Semi Home Study Based Charter School vs. Regular School
I blame my stepkids bad grades in school squarely on the watchtower. They don't get enough sleep because of the demands of family bible study and thursday meetings but comprimise isn't in my wife's vocabulary. My stepson has friends at school but there are also bullies, and the classes are overcrowded with sicknesses spreading through them in a way that is detrimental to the family's health. The fact that the schools get their money based on how many children are sitting in the classroom seems to encourage the overcrowding. There is a new charter school in the school district that is homework based, and gets its money based on the homework that the children do. The kids get two days of school instead of five days, and the rest of the week is spent doing homework. The class sizes are less than 10 students to a teacher. I have an associates degree with childhood development coursework so I can help him with the increased homework. My kid is getting bullied both by his mother with religion and with the kids at school for having a high pitched voice and being a Dub kid. He is getting sick a lot because of overcrowding and stress from the bullying both at school and at home. So he is going to that Charter School. But my one concern is that with the small class size and school only 2 days a week, his social and emotional development might be stunted by the reduced days and class size. He is a shy kid with developmental social anxiety, meaning so many kids have it that the kid shrinks can't call it a disorder. There are no flag salutes or all day holiday nonsense to make him feel excluded and out of place. This school seems like a good fit, but I fear he will be even more isolated within the world of the Jehovah's Witnesses, at least other children might not recognize him when he goes out witnessing. It seems like a happy medium between homeschooling and regular school but the limited socializing plus going to school outside the neighborhood worries me. There is also a good chance he may be the only child of color in his class.
I work with many non-jws that have their children involved in many after school activities. If it weren''t jw meetings (now only one week night not 2) and then Sunday (many of my workmates go to at least 1 hour every Sunday morning and have bible classes during the week).
I would try to find a school that meets his needs working with the school system and your family doctor.
I grew up in a family with a jw mother (non-jw father), moved a lot (13 different schools by the time I graduated HS). Different US states and other countries. Bullies, had the crap beaten out of me a few times, my mom gave me permission to hit back besides get her and the school involved.
Organized sports would be good for him but the dub mom probably wouldn't allow it. Same could be said for Boy Scouts, marital arts, etc.... I have no idea what is left for the poor kid.
Would the mom allow him to volunteer at an animal shelter or something? It wouldn't be helping us evil non jw's in any way but still get him out there with the public a bit.
Traditional education clearly does not work for all children. Many families are turning to Alternative Education Programs in the hopes that their children will fare better.
In reference to this, Tony Evers, Phd, Superintendent for the Wisconsin Department of Education wrote, "The large and/or traditional school environment is becoming less effective for increasing numbers of students. Research shows this is especially true for at-risk, vulnerable, and disengaged students."
Alternative education programs are filling an increasing need in our society.
That being said, please don't think that these programs are an easy fix. School is still hard work, and it should be.
You wrote: "I have an associates degree with childhood development coursework so I can help him with the increased homework."
It is important to be realistic about this. You didn't mention your stepson's age, but if he's in middle school or older, you need to understand that your AA degree does NOT prepare or qualify you to teach, particularly more difficult subjects such as math or science. And, not to be mean, but judging by the numerous punctuation and grammar errors in your post, you are also not qualified to teach English.
I know of many families that have made the same mistake, thinking they could teach their own kids. It's really not that easy.If the charter school you mentioned is good--meaning: if the teacher's are well-qualified--then perhaps your stepson will thrive there. Think of yourself as his mentor and coach, part of a team with the teachers to assist his learning.
What you describe sounds almost like an independent study program. The students that do well academically in these programs are generally disciplined, organized and self-motivated. If your stepson has these traits, even in a moderate amount, he can be very successful in this type of educational setting. If he has severe deficits in this area then he will almost certainly not be successful in an unstructured learning environment.
I pulled my son out of school and put him in a cyer school. the school he attended was not very good, lots of drugs and kids who did not care about getting good grades.
however, he barely got passing grades, and getting a GED which he also had to struggle with, he was for a lack of self discipline and goofed off. he did better reading than in math. do they do math at the kingdom hall? of course not, but they read an awful lot.
two days a week in my opinion, is not enough active in school education , look at how behind so many kids are educationally and emotionally because of the lack of mind challenging subjects and brain stimulation.they need competition.
my mother pulled my sister out of school because she was timid and did not stand up for herself, being teased for her weight, my mom did her a disservice by making her dependent on my mother to come to her rescue.
my sisters education was very much lacking by home schooling her, and here to this day she has a low paying job and has not work skills, nor does she have any good social structures.
we cant always fight our kids battles we need to give them permission to fight back, this is the detriment to all JW kids, as they are tought to be doormats.
i know a lot of weak humble 'sissies' who will not get any character, personality, and self respect.
few jw children I knew , had good self esteem.
as a teased child in a racially challenged school system,
I felt worthless powerless, slave, who deserved nothing good. school was torture for me because i was told not to make any friends and had to view everyone as bad association. even the nice mormon girl who dressed nicer than me. lol
If i had been allowed to have school friends it would have been totally different for me.
and to this very day, i prepare my self always to be disappointed., very few positive things has happened in my life because i did not had little control over it.
it seems like kids have their power of self taken away, and basically told without using words, that they are incapable of defending themselves and they are incapable of learning, and they are not able to do this or that, and so mom or dad must come to the rescue.
we often do our kids a disservice by trying to live their lives for them.
I wish you luck and hope you can find a good balance. its to bad he cant go to a private school.
Our granddaughter (who lives with us) is attending a three day a week private homeschool support program. The school is doing some VERY innovative things with the way it teaches. Kids who learn in non-traditional ways are thriving there. We use the other two days a week for art classes, and all day outdoor wilderness school and horse riding lessons; plus trips to museums and the zoo.
Our youngest son, after a bunch of problems in public school, went to a two day a week tutoring program. At age sixteen he passed his GED and went to a local community college. (I have to brag, he just got accepted into a PhD program at Berkeley).
JeffT, I have to brag, he just got accepted into a PhD program at Berkeley
Brag away, you deserve to. That's a pretty exclusive program you're boy got into!!!
Your experience proves the importance of alternatives to traditional education. What a nice success story!
I like this compromise between traditional and home school options, generally. I think it could work well as you will be his teacher. . .IF you take the opportunities that are available with local home school groups for music or art instructioon or PE, Science, social studies as well as field trips and other options to expand his educational experiences. YOU can have a lot of say in his actual educational growth. YOU can set lessons that teach him critical thinking skills. Help him find the group of kids that he fits with (just one or two good friends is all anyone needs) OUTSIDE of the org. How involved will your wife be? Who is supervising him day to day? If it is primarily your wife, this idea is not good.
I am always happy to see parents who are so involved with their children's (and stepchildren's) education. If your wife is an uberdub, beware that he will likely be dragged into FT pioneer work as soon as allowed and will likely be bullied into Aux Pioneering the minute he makes the choice for HS option.
I used to teach English to college level students and my literacy when posting on forums does NOT always reflect my abilities. Don't worry about your ability to help your son academically. They have instructional materials that I am sure you will be able to keep up with:)
It is the keeping up with it that will be the challenge. Be consistent, don't let him slack or end up playing on the computer or watching tv or reading graphic novels or MBoBS-there will be a great deal more time in his day even after he has finished with his academic requirements. Schools waste a lot of time. Do your best to enrich his education with that extra time. It is a great opportunity so long as he doesn't get coerced into FS all the time.
Oubliette, I will have you know that I was an incredibly effective ESL TA when I was doing work study. I can point to numerous adult students in my neighborhood for helping them to grasp English, especially pronunciation and idioms. I do not always hold myself to the same standards when posting on an anonymous forum. The overcrowding in his class is causing sickness and bullying and the poor pregnant teacher can't control her classroom, but neither could I if I were a substitute in that class. I just got a truancy letter a few minutes ago. I was so focused on my kid getting caught up on his schoolwork and giving him his medication, that I forgot to inform them that he was sick a few days out of the many days he was absent. It has been virus after virus at that place. I just have contempt for the system at this point. I have come to the realization that as the only non-JW it is my responsibility to look out for my children's future and my wife's old age because it is a sin for them to plan their future in a rational manner. Thus far into the marriage I have argued and argued with my wife about her religion and how it is ruining my life and the children's lives. I realize now that if I plan for our future she will see how much better our lives will be than that of her friends' families. Lord save my family from the Kingdom Hall and the School District, that they might outgrow both.
I'm sorry your son is sick. But way to miss the point.
The fact that you attack me only proves the point I was making.That you neglected to inform the school that your child was home sick is further evidence that you either do not understand your role in working with your child's teacher or that you are incapable of doing it.
There is no "Lord" to save your family. There is only you, his mother and ultimately himself. Alienating people that try to give you a dose of reality suggests that your children are in for a rough time of it.