It is the idea that 6 year olds should be able to dictate what they are learning that contributes to the frustration of teaching. While I agree that cramming test prep is a horrible way to teach, it drives me crazy that parents don't think that their kids should be expected to sit still, follow directions, and do what they are told. It is great that you provide learning opportunities outside of normal school activities, but did you really take your kid out of school because they were expecting him to sit still and learn to read?
I do expect my kid to sit still and follow directions. It becomes harder for a 6 year old to do that however when their morning snack is a little debbie cake filled with sugar and topped off with a pepsi. And no, We did not take our kid out of school because he couldn't sit still and learn to read. That's absurd and I question your reading comprehension if that's what you took from the last 7 pages of me describing our situation.
My reading comprehension is fine, thanks. I went back and reread, just to make sure that I didn't miss anything that you had said. I get that you have problems with teaching to the NCLB tests, and that your child wasn't getting enough attention with regard to enrichment because of the other children in the class. However, if I was teaching kindergarten, my first priority would be to teach the kid how to read. And yes, I would find it frustrating if I knew that the student was refusing to learn to read because it was all a parlor trick. I would have a hard time just letting that be okay and skipping reading instruction because the child would prefer to do something else.
I'm not sure where your child went to school, because I have never seen a classroom where snack cakes and Pepsi were given (or allowed) as snacks, or where a kindergarten teacher was cramming test prep...they don't have NCLB until third grade.
I'm glad that you can afford to homeschool, because a majority of people cannot. I'm sure my son would learn at an accelerated pace if I could devote all of my time to teaching him. I think school is more important, though, because he will learn more about interaction with others and expectations of society than I could ever teach him if I kept him home.
We agree on a lot regarding NCLB, and perhaps I overstepped a bit questioning you on your motives. Like I said, the fact that six year olds are able to determine what they will and will not do is a frustration of mine, but you have to do what you think is right for your own kid.
No, and sorry for attacking your reading comprehension; there's so much trolling going on towards little 'ol me, I figured the fishing was slow and you were throwing your bait out as well. Your assessment of our decision to pull my son is a bit off. It was primarily due to his sudden decrease in his passion for learning - which I attributed to his teacher being a 40 year old woman in her first year of teaching that just switched careers from nursing. We had several issues but the major ones involved the teacher using my son as a surrogate for a learning disabled ADD kid; because my son was the only person he would play with & not bite. That's not to say my kid was never disruptive, but during PT conferences, his teacher herself would defend my son saying he was never the instigator and everyone at the LD kids table constantly got into trouble. That didn't stop us from having serious consequences for him when he did get into trouble, but when we noticed a trend of him avoiding trouble on the days LD kid was not there (which was often) we asked our teacher to move desk around - which she did... for 2 days. She moved them back together because the LD kid would become un-managable when he couldn't sit next to his "only friend" I honestly feel like an ass for not wanting that kid to sit next to mine but he went through pre-school and he ended up at the top of the class by years end; he started out so eager and loving kindergarten and within 3 months was begging to not go to school. (I'm sure I'll catch flack from what's his name that said parents put their kids in private school to stay away from poor kids, but that simply isn't true) I'm aware that the testing had nothing to do with NCLB, but it didn't stop our teacher. We actually asked why in kindergarten, kids were sent home with at the very least 3 pieces of homework on a daily basis and why they were tested monthly for retention. We were told it was district curriculum and all kindergarten was like that now. My wife and I feel however, that it was more a result of a 1st year teacher not receiving any proper guidance from administrators or peers.
The snack situation was a definite problem that was allowed and encouraged by the teacher. Parents were responsible for bringing snack and we were told at the beginning of the year that healthy snacks are nice, but not to bother because they're often just thrown in the trash and kids only eat things that taste good. Did I also mention his teacher was about 100 lb's overweight?
It was never that my kid refused to learn to read - he was just burnt out. He just didn't fucking care and that's not who my son is. It took 4 months of "un-schooling" to see that spark come back and he is again eager to learn to read. We're seeing an eye specialist to check out his tracking tomorrow, as he has no problem reading sight words & sounding out longer words, but when reading books, he tends to not finish sentences and loses his place. Which, for all of the trollers reading this, is completely normal for a 6 year old kid.
But anyway, the short answer to your question, we pulled him out because he hated school and was beginning to hate learning. My wife being a teacher on an extended sabbatical to be a stay at home mom who just happened to be working on her masters as a reading specialist afforded us the opportunity to provide a better education for our kid. Concerns over socialization were initially high on my list, but after this homeschooling experience, I realize this is hogwash. He spends TONS of time around kids his own age and is even relating to kids better than before. We live in a suburb of Wichita and we've found that Wichita, KS is the homeschooling capitol of the world. There are hundreds of kids his age we see on our weekly excursions and he's made friends with several of the other homeschool kids - we also live in a neighborhood with 3 other families with kids his own age that he plays with on a daily basis. Socialization is not a problem and anyone that tells you it is, isn't doing it right.
But anyway, I felt through all of this thread that we were on the same side. The reason you're not teaching anymore is likely the reason I hate public education and would rather my son and much younger daughter not be a part of it. Listening to your 5th grade curriculum, I know you understand EXACTLY how I feel about repetitious learning and how to properly educate someone. People may be taking offense to my position because it may seem I'm not on the teachers side. Quite the contrary. I'm not on government education's side. I have a feeling that if more teachers could let go of the career that they've had to buy into to get by, they would agree whole heartedly.
My question to you is this, When did not supporting government education become not supporting teachers? It reminds me of people that tell me that I don't support our troops and I'm not a patriot because I don't agree with the current war we're in.