Most days find me at the dining room table with books piled high around me with my granddaughter sitting next to me, learning. Our dining room has become our classroom.
After too many missteps and problems with the government school system, her Daddy (my son) and I decided to remove her from the government schools. In Virginia, there are 4 options to legally remove a school-aged child from their indoctrination process. We used 2 options and provided certificates, the curriculum, and also provided the County with the name of the online school we opted to use this year. We have chosen the Calvert School because of its time-honored, traditional and rigorous methodology. We are not disappointed. In fact, we are very satisfied and as happy as can be!
So I now teach my granddaughter here at our homestead, right in the dining room, where her lessons are one-on-one. We have educational games, discussions, writing sessions, art, enrichment activities, and more. She’s been on a few field trips, too.
She is not only getting a fantastic chance to learn more, she is learning the subject areas deeper and more efficiently. She already knows this and she absolutely loves being homeschooled. Her Daddy is a single parent and we have always been his ‘back up’ and the caregivers when needed. When Daddy gets days off from work, he pitches in.
Here, she is safe and loved and the center of my attention. We are always learning something. Yesterday, after the Reading lesson, we listened to salsa music so that she knew what style of music she was reading about.
If there is any part of a lesson that she struggles with, we focus on it until she understands what is being taught. Only then do we move on. She gets it. She had a few intense weeks at first because she needed to get up-to-grade-level after being subjected to government-run schools. But she is now exceeding the expectations in all subject matter and the homeschooling process is clearly the best solution for her.
Before homeschooling, we had enormous difficulties with the government school. There was a serious communication problem with the teachers and the administration. There were big gaps in the learning process and too many subject areas were not being covered. Sometimes, the coverage was nothing more than a summarized effort. Schools are supposed to educate and inspire, not dumb-it-down and spend the day managing the miscreants or demanding conformity. But that’s what schools have become.
At this time, Virginia has not opted into the Common Core curriculum but it’s there. There are no student textbooks in our schools now. All schoolwork is in paper form and is coming from online sources that are not referenced. (Since when do school systems get away with copying and not providing their reference sources? Since when are they permitted free license to do or not do as expected/legislated?)
Then there was the math issue. Math is changing. It’s being “taught” on a conceptual level — this is known as Singapore Math. That’s the conceptual Common Core math that is being covertly introduced into the Virginia schools without any supportive legislation or parental notification. (Singapore Math came from the Chinese where American educators have determined that if the Chinese children excel in math then Americans can do it to by simply changing the methodology of teaching math. They have never thought about any other socioeconomic, demographic or cultural factors whatsoever. But American kids are going to do as the Chinese kids do. Says the educators….)
By the time we un-enrolled her in Grade 3, she was adding sums via scribbled numerical charts that she was told would “help” figure out answers. In reading, she was placed into Title 1 reading (the Federal program for kids who cannot read) last year and they chose to keep her in Title 1 reading. She hated it for the boring and below-level books she had to read: “See what Carlos did.” or “She ran fast.” Now those educators will need to find some other unsuspecting family to use for Federal money because we’re done with government schooling. Right now, she is halfway through the first Grade 3 Reading book and she is doing a fantastic job with reading and comprehension. Her stories are about rappelling cliffs, family traditions like quiltmaking and cultural music, and Chinese battles from ancient times.
So the government schools get a big, fat F for failure to educate. We saw what was happening and when we challenged the school teacher (two different teachers, 2 different years) and then challenged the school administration, we got pathetic excuses and no follow-through. So we fired the schools. We’re done.
From here on, we’re homeschooling. They can’t have this kid to dumb-down. She’s much too smart.