Wednesday, March 15, 2006

W woke up yesterday morning fever and chill free and neither has been back since. He's still a little sniffy, though. Today's trip was a waste of time. The teachers wrote that it was a live show about animals and their habitats. It turned out to be a 5-person play based on The Jungle Book. It was very odd and the kids really didn't get it. A small accessory added to their black attire was the clue that now they were a different character. Ok. Getting to this place was totaly chaos. First the kids had to have breakfast. This took forever. then back to the classroom to get on coats. This took forever. Then they lined up, went outside, and got on the bus. This took forever. Then we find that half the seat belts on the bus were broken. We had to shuffle the kids around to the seats with the working belts and buckle them in tightly. This took forever. We get there and the show starts right as the last one of us gets seated (there must have been 10 different schools there and we were last). The show was about 35 minutes. Then we get the kids' coats back on and zipped. This took forever. Then back onto the bus, by crossing a huge scary street and finding those seats with the good belts. What the hell was the point of this ordeal?

The teacher seemed proud that we went, saying that a lot of kids never get to go to things like this. I had an epiphany at that moment. The whole meaning and purpose of public school became clear. There are kids in the world who don't eat regular meals, don't get to see museums or live theater, don't have attentive parents, aren't provided with opportunities and resources, don't have anyone to watch them while their parent(s) work, and don't get to go out of their homes much. I see how school can be beneficial for kids with those circumstances. I feel very lucky to be able to give my kids all of the aforementioned and more - without having to rely on a government institution to do so for me.

B told me that he's been talking to people at work about our unschooling. He tells them how great it is, how J makes connections, and how cool "strewing" is. WTG, B!!!! MIL watched J today while I was on the "trip" with W and after she asked B 4 times about how much work J is supposed to be doing, he said, "She can do as much as she wants, Ma". I think B has finally gotten it. :D


Patrice said...

Miss me? hahahaha. We've been dealing with endless sickies and a scary illness with my 6 year old that ended up with her in the hospital for 2 days. Hopefully I can catch up now. The only thing I liked about school trips when I was in school was being able to talk to my friends and sit next to whoever I wanted to. Some trips were fun, but I hated the Subway trips more than the bus trips. I'm glad we're homeschooling. We've all been having health issues lately--no one had to miss school b/c of this. My 6 year old has to stay healthy for 6 months and that's easier to do outside of school, and we can vacation whenever it's convenient to us--and go on "school trips" whenever we want to.

I made the mistake of telling my SIL about a Catholic school connected to a church near her. I was bored during one of my Dr's visits and read the private school guide. So I told her that that school was the cheapest in town at just under 2500 a year, and she said she would pay half, Maryjean (my 6 year old) is so smart she should go to school. Um, doesn't the fact that my SIL thinks she's smart mean she's learning and we do our own thing? Heck, the kids--well the 6 and 4 year old, have been playing video games all day long since my 6 year old is still recuperating (of sorts--she seems all better to me) LOL!

Oops, I wrote a book. Can you tell I missed catching up with you?

NYCitymomx3 said...

HEY!!!!!! I did miss you! I was wondering where you went! Sorry about the kids being sick. LOL about your SIL - I have a few of those relatives. I can't wait for all the fallout when I tell them W will be homeschooled next year - hahaha - bring it on.

It's great to see you back here again! You better stick around this time!

Mark said...

The reasons you posted for the existence of public schools (namely, "parental replacement," "regular meals," "resources") seem slightly biased, which is understandable given that you are a homeschooling mom. The bias here is similar that which I hear from many of my public school friends; for example, they would say that private schools are "propoganda machines intended only to indoctrinate homeschoolers with a certain set of values and beliefs." Just as some public schools may be so bad that they could only possibly serve the purposes you described, the view that I have just mentioned applies to some really bad home schooling situations.

I am a public school student. I have debated homeschooling my children, if I have any in the future, for some time now. Consider, though, that a blog is very much a public display of your views, and that you immediately alienate anyone who reads that they go to a place that exists only because "their parents do not care for them" or some other ridiculous, false reason. It so happens that there are many public schools which have opportunities and resources equal or superior to those that might be available in a charter or home school.

I understand that you are not trying to "convince" anyone to homeschool children, but I found this public display of bias from a clearly intelligent person quite offensive.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Mark, darling, you cannot just appear out of the blue after reading one page of someone's blog and form a strong opinion about them. That's like opening the bible for the first time to a couple of the strict laws in the Old Testament and deciding the author is off his rocker (and just take that analogy at face value, don't look for some deeper meaning). I am a homeschooling mom, a public school mom, a former parochial school mom and was public schooled myself. I've experienced it all over 30 years. I think I have every right to be biased on my own blog if I so choose. But thanks anyway for your comment and for complimenting my intelligence! :) Stick around, you might just learn a few things.

Mark said...

Yes, I understand that I cannot "appear out of the blue" and form a strong opinion about someone after reading a single page of her writing. However, I didn't think that the statement "I felt offended by your post" was exactly an opinion about you. For me, it seemed simply to reveal an opinion about the particular statements you had made in the post -- more of a reflection of me and my opinions than a strong opinion about you as a person. Unless, of course, the strong opinion to which you are referring is my comment about your intelligence =)

To me, the statement "The whole meaning and purpose of public school became clear" (which I think I can assume is an exaggeration) is similar to this: What if I were to tell one of your home-schooled children (in a few years) that the entire purpose of homeschooling had become clear to me, and that the purpose was to put them in an environment from which they could only possibly emerge with one set of biased opinions and beliefs. This is not what I believe, but it is what some of my friends believe.

I think that it would be really quite offensive of me to say that to them. Perhaps my use of the word "bias" was inappropriate to describe my reaction to your post.

By the way, in semi-response to your deleted comment, I understand that everyone is biased about many things. I understand this for the same reason that I can guess you understand it, since you also went to a public school; everyone around us showed biases on a daily basis. I show bias on a daily basis, as I have already undoubtedly made clear in my commenting.

Thanks for responding to my comments, whatever bias or opinions they might display.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Mark. I know many homeschooling parents and many don't share NYCMom's condescending opinion. Just as there are many valid and intelligent reasons why people homeschool, there are just as many valid and intelligent reasons why people choose public schools.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Do some research "anonymous". What I said about some of the reasons for public school is very true for MANY people in NYC. One of the major campaigns advertised on TV around here is how at the public schools parents can be assured that their kids get "at least one meal a day". My son's teacher admitted to me that the trips they go on are nice because "so many can't never get a chance to do things like that". And I've read several magazine articles about how some kids need the adult guidance at school to make up for a crappy home life. So call it condescending if it makes you feel better, but my opinions were formed from years of being a part of the system and paying attention to things said and written.