Semi Home Study Based Charter School vs. Regular School

by SonoftheTrinity 33 Replies latest social family

  • Oubliette

    JWDaughter: I did not read everything you wrote,

    Then you shouldn't comment on it. You took several of my remarks out of context and then wrote things that agreed with other things I had said, but which you didn't know because you hadn't read them.

    JWDaughter: but I just picked up a strong opinion about those without college working with a semi-home schooled student. I wasn't sure where it was coming from.

    Not merely my opinion, but facts based upon years of experience working with students in an independent school environment. I know what works and I know what doesn't. Again, had you read all of my posts you would have known that. It's not like you joined a 20+ page thread in progress.

    The ironic thing is that you essentially agreed with almost everything I wrote! For example, you wrote:

    JWDaughter: It definitely takes more work and time to assist a home schooled student,

    This was my point. Had you read all of my posts you would have known that. That being said, I'm glad to know you agree with me.

    JWDaughter: ... parents work with their children in the PS system all the time and many of these parents do not have the same degrees that teachers do.

    This is true, but they don't claim to be able to help the children with homework they themselves do not understand. These parents do what you so clearly described that your parents unfortunately did NOT do:

    JWDaughter: the way [my parents] failed me was not that they couldn't help me with my homework but that they didn't make sure I was DOING it.

    THIS is the appropriate role of a typical parent, particularly in a traditional school setting. However, the more a family moves from traditional schooling to independent study to home-schooling, the larger the role the parent needs to assume in--not only keeping their child on task, but--helping them with subject content area the student does not understand. Either the parent needs to know how to solve/teach the content or they need to hire tutors that do.

    An AA in "childhood development" will simply not suffice.

    So many parents bitch and moan about education in America (and there's a lot to complain about) and think they can do better when the fact is they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.


  • SonoftheTrinity

    If you have had a child that was sick for 3 weeks, the sickness having been the 4th virus of the year caught at school, prolonged by bullying related social anxiety, you would also be fed up with the school. Now that my child is well, the school is having a one week Presidents Day vacation so that it can save money. I blame it all on the benchwarming rather than homework based funding. I intend to make the most of this time by having him do math problems before he can play. He is already in a homework based program as the pregnant teacher has lost control of the class but the school still needs its benchwarming money. I need to put on a suit and tie and sit in on the class so that I can see what is really going on. My kid is going to hate me, but I am at the end of my rope. I don't see how a two day per week schedule with a three student per teacher ratio can be more difficult than the default status quo. I have contempt for the condition of the school system which is no one person's fault, but I have the greatest respect for the teachers and administrators who persevere while straitjacketed to that system. He might not get into the school, but I just can't settle for a dysfunctional overcrowded middle school with gangs and bullies. My wife is only now beginning to understand the importance of choosing the right school for each child within a big school district. My child does what he is told most of the time, but he is too shy to ask for help. He needs a good student teacher ratio more than school every day, especially with his mother compounding his work load with family bible interrogations.

  • GrreatTeacher

    SOT, I see what you are saying. Your son is not feeling success in any sphere of his life right now. And that is not good.

    I commend you for stepping up. I think it would be great if you could get your wife more interested in her son's education. Some Witness parents are more inclined in this direction because it makes their religion look good when the kids are successful in school. It "gives a good witness." Maybe you could appeal to that sentiment? If you can in any way construe something as being a "good witness," JWs will often come aboard.

    If you could find something to do with the boy that will help him feel successful, that would be great. He needs the self-esteem boost right now. Can he work on the cars with you? Or around the house? Or on some computer programming? Something to make him feel competent.

    Never underestimate even just shooting hoops with him. It will help him bond with you and let him know that you are in his corner no matter what. That is the factor that really makes the difference in how kids turn out. His life is stressful. Be his rock.

    Best of luck,


  • Oubliette

    GT, everything thing you said is really, really good advice!

  • JWdaughter

    Oubilette, I commented on what I read-and the impression that I strongly got was that you were giving that dad a hard time as well as any parent trying to educate a child, when the parent doesn't have the education that you seem to deem necessary. I think you are being a bit elitist about it, however I do agree that many parents jump into the home-schooling thing with a lot more naivete and bravado than they ought to have. It isn't EASY to teach children, but I know many very successful home-schooling parents (and a few disasters). I do think that an interested parent with a reasonable education (in any field) can make it work if they have the right reasons and support. The public school system is very challenged-and they are responding with alternatives. I dont think schools are necessarily a disaster, but they have to meet the needs of a lot of children that would formerly have been shuffled off to institutions, special schools, or kept at home. Not all children can dealI well with the public school system for various reasons-some are the children who formerly would have been somewhere else and some are the children whose normal variations become much more of a effort when in this more inclusive and challenging environment.

    Rather than attacking or venerating all homeschoolers, I think it is a good idea to figure out whether this is the right thing for the little boy whose JW mom may have agendas other than educating her son. The father will figure out soon enough if he is up to it. It isn't rocket science, and he has the advantage that most teachers do not. He knows the child and has real insight into how he operates and what challenges him and interests him. If the situation with the mom warrants it, it might be a good idea. Or not. Its a reversible decision!

    SOTT I love you for trying to help your son and not accepting the status quo. With serious gang issues, I'd rip the out of a dangerous situation too. Great teacher has a great suggestion. Find SOMETHING that kid can be great at. If he is the best cookie maker, birdhouse painter, trumpet player. . . whatever. My sis was having trouble with one of her kids who was smart and normal and had a brother who just excelled at academics and sports and is great looking, too. He is that kid that dads want their sons to be. Well, being the older sister of a paragon is no easy thing. Smart, but not as smart. Played sports, but was never the star. She was headed into the land of goth and spikes when she stumbled into the performance arts. She is dramatic, she can sing, she can dance. That is HER thing. She is happy-not because she is a star but because she found something that she is good at that she enjoys.Much happier kid. My brother found his nirvana in fishing.My son is a singer, my daughter an artist.Not for money, for love.

  • Oubliette

    JWDaughter: I think you are being a bit elitist about it

    What you call "elitist" I call being realistic.

    It's funny, you agree with virtually everything I write, you just don't seem to like the way I write it. Oh, well.

    My experience has been that the majority of families that I have worked with in our independent study program are successful, but a significant percentage are not. Judging solely by SotT's OP, he has all the hallmarks of someone that will not be successful: he has no confidence in the teacher(s), he overestimates his abilities to help his stepson with homework and he admits to not being able to maintain necessary communication with the school regarding something as mundane as an absence.

    I hope he can be successful. But for him to do that he needs to be realistic, get organized, be disciplined, understand what he can and cannot do and work cooperatively with his son's teacher with the understanding they are all on the same team.

    Returning to your comment about my being "elitist," I have to say, that is a very odd thing to say, and in fact you couldn't be more wrong. The skill set that children and their families need to be successful in an independent or home-school setting are most certainly not the exclusive domain of any allegedly "elite" group. I've seen wealthy families that were complete disasters in independent study programs and I've seen families that struggled financially make a huge success of these kinds of academic programs.

    Success in independent study has nothing to do with being "elite;" it has to do with a certain work ethic and a particular temperament in the child. I have known many families where one child in the family took to independent study like the proverbial duck to water and yet another child in the same family struggled with the same program. Independent study is an alternative to traditional education. It is not the right fit for everyone.

    Hell, some kids shouldn't be in school at all, but it's legally required in most states in the US until the child graduates, takes an equivalency test and/or emancipates.

    Again, I'm a huge advocate of alternative education in its various forms. But it's not a cure-all for the many woes in education in America and it most certainly is not for everyone.

  • SonoftheTrinity
    Great Teacher, don't get me wrong. My wife helps him with his homework, especially in Math. She comes from a family of statisticians. Her tutoring style is more in your face. Which is good sometimes, sometimes not. I am but a lowly stepparent, so I don't have the luxury of being in his face, without it being a case of "He can't treat my child like that, only I can treat my child like that." So I walk away for a few minutes just to keep my cool, which she preprograms to fail. She expects him to do his homework in a set amount of time so that it doesn't interfere with family bible interrogations and his bedtime. Sometimes he just needs to sit there and think it through at his own pace, even if it compromises his bedtime. He is going to middle school next year! If his bedtime were when he got his homework done, it would be less stressful for him IMHO. I realize the importance of getting regular sleep, but grasping the concepts rather than just doing the work is just as important. His bedtime is of course tied to his going to school where it seems like a lot of time gets wasted trying to keep a rowdy class of forty in line.
  • Oubliette

    SofT, Sometimes he just needs to sit there and think it through at his own pace ...

    Exactly. Your biggest problem right now is how to get your family out of this cult!

    If you can do that, you've have the majority of your problems solved.

  • SonoftheTrinity
    You've have? People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw grammar stones LOL.
  • SonoftheTrinity

    Oubliette I need to sit in on that class just to figure out how much is getting done. My child is shy, he can't handle an overcrowded ghetto school. This kid may be Fijian, but he is delicate and quiet like an Ethiopian. His little brother looks like a Samoan, is built like a Mack truck, and is intense about everything.

    Getting my family out of this cult?

    I went back to my Church for the first time in years. I told my priest about my new family, and how I feel like it is a sin to to stay and a sin to go. Now is Lent, a time to fast from not just food, but all the Self indulgent BS that holds you back. Perhaps in becoming a better role model by overcoming my fragile male ego and bad habits, I can show them a more positive alternative to the JW lifestyle. Adrift by myself, with next to little IRL moral support to counter the JWs I have become one of those anti-religious Jesus Freaks. I won't cut my hair or beard until my wife leaves the religion is just an example of my hating the fact that the JWs have become Charles Taze Russells worst nightmare, Churchianity at its worst. All the guilt of Catholicism without all the cute little bells and whistles, all the intolerance of Islam without any of the scholarship or valor, all the victimhood and paranoia of Judaism without any of the independent thinking and chutzpah. It has all the bad qualities of all the so-called false religions that it slanders. Sorry for digressing.

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