Over the last several years I was having major doubts about how my daughter was being perceived by teachers in school. She is a great kid and very loving, but does like to talk. This is not a problem for me since I know this will serve her well as a functioning adult. Which is the point of school right? To learn to be a functioning adult.
I have not had a school or day care where the teacher or daycare manager did not ask me to come in. When I did, they told me "Your daughter likes to talk and it's disrupting our class." or "She is getting better grades than the other kids, but won't stop talking. Can you do something about it?"
"Do something about what?" I always would ask them.
Here is where my doubts come in. She just wanted to have fun AND learn. She loves to learn! She will sit down at home and read books about science and history for hours.
The problem was that the teachers did not want to teach her the way she wanted to be taught. She was performing very well academically. She loved her other class mates and teachers and wanted it to be fun. Who wants to sit at a desk all day? I have a desk job and I don't even do that. So why was she being shamed in front of her classmates? Why was she coming home thinking she was a "bad person" after leaving school? Why were her friends not talking to her at school anymore?
Because her teachers were telling them not to!
So here is where it finally occurred to me that I could no longer have her in school. One day I brought her home. She was crying and telling me that the teacher and the kids were being mean to her. I was so stressed out over it that I was asking everyone I knew about this situation.
When I spoke to my mom she said "You had the same problem when you were young." I realized, what she has is genetic. She's not going to change and better yet, she shouldn't change. I hated school and always wanted to be home-schooled, but my parents did not have the time to do that for me. I figured, if my daughter is just like me when I was young, she is going to feel the same way.
I started to do research. I had to know why this problem was happening to us. I thought back to when everyone was an entrepreneur. Your neighbor was a shield maker, your friend was a shepherd, and your cousin is a wall builder. Well, how were children taught then? Is this going to be hard?
No, it seems it would not be. That was normal then and now we talk about home-schooling as if the child will be mentally impaired and socially awkward. That is not the case. If anything, she will learn more about how to respectfully talk to others from her father. Is that so bad? What if we all went back to teaching our children what is important?
Is it bad they spend 4-5 hours on school a day instead of 8-9 with homework? I don't think so. She will get the chance to learn more about the things she loves and just do what is required for the things she doesn't. I will have the chance to teach her the way she needs to learn. Because we all learn differently!
The true story I heard that finally made me choose:
So, halfway through the year I was researching how to home-school and what I would need. While searching, I found a true story about a mistake made at a school that proved the way many teachers teach doesn't work for everyone.
There was a school where the computer program which held all the students information malfunctioned and switched the students marked "learning impaired" and the students labeled "above average" by accident in the teacher's systems just before the school year started. The teachers, going off of the information in the system treated the students who were now "learning impaired"(these were actually the above average students) impatiently. They treated them with less respect and the students grades suffered because of the teacher's opinion of them.
On the other side, the previously labeled "learning impaired" and now labeled "above average" students were having difficulty in the classes. The teachers decided "If these students are above average, there must be a problem with how we are teaching our curriculum." They adjusted their program to fit these "gifted" kids and all of the students had a great increase in comprehension and every aspect of their academic life improved. These students were actually now considered above average because their understanding was abnormally high with the new ways the teachers taught it.
Only after many months did someone discover the error in the computer program. This caused a huge paradigm shift in the way education was perceived in that school. The accidental experiment changed the future processes in that school for good.
The lesson is this: there is not one way to teach all people. We should all be adjusting our teaching to the way our children need to be taught. Be sure to do what is best for the child, even if it means you have to work a little less. There are a lot of government programs that can help you and I have found that home-schooling has actually cost me less than having her at a school every week day. This means more money to have her in fun programs like Karate, rock climbing or gymnastics.
Let me know if this helped you. I'd love to hear what you guys think about it.
Martin J Glennon