Mamas on Bedrest: I’m in Despair Over My Child’s Education

September 21st, 2012

Mamas, I come to you today with a very heavy heart. My darling little boy is in a class with a teacher that I don’t think gets him.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Here’s another mama thinking that her kid hung the moon and can do no wrong.”

I am well aware of the fact that my child has faults and that he can be, as I sometimes call him, “devil boy”. But I do know that my child is very intelligent and that he is at least at his 1st grade level if not above. This teacher is saying that he is below and I quite frankly don’t believe her.

My son has spent the last 4 1/2 years in Montessori school where he has received an excellent education. This is a child that has been reading since he was 4. This is a child that has been able to do some of his sister’s (3 1/2 years older) math homework last year. This is a kid that has a memory and an attention to detail that has floored many an adult coast to coast.

Yet, this teacher, who has known my son all of 4 weeks now, wants to “dumb him down”, start him at a lower level than he is competent to do and I’m not having it!

So we’re having a parent teacher conference on Monday. It’s gonna be tough because I already have a hearty distrust of her, but hubs is coming and he’s going to have to act as the buffer zone. I have also already spoken with the assistant principle, arranged for my son’s records to be sent from his Montessori School and arranged for him to be evaluated by a third party. Bases covered, but I have to admit, my hair is still aflame.

Mamas on Bedrest, making educational decisions for your child will be some of the most important work you’ll do on behalf of your child. I never anticipated having to do so much buffering and blocking when it came to school because I went to a really great public school as a kid. If kids needed extra help, they got it. Overall, the kids did really well and went on to excellent colleges and onto jobs and professions. I was spoiled and lulled into a false sense that this is how it is for everyone. Boy am I getting an education on education!

What I am learning is that education in the United States is not equal across the board, and that even within districts (as I am seeing in mine) where you live will play a hefty role in not only where your child goes to school, but also to what resources your child has access.  Unfortunately, we don’t have uniform requirements in the US.  Standards vary from state to state, city by city and even district by district. Quite frankly, education in this country can be a real crap shoot!

So what is a parent to do? Many parents in my area have taken the home schooling or “un-schooling” option. For the first time ever, I am considering this as a viable option to teach my son. I am not a teacher by trade, but I know my child and I know that I can sit with him and teach him the nuances of the word groups and vowel sounds so that he will grow to be a stronger reader. I know that we can work with a variety of tools and blocks so that I can make math and science fun. He already has a strong basis in geography from his Montessori school and whenever his dad travels, we can study the places that he goes. As a fitness professional and trainer, I can ensure that he has regular exercise-probably more than what he currently gets in school. But is it the right thing to do for him?

What about Montessori? Waldorf or other private schools? Truly, the only thing stopping me there is the tuition. Funds are tight right now in our house and adding a grand or so each month will only further strain things. But if it’s the best thing for my child, we’ll surely find the funds. I don’t have answers yet, but I do know that I won’t let my son “slip through the cracks.”

Mamas on Bedrest, start your research now. Check out the school district in your area and see how the children are faring. Is the school only addressing standardized testing? Is there room for creative thinking and expression? Can your child do advanced work if he/she so chooses? Are there sufficient resources of your child needs extra help? These are questions that many of us may have never had to consider, but may be face with as our children enter school. If you are opting out of public education for private, GET YOUR NAME ON THE WAITING LISTS NOW! My experience is that for the “really good (most desired) schools, you need to have your name on the waiting list the moment your Clear Blue Easy Pregnancy test comes back positive! Start your research now.

I’m a bit shell shocked right now, so I’m not going to address any particular method of education. But I am going to leave you with an interesting perspective on Public School Education from one of my favorite bloggers/speakers, Seth Godin. We’ll chat more on Monday. (Most definitely before that teacher conference!!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *