Country Living Series

Friday, June 3, 2011

Voice from the trenches

Continuing the homeschool/public school discussion, a reader who is a public school teacher left a comment which was so profound I wanted to highlight it. Believe me, it's the folks in the trenches who see this issue most clearly.

This young man summed up today's public school system very well. Teachers use to have their child attend the school they taught at. Today, many have their children are in alternative education settings, from private school to homeschool. I know! I have been in education for 26 years. My daughter is homeschooled by her father.

Public school (at least here) wasn't always bad. I was proud of our district when I started here in the 1980's. Society has changed a lot and our community with it. At least 20 other employees in the district I work in do not have their children in public school, including an assistant superintendent. If this doesn't tell you to take your children and run from public school than I don't know what to say.

I work to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. My students are taught respect and manners in addition to academics in my classroom. Unfortunately, I see that is not the case in most classrooms. Our daughter did start in public school. Having to spend evenings, weekends, and summer to correct the behaviors she learned while at public school each had to stop. So we pulled her out half way through second grade. Now she is happy and learning. After her first week of homeschooling I asked her she missed public school, here is her comment: "No, it made me crazy."

I forgot to tell you, she is high-functioning autistic. While attending public school she had what is referred to as melt-downs on almost a daily basis. Now that she is at home, we actually sometimes forget that she is autistic. Most of the bad behaviors are gone.

I apologize for going on so long. In closing, if you want society to raise your child, leave them in public school. The government will raise your child to be dependent of them. If you want to instill your believes and values, homeschool your child. Don't forget the words of that young man, "This place isn't any worst than the high school I attended."


  1. two days ago, sitting in the living room of our pastor, we asked his wife why her daughter was in public school ...we were not argumentative, just curious

    her daughter is out the door before 7am and returns at 9pm often with hours of homework, volleyball, track, basketball ... so hyper scheduled as to be near abusive

    she is being taught compliance and obsessive work loads so she can gain entrance into 'higher learning' ... we posited she was being conditioned to be a good worker bee/drone

    we questioned the premise ... why not focus on gaining knowledge, skills, wisdom instead of standing in line and jumping through other's hoops .... why worry what your 'college resume`' will look like?

    especially since graduates now are often saddled with hundreds of thousands of $$$ in debt that can never be discharged ... hard to ever see a return on investment and most of what the 18 to 22 crowd is mastering is not good ... real sodom and gommorah stuff

    i strongly urge all we meet to step back, realize the system no longer works for us parents and our children ... the content is often untrue, the hours insane, the inherent message dooming our children to serfdom to debt and to big gov't, big biz, et al

    the only children to emerge out the other side of this greatest depression will likely be home schooled where innovation, critical thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset are fostered ...

    begin with the end in mind, ask yourself: 'given today's insane world which path will more likely lead to my children having even the possibility of having the same standard of living i have?'

  2. "In closing, if you want society to raise your child, leave them in public school. The government will raise your child to be dependent of them. If you want to instill your believes and values, homeschool your child."

    That pretty much says it all. I don't have any children yet, but I hope to homeschool when I do. Given that we are a military family and that we move every four years, I think that homeschooling is a great way to provide continuity of education rather than just plopping them in a new school and hoping that they aren't too far behind or ahead.

  3. Stuck in CaliforniaJune 3, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    I have to apologize for the typo/grammar errors in my post that you highlighted. I find that when I am emotional about a topic I do not proof read as well as I should. I read what I expect it to say, not always what it does.

  4. Our oldest is going to start kindergarten this year so I'm really appreciating your recent posts. I was a high school math/science teacher and my sister is a 1st grade teacher. Wild horses could not drag my children to public school. I happened upon students having sex in dark alcoves multiple times during my career. My sister had a student get molested by another first grader. I had a student bullied to the point of attempted suicide. My sister has to check her kids backpacks every morning for weapons. All this in a small Florida beach town. And yet, my sister is still totally sold on public school, even though her own son is bullied. She insists we're doing our children a great injustice by homeschooling. And a coworker of mine got raving mad when I mentioned we would be homeschooling our children. "You're saying YOU can teach your kids better than I can when I have TWO masters degrees in education?" I responded with, "You're saying your masters degrees can teach 160 kids better than I can teach my 5 or 6?" She stormed out of the room. Not all teachers are willing to admit its a failing system. In some cases I think its either believe it really is best, give up the income and benefits, or live in perpetual conflict. Most of our lifestyle is highly criticized by family, but I've decided the proof is most certainly in the pudding. I just wish that pudding didn't take 18 years to "cook".

  5. I enjoyed reading the perspectives of both this post and the one before from the homeschooling mom. I have had the last 2 years off from homeschooling while my daughter attended the local Christian school. She has now graduated 8th grade and is beginning high school, so she will be staying home.

    BTW, I hate to be nitpicky, but am I the only one that noticed the grammatical differences between the two posts? The homeschooling mom's piece was excellent, the teacher's piece was filled with errors. Yikes!

  6. Stuck in CA, I **did** throw that up without letting you know in advance. It was just so GOOD. If you'd like to send me any corrections at I will add or change whatever you wish.

    Me, I thought it was great.

    - Patrice

  7. Stuck in CaliforniaJune 3, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Grandma Tillie,
    I read some of your other blogs and realize that you are somewhat focused on silly small issues instead of the content of what the author has to say. Blog writing is informal and if you notice most of us aren't using spell check. It is content not grammar lessons that we as bloggers are focused on.
    Patrice thank you for the opportunity to make corrections, but I will pass.
    Love your blog and most of the people that write in :)

  8. Patrice, your new home page picture of the farm and background is breathtakingly gorgeous!

  9. Nicely put! Those of us in the trenches have seen good teachers and a lot of horrible teachers, mostly horrible teachers! I would home school our daughter but at this point she is getting both English and Spanish in her classrooms, and I can not teach her that well in Spanish, of course there may be help in that area. I do however keep an eye on her teachers and school, because there are things that need to be watched, and teachers and schools really dislike parents who are teachers and vocally loud LIKE ME!

  10. Stuck in California--tell me the truth now...did you stick your tongue out and yell Neener Neener at your computer screen after you wrote that to me?

    And YES, I did notice that most people don't use spell check.

  11. I am a public school teacher that pulled my children out of public school last year. My oldest daughter (6 years old at the time) was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder while in public school. My children are now enrolled in a private school. It is a much better environment, but I would still like to homeschool one day.

  12. I also think it is very interesting how many public school teachers put their own kids in private schools. I don't personally know any who homeschool -my public school teacher friends are all horrified by homeschooling as it threatens their jobs. Private schools, not so much, since most people can't afford them. I have a couple of very good friends in this position, and they say they would never work for the private schools they send their kids to because the benefits that they are used to aren't available in the private schools. Specifically, there is no union representation, they cannot retire after 20 years, and they could actually be fired if the school was unhappy with their work! In other words, they are totally dependent on the government jobs program known as public schooling and fear they couldn't make it in the real world. I have to be very careful not to tell them what I think of this, as it certainly would not win friends & influence people. Just another illustration of how public schools exist for the benefit of adults, not children.

  13. Public/government/welfare schools are funded by way of coercive violence and intimidation. How can a school ever be acceptable when its very existence is due exclusively to extortion? Is it acceptable to to teach our children that theft is wrong unless a group of thugs called government does it? I refuse to participate in so called "schools" yet am threatened with the loss of my home if I fail to pay school taxes. If I decide to defend my property from seizure then in all likelihood I will be murdered by the sheriff. How is such coercive funding acceptable? Government schools are criminal organizations funded by yearly shakedowns of the citizenry.