November 17, 2014

WHY I am choosing to homeschool my son:

So I'm not sure if anyone reads my non-craft related posts, and I don't want to get too personal here BUT I have so many thoughts and just have to sit and type them out, whether someone is listening or not!!

Tyler is my 7 year old. He is in second grade and I will be pulling him out of his class to homeschool him starting next week. I've never thought I would make this choice but I've had enough of what is going on at school. Tyler is super creative. He has tons of energy and loves learning. He thrives when given a creative task and special responsibility, loves easily and is kind to everyone. Even the bully that punched him every day for 2 weeks last year until he got kicked out of school. Even the teacher that is overstepping her authoritative boundaries and making school a miserable place for my son.

So here are some of the incidences we've dealt with:
Note sent home after the first week of school: "Tyler has trouble focusing, paying attention and is bothersome to children around him"
Makes noises disrupting classmates, taps pencil even in one on one instruction.

FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL: Loss of recess for not being in his spot in line #19, girl in front of him (#18) and girl behind him (#20) were in the bathroom.

After the first week of school I asked for a meeting with her to see what was going on and we discussed some ideas to help him with a reward system and daily post it's with a :), :l or :( depending on how the day went. Here are the notes on our sad face days, and then my son's account of what really happened:

:( Daily report: "Incomplete Classwork"
because he & another child were talking in class, Tyler got removed from his desk, had to sit on the ground and couldn't finish work. Other student (in the advanced academic group) had no punishment

:( Daily report: "Tattling"
2 boys were splashing water in the bathroom and playing under the stalls. Obviously she was too annoyed to hear what happened.

:( Daily report: "Hitting"
another boy hit Tyler, he hit back. That boy hit him again. WHEN they were benched from recess because the other boy kicked him the day before, and he kicked back.

We discussed a reward system that she would help with in class, yet he hasn't "earned" anything. He got a "caught being good" award outside of her class for picking up trash, and she never gave it to him. Instead, she is choosing "4 star listeners" and "advanced academic students" to earn those rewards. Because obviously they deserve it more.

This teacher has suggested in one of our conferences that we should probably have him checked out "medically" to see if there is some learning disability going on... let's just rule it out. She worded this so nicely, I'm sure she's trained to do so. BUT at the same time, this sends my brain whirling in a million different direction. Does my child have ADD, ADHD? He DOES have a lot of energy. He DOES get distracted easily. He DOES have trouble holding still for long periods of time... but then again, he's a 7 year old boy. And I forgot to shave one leg last night in the shower... so I must have ADD too.

So how much of this is a personality clash between a super uptight, my-way-or-the-highway, highly un-flexible teacher, and a creative, energetic, spirited, outside-of-the-box thinker?? Or is there a serious issue going on? He is behind on reading, yet all this focus is on his "behavior" is taking away from the effort we should be putting into his education. And then after she tells me how behind he is in reading, she tells me that she isn't as worried for him academically, as she is "emotionally, and socially" and then the following words were, well I'm late for our next conference, so thanks for coming in!

After MANY weeks of replaying our discussions, working in the classroom to get a feel of the environment and dynamics, lots of tears, prayers and worries, I've decided enough is enough.

I'm not willing to let my son's crucial years where he decides if he likes school or not, where he tries to see if he fits in with the good kids or the bad kids determine his outcome in life. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but I actually don't think so. Maybe I'm way over my head here to decided to homeschool him with a 5 year old and a 2 year old and a coaching business. But I can't deny the miraculous ways that the Lord has answered my prayers and my pleadings to protect my son.

I have experienced so many answers and revelations that I could create a whole new post about the ways the Lord answered my prayers, and some of them are so intimate and special I should just keep them in my private journal, but He was kind enough to answer me in many different ways- through the kindness of friends and strangers, through mere coincidences that put me in the right place at the right time to hear just what I needed to hear, through the scripture stories, through commercials on the radio, through my own thoughts and urges. And when I question my decision again (for the 24th time because that's how I am), I have a peaceful feeling to take the next step. Even though I am pretty much walking off a cliff blindly, I KNOW He will lay down a stone for me to step on. I know He will be present in our daily lessons. I know He will continue to answer my prayers as we make some serious decisions about if we should test him or not. I know He will lead me and guide me and walk beside me as we follow in Faith.


Unknown said...

I also homeschool my 7 year old son! We have been homeschooling for 2 years now and love every moment of it! I never thought I would homeschool him but I am loving being able to really see what he is learning and letting him advance when he knows the material. He went to Kindergarten at a Charter school and was bored and got easily distracted. Once he was home I could see what he really knew and how we could work together to make the homeschooling work. He loves it too! I am very excited for you and your son! My son is 2nd grade so if you would like to chat or check out what we do please let me know. I also blog about our homeschooling adventures!

Kirsti said...

Thank you Kelli!!
I would love to bounce ideas off each other!! I'll check out your blog. Thanks so much for leaving your link!!

Unknown said...

Wow, what a horrible teacher! I would never had stood that kind of behavior from a teacher. I'm glad that you found your answer in homeschooling Tyler. My sister had to pull her kids out of school b/c of the school itself. It's not an easy choice but the best one for you and him. Good luck!

Paxton said...

Good for you Kirsti! My biggest fear is having a non-understanding teacher for my kids! I have been lucky so far, but I am proud of you for realizing that this teacher was becoming more of a detriment than a help for Tyler and totally in awe of you for taking the next step to fix it! You are an awesome mom!