Saturday, March 6, 2010

..but you live in a good school district.




I do. I live in lovely town with "great" schools. What that means I guess is that most kids graduate and go to college. However in my circle of homeschoolers who take their kids out of school the complaints are such that I do not consider much of anything a good school district. kids that I know have been taken out to be homeschooled b/c class size was outrageous, kids having homework in Kindergarten, or kids spending all day coloring; Kindergartens that are full days and just way too much for a small 5 year old and kids who needed recess but were punished for talking so that privilege was taken away. Those are not good schools are not good school policies for children in my very humble opinion.
Good schools I can recognize but those are in my opinion charter schools which are very hard to come by in NJ. I do however love the The Ridge and Valley charter school philosophy and if I ever had to send my kids anywhere that is where they would go.
This http://www.nj.com/independentpress/index.ssf/2010/03/petition_circulating_to_save_c.html is from the "excellent" school district, which although not exactly my district, we are close enough neighbors that it could be.
Please for moment remember what Kindergarten was like for you. I remember the play kitchen, the big wooden blocks; which a student once dropped on "Miss" O'donnel's ankle and sent her to the nurse. I remember our round tables and warm milk and cubbies. I remember needing a smock for finger painting and using my father's old shirt.
I can't say I LOVED kindy but I do remember not hating it. The smell of warm milk is really the biggest memory for me and that smell is not pleasant so the association is not warm and lovey.
Kindergarten was for little kids to get used to going to school but that has been replaced with Preschool. The problem however is that kids are still 5 when they go to kindergarten and whether they learned to write their name in Pre K or not they are still 5 year olds that need lots of imaginative play, creative outlets and freinds. No one learns best by being lectured to but children need to figure stuff out.
They need to play and learn to play together. The brain is still growing and some parts of it are not ready for what we are shoving into it at this young age. This does not mean that we can't manipulate a kid and shame them inot learning something but where does that leave the desire to learn? What might a "red card" sent home for mis behaving do a child's view of education.
Is education all about being quiet and learning or is education bigger, louder wild and unleashed.
Information is everywhere not just in classroom full of kids and teachers and pricipals who think art is not as important as writing. Maybe they forgot the rule that art skills help develop handwriting. I don't know, but I'm glad my kids don't go to a "good" school.

2 comments:

AmyMason said...

Very beautifully written! Thoughtful and emphatic and emotional.

Jenny said...

This is so true! The link didn't work and I'd like to read it, can you email it to me?

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