Archive | October 2015

My kindergartner did Independent Study, rather than traditional school. Here’s why it worked for us.

There are public schools, private schools, charter schools, and there are options such as home schooling, independent study, and distance learning. Today, it seems, there are more than enough options to educate our children, which I am incredibly thankful for. I had a hard time in high school because traditional school was too much for me. The kids at my school were just so cruel and I am a sensitive person. Once I entered college, everything changed. I was social, easygoing and perfectly pleased to be there.

When I began the process of putting my child in school, I was a bit disheartened since the school he needed to attend was the worst school in the area. The administrative staff was rude and ridiculous and it became increasingly clear that the bad attitudes paired with the poor rating on the Great Schools website was enough for me to seek alternatives. When I was in high school, I did independent study for a few months so it was something I was somewhat familiar with. My flexible work schedule gave me the opportunity to do the same for my kindergartner. We met with the teacher once a week. The teacher was a delight and I have to admit to being a bit sad the school year is over. The rest of the week, it was up to me and my son’s dad to help him complete all of his work and develop all of the skills a child should have by the end of the year.

As much as there were days that were a struggle just to get him to focus and finish tasks, the entire experience was fantastic. He can read, write, do basic math, and identify shapes. He is able to measure things, understands basic science principles, and continues to pick up new knowledge everyday. There is nothing more exciting as a parent than to be the one who encouraged and helped him do all of this.

Next year, things will be different and he will be attending traditional school with his sister. Not everyone has the work flexibility to do something like independent study with their child, but for those who can and will, you will not regret it.

 

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Schools, and any other Public Place are Not even Safe Anymore!

Living in America is terrifying, hell, living in the world is terrifying. After the shooting that took place in Oregon at a community college, and another shooting by a sixteen year old in South Dakota, It feels as if nowhere is safe anymore. I have to admit that I am not one to venture out into public places often. I have always had a bit of anxiety around people, and when I was in High School, I was a bundle of nerves. I entered by freshman year of high school, the fall after Columbine, so there were definitely rules placed to ensure the same thing wouldn’t happen again. Trench coats were banned, and if anyone was even suspected of having something dangerous items in their backpack (this included hole punchers and scissors), said items would be confiscated. Luckily, I never did have to deal with any shootings, bomb threats, or anything more than a few bloody girl fights. I also have not been in high school for more than twelve years, and my college experience was even more pleasant.

It seems that a few times a week,  I read the news to find another tragedy taking place. I am not a fan of guns. That being said, I only hate guns because of the weak and irresponsible people who can so easily obtain firearms to handle problems that could be resolved if they weren’t trying to take the easy way out. Mental health issues is a real problem in America, but rather than spending time with each sufferer to find a proper solution to the problem, the entire health care industry hands over a variety of mind altering drugs. This does not solve the problem, but  further numbs the mind removing all rational thought from troubled individuals. This is especially true for those who are unable to continue taking their medicine due to financial hardships or insurance policy changes.

I do not want to dwell too much because this is not a blog about the downfall of society, but these issues greatly relate to being a mother. I find the idea of letting my children attend school to be a scary concept because we can no longer consider school to be a safe place. I remember being in elementary school and feeling just as safe among my teacher and peers as I did at home. Currently, my son is in an independent study program, which is something I will discuss in another post, and my daughter will be entering school next year. But eventually, I will have to let my children enter the world without my constant supervision, and that makes me nervous. At this point, the only way to feel any semblance of calm is by teaching my children what to do in  the case of violent situation. This is the reality of the modern world.

One thing I do want to mention is that I do realize that terrible things have happened for hundreds of years and that it only seems more prevalent because of the constant media outlets that exist in the world providing every  story in the world, whether it be a catastrophic event like the one at UCC, or someone receiving some massive tip in an Apple-bees in the middle of Iowa. There is just too much sharing going on.

So parents out there, how do you handle sending your kids off to school each day? Does it get easier each year? Or even more difficult after another tragedy has occurred?