Monday, January 22, 2007

The Children's museum

Thanks to G'ma we were able to go to the Children's museum on Saturday. It was interesting. Six pence really didn't have any inhibitions. He walked around and got into whatever was around. He loved it as long as Dad didn't try to hold his hand, he is far too independent for that (he's 1). The Mugwump (almost 4), on the other hand, had his face hidden against my wife's leg for the first 10 minutes we were there. With an extreme amount of coaxing we were able to get him out from behind the leg and he would play by himself. He never really interacted with anyone, but he played around them... which is a step in the right direction. There was a point where the Mugwump went into the little kid's kitchen and was pretending to make cookies (with fake balogna, cheese and a box of saltine crackers). He would talk to the kids around him, but they never responded. When he was done making the cookies, he took them and tried to give his pretend cookies to people. Again he was totally ignored. He tries so hard to play with others, but he doesn't fight to be heard or to get his way.

So here's the thing. We are considering homeschooling him, but aren't sure. We have this fear of sending him to school and losing our precious boy that is so giving and having him replaced by a greedy monster that is so typical among kids (and adults). I also recognize that kids need to have trials to develop and maybe school of hard knocks (public school) would provide him with experiences that will prevent people from walking all over him the rest of his life.

My wife and I both graduated from the public school system and we turned out OK, so I don't think that public school is bad. I do, however, feel that it is bad to throw your kid into public school without evaluating what is going to be best for the kid. I think some kids thrive with the homeschool environment and others really need to have a public school education so they don't end up weird.


TV Free said...

I listened to a program about school vouchers and school choice this morning. I don't think this is the answer. It is intended to give public schools competition to improve academics and give low income families the opportunitiy to give their kids the best education.

Although I think the way the legislature is setting up the bill is OK, I don't think it'll work for many reasons. 1. The truly low income, even with a $3500 voucher, will not be able to afford the private school that is best for their children. 2. For me, education is not just about academics. The whole institution is the problem! I know that my kids will get a good education wherever they go because I care about what they learn. If the schools don't teach it or teach it wrong, our family will talk about it and my kids (I hope) will get a graet education. However, the reasons I would not enroll my children in school are not just about the academics. But we'll save that for another day. Consider this my blog for the day!

Anonymous said...

Hey Garrett & Aly,

Check out, it is one of the best home school programs available. In WA they offer it through one of the school districts in the WA virtual academy. The only thing virtual is the parents log progress & set schedules online. One of the benefits of having it tied to the school district is some teacher oversight, but they pay for the entire curriculum & all materials just as if you had purchased it yourself. They may do this in Utah too. We have homeschooled Noah since Sept in kindergarten & he is excelling in all subjects, the materials & support are excellant.

Hope all is well with you, enjoy your blog.

Vertigo said...

My wife and I are also considering homeschooling when we get back to Canada.

As a teacher, I know that the number one predictor for student success in school is parental involvement. The more parents are involved, especially fathers, the better kids do.

I also know as a teacher, that schools are vastly different today than they were when we were in school. The current model of school is so incredibly, ineffective, it is very efficient at getting kids to sit in rows all day and watching teachers work.

My sister has homeschooled her kids and has a blog about some of her thoughts. It is 'Huiothesia' from my blog.

Happy anniversary!

Emily said...

As a former unschooler (not a homeschooler) I have a unique perspective. Ultimately, the question is what you hope to accomplish by homeschooling? Is it about academic success? I garuntee kids will learn faster at home academically. Is it about socialization? There are many homeschool groups that get together multiple times a week to socialize their children. Ultimately, after having known several homeschool families, I can tell you that the families that were close to God, and didn't have any weird anti-social behaviors were actually more solid learners, seemed to have more self confidence and were less concerned by the material world than those who went to school. Remember, forcing education through regurgitation of facts isn't learning, and with the new "No Child Left Behind" act, that is the direction public schools are moving. For years and years, families helped eachother learn and be social, and no one suffered any worse for it. Schools are just the modern babysitter. Those are my thoughts summed up very quickly.