc. My close friends and I still gripe about all the problems that come up now and again, but when random parents complain to me, I just say, "That's what they offer, they are a monolithic institution and change is slow and comes mainly down from the education departments at colleges and universities and not from concerned parents, so if you want something that is not in the product offered change the provider or do it yourself," and I point them to resources for afterschooling, homeschooling, or private school. That being said, with my son's hearty agreement, dh and I just pulled our son out of private high school (which is run a lot like a public one as there is no public high school in our region) for his senior (and maybe a post grad) year in order to repair some of the damage done over the past three years.

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I can put up with "silliness" to a point.  My oldest special needs son went to public school his whole school career and there was a LOT of silliness with him.  At the end of his senior year, they were very concerned about his credits since we moved before the school year was over and to put him in for the 3 remaining weeks we had would have taken 3 weeks to get settled.  A lot of professionals were trying to figure out how he would make up his science, english, and math credits.  This is for a child whose mental age tops off at around two years old.  I just didn't even worry about it.  Eventually they figured it out.  For him, I was able to see it as that consumer mentality.  This was their box. I let them worry about their own little box.   It never harmed my ds and I just ignored their silliness.

 

I assume I'll have some of that silliness with dd also.  She may do this for a limited amount of time.  I have no idea.  I just don't think the public school - no matter how good - is the end all of education.  I do have different options and can always use those options if I'm not liking the "product".  I already know one of the requirements is free reading at night.  That's where I can have dd read books that are worthwhile.  I also know I can opt her out of standardized tests.  Another bonus is that my dh can volunteer for non-profits as part of his paid work week.  He is going to take care of the required two hours of volunteer time per month.  My main problem is that I have researched public education and alternative educational means extensively because it interested me.  I have pretty strong opinions.  I know I won't be able to change things whole scale if at all.  And I also know that I really need a break from being teacher to this child.  If I absolutely hate it, in 6th/7th grade, there is a university model school that looks interesting yet affordable.  It just doesn't do core subjects until that age.  I think I'll be fine - I'm just going to have to keep a lot of opinions to myself.

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I didn't read the other responses.

 

bethben, I never thought I would send a child to public school either and I just finished updating my signature so I wouldn't mislead people on a homeschooling peer support forum and it's been over ten years so I'm obviously not "over it" yet.

 

I'm not going to give you any advice, just offer you a safe shoulder to cry on if you want to PM me.

 

I would never, ever want to offend a ps parent but for me it was a loss. I grieved. I get it. I'm here if you need me and I wish you well if you don't.

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My daughter is at her local school, and my answer is this: there are pros and cons to everything. There really is not a perfect solution; just like parenting, you need to accept good-enough. When you focus too much on the 'cons' of schooling, you're ignoring the 'cons' of homeschooling. Since my daughter has been at school, I've noticed a lot of the good and the bad - both of school and of homeschool. And there have been a lot of unexpected 'good' as well.

 

I do still annoy my friends occasionally when I complain about there being no real science or whatever, but I try not to do it too much. 

 

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DH, my kids, and I all had similar experiences with writing cursive.  But there is research showing a connection between cursive and brain development.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201303/why-writing-hand-could-make-you-smarter   I am skeptical and do think proper keyboarding is more important than cursive handwriting, but I don't like seeing kids who aren't ready for it pushed to do it because of high stakes testing.  IMO, it's like toilet training - you can push to get it done early, but it will take a lot less time if you just wait until the child is developmentally ready.  And it's not fair to the kids to make them feel bad at school because they can't type fast enough when they aren't ready to do so.  

 

But is there any evidence that "readiness to type" comes after readiness to write with a pencil?  I find that very doubtful.  My kids were playing the piano before they could write a sentence.  It seems to me that the skills involved in typing are lower level than those involved in writing with a pencil.

 

I have nothing against cursive writing, and I too heard it has some connection with learning, but that doesn't mean typing is bad.

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One thing I've learned from sending my kids to PS is there are a lot of parents who are perpetually pissed at the school/teachers. Parents really don't hesitate to complain. It's not all rah rah. This surprised me for some reason. I kind of figured if your kid is at the school it's because you are on board with how the school does things. But, no, that's not it. They are stuck with the school- homeschooling isn't even a thought. For them, anything they don't like is game to be complained about.

 

I, funny enough, have a hard time complaining. I do feel like we're signing up for the bad along with the good for the most part.

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But is there any evidence that "readiness to type" comes after readiness to write with a pencil?  I find that very doubtful.  My kids were playing the piano before they could write a sentence.  It seems to me that the skills involved in typing are lower level than those involved in writing with a pencil.

 

I have nothing against cursive writing, and I too heard it has some connection with learning, but that doesn't mean typing is bad.

 

No, typing isn't bad at all and I think proper keyboarding is necessary since everyone needs to know it.  But, pushing keyboarding at a young age for the sake of scoring well on high-stakes standardized tests at the expense of other things (art, music, P.E., recess) is wrong.  I have seen kids in third and fourth grade stressed and crying over being pressured to type faster than they are able to.

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Yeah, because the immigrants we're "competing with" are using computers more than our kids?  Unlikely.  More likely to be old-fashioned learning, coupled with some after school flashcards drill to make sure they have the basics that schools barely teach anymore down pat. 

 

God forbid someone actually focus on teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

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