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I never thought I’d be overly concerned about school. I spent so many years inside schools that I thought I knew enough to feel confident that wherever my kids ended up, they would be fine. Most schools are filled with people trying to do their best. There are a few teachers, at every school who are sub par and some who are downright awful but mostly they are all good people who love what they do and therefore the school serves most everyone well.
It’s true. There are exceptions of course. There are inner-city schools and outer-rural schools that need serious overhaul. But for the most part, no matter what the demographic or the per pupil spending ratio, most schools are doing the best they can and my kids would survive them.
Here’s the problem. I’m not a teacher anymore. I am now a parent and I don’t just want my kids to survive.
If money were no object, I would probably have my kids at three different schools. My oldest is creative and dramatic. She is also very disciplined when it comes to school (not so much cleaning her room) and like any good oldest child, she is very eager to please. Therefore, she “fits” traditional school setting in behavior, but I’m not sure a traditional school fits her flair. She spends a good portion of the day doing her best to “be good” and I hate the idea that that flair that makes her Her might slowly be chipped away. If I were rich, she would be in a private school that focused on creative learning. A place where she did projects-not worksheets. A place that fit her perfectly.
My Middle is wicked smart. I mean freakish-problem solver smart. He asked me the other day if the character in the book he read at school was the same “family” as another character from a book they read WEEK ONE! Crazy. When I asked his teacher if they discussed character similarities she looked puzzled. I explained The Middle One’s connection of the characters Wemberly and Lilly. The teacher looked even more puzzled before saying, “wow, that’s…wow.” True story.
While he is wickedly smart, he is also a sensitive little man. I mean sensitive in the true sense of the word. He is like a raw nerve. Nothing has been officially diagnosed, because (knock on wood) he seems to hold it all together while he is at school. He freaks out at home which is fine by me. I’d much rather he behave at school because they don’t have to love him. What he has trouble with is crowds, too much stimulation, excessive noise and being yelled at. What he excels at is anything physical and excessive noise (making it-not tolerating it).
I worry that if he is in a big class with a teacher who tries to be heard over the roar of a big class, he will no longer be able to hold it together in school. The problem is, don’t all schools have a bit of this-overcrowding and yelling?
If money were no object he would be in a small school that focused on using your mind for problem solving in all subject areas.
Money is an object. So I need to figure out what fits for him within our real life budget.And I need to do it while I am still questioning the decision I made for the oldest. Damn.
I never thought I would be the parent who cares so much and in such different ways.
Maybe I should just home-school. If only that didn’t make me afraid for their lives. I care too much to force myself on them as teacher. That I do know for sure.