Oh the joys of Public Education

Schoolhouse Pictures, Images and Photos

My oldest daughter is six and is in the first grade.  Her first year of school was just wonderful.  Great kindergarten teacher, great classmates, great parents.  I began to think that all the “bad stuff” I had heard about public school was just a myth. 

Enter this year.  She has a great teacher and although she has been bored a lot this year (she’s in the gifted program and they have moved her to 2 days with the gifted teacher instead of just one because she needs the extra work to keep her busy!) she has been enjoying school.  We’ve been somewhat happy with her progress but I honestly think that she would benefit from being moved up a grade (she is on a 3rd-4th grade reading level and is doing 3rd grade math).   

Well, a few weeks ago she told me that some of the kids in her class had been trying to get her to tell “the rest of the school” bad things about her best friend.  Basically it was of the se#ual nature (I’ve had some perverts getting to my blog so I don’t want to type certain words!) and I was in shock.  My first grader is learning things from her classmates that honestly I am not ready for her to learn yet.  So after e-mails to the teacher, a phone call from the vice principal, talks with the class from the guidance counselor and talks between me and Annagrace we thought things were going better.  The vice principal and the teacher were very apologetic and had long talks with those involved about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate to talk about at school. 

So on Sunday we are driving home and in the back seat I see Annagrace wiggling her loose tooth.  Here is the conversation that took place:

AG:  “G@d da##it this tooth hurts”.  (Said as if it’s casual conversation!)
Me:  “What did you say?”
AG repeats herself.
Me:  “Where in the world did you hear that at?!”
AG:  “W—- says it everyday at school.”

Okay, so this kid is the same kid that was involved in the whole fiasco last month.  Now I have to say, Aaron did confess that he has slipped and said those words in front of her before.  He apologized profusely for it. Aaron would have to be pretty darn ticked off to say something like that and I honestly don’t think Annagrace would have repeated it if she wasn’t hearing it on a daily basis at school. 

We had a talk about why we don’t say those words and how God doesn’t like it when we talk like that.  We don’t allow our children to hear language like that, we don’t let them listen to music or see movies with that type of language and we certainly don’t use that language around them (except on a very rare occasion).  It saddens me that this kid in her class thinks nothing of saying that.  So I wrote my dear friend Heather and complained all about it to her and now here I am on my blog complaining about it. 

I know that we can’t protect our children and keep them in some secure ‘bubble’ but I am seriously starting to have my doubts about public school.  I had been thinking about looking into private school when we moved but that will mean that I’ll have to work probably more than I really want to once we move just to pay the tuition.  So I have given homeschooling a thought–just a quick thought though, haven’t done much research on that yet.

I never thought I’d be a homeschooling mom but I’m starting to wonder.  The place we are moving to doesn’t have the greatest reputation and I worry about what she will be exposed to there.  Aaron thinks that these little battles are just opportunities for us to teach her about right and wrong.  My thinking is that I don’t want her little 6 year old brain filled with such adult things.  I am not ready to have the birds and the bees discussion with Annagrace but ever since this kid told her all this stuff at school she has been asking questions.  She wants to know why she isn’t suppose to talk about it.  What am I suppose to say?  I know that the inevitable is coming–I’m going to have to talk to her about something that she has no business knowing about yet. 

Does anyone else have an opinion on this?  Do your kids go to public school?  private school?  homeschool?  How did you come to your decision on schooling?  I am blessed that I have several friends who homeschool so as I work though all this in my head I have people to go to and talk about these things with!

5 Responses to “Oh the joys of Public Education”

  1. 1 Aaron November 4, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Hey babe:

    Reason #1 for us not to homeschool (although if that’s what other readers choose to do, cool): Judah’s math skills. Enough said.

    I also think that our kids will get the same thing in private school… but we’ll have to pay for it out of pocket AND pay tax bucks for everyone else to go to public school.

    Love ya.

  2. 2 lsaufley November 4, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Awww–don’t pick on Judah! Nikki–you better speak up now! : )

  3. 3 Heather November 4, 2008 at 9:01 am

    I don’t know who Judah is, but there are great programs out there! You know where I stand, so I won’t fill up your blog with my two cents…We’ll keep our conversation going. Praying for HIS BEST for each of you! None of this takes Him by surprise, even though it shocks us! I pray for protection over sweet little AG, until a change can be made!

    I was home schooled way back in the 80’s when it was not a commor or acceptable option. For us, spelling was a big issue! The beauty of it all is that you can create a program that suits each child. Since AG is gifted, you can skip a grade (or two) and keep challenging her.

  4. 4 Exie November 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I would say that the experiences I have had with kids in private and christian school is that they are exposed just as much only it comes as more of a shocker when it spills out of their mouth. So I guess I am with aaron on his school thoughts.

    Homeschooling can be a viable option even if for just a year to move them to where they need to be to skip a grade but I have met so many “unique” homeschooled kids who are socially awkward so if you home school just make sure there are plenty of avenues for socializing.

  5. 5 Laura November 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    That is exactly what I keep thinking Heather! Annagrace gets bored so easily and she could easily be in second grade now (maybe third in some subjects) but the powers that be at public school are firm that kids shouldn’t skip grades because of their social skills, blah, blah, blah. We have been talking about her skipping a grade since before she started kindergarten (when she was already reading on her own!). But every time the subject has come up, we’ve been shot down by her teachers.

    She told me today that school is boring to her because it’s all so easy. Her teacher is trying, I’ll give her that. But it has to be hard to challenge one or two in the class while there are many in her class that are on their second year in first grade!

    I honestly don’t know that I’d have the patience for home schooling my kids but all this stuff happening at least has gotten me thinking about it!

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November 2008

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