Sunday, February 14, 2016

Every once in a while....

someone reaches out and says exactly what is in your heart and you feel like you are so totally heard and understood. This is a letter from "Little One's" English teacher. I can't begin to tell you how much it meant to me. I've never met this person, but his understanding of the modern education system and the toll that it often takes on its young inhabitants is exactly what I have believed for so so many years. It is what led me to home school so many years ago. For those of you who are newer here...I homeschooled my older kids for more than 20 years. By the time little one was school age, my girl's issues were in full force and I couldn't justify keeping her home in that chaos, alone, with her crying mother (me.) I have a son who is the director of a major Casino's IT Department, at 28 years old, totally self taught with only 3 years total of any type of formal schooling (8th, 9th, and 10th grades) The flip side is that I have my girl too. I can't take credit for either one. I gave my son (all of them actually) time to focus on what he was good at and he ran with it. 

Our nations education system is filled with gifted teachers and children who are imprisoned by administrative rules and standards that are created by people who have never worked with children. By a national system that is more concerned with competing with the rest of the world than the free thinking of the young people it has been entrusted with, that if left to its own devices to be nurtured and cultivated, would lead to people who are true to themselves and functioning in their strengths and thriving and happy. Anyway, I could go on and on about this... But I won't. Little One's issues aren't anyone's fault, but I do wonder if the public school system is the right place for her. She is a different kind of a kid... Self directed, self motivated, analytical, sensitive, and intuitive. I think the vibe in a large public high school, swirling all around her little self, is overwhelming to a BIG way. Our goal is to finish out this year and we will re-evaluate at that time. This teacher is my new hero of the moment though. 

Thank you for the update, Annette. 

I am sorry to hear that it's come to this for L, but I must say I can understand in a way. Our modern industrial education system is, after all, a contrivance resulting from the urbanization of society over the past century. In short, we need a place to put our kids while their parents are away at work. And, as there is little meaningful 'work' to be done at home within our own family unit (as there is in a rural society), we must invent pretend work in a forced society of one's contemporaries. 

Undoubtedly some thrive in such an environment. But it's no surprise to me that this situation is simply untenable for a few. In my mind, it speaks to L's sensitivity (and sensibility, in a sense), which for most of us becomes numbed by the schooling process itself. 

I realize that you were neither seeking nor expecting the above rumination, but there you have it. Just an attempt to express my understanding and sympathy. This is certainly not reflective of bad parenting. In fact, your ability to take this in stride proves otherwise, in my book.

I will follow up with work for L in coming days. Please don't hesitate to bug me with a call or email if I don't come through with this soon. 



Birdie said...

If I could do it all over again with myself and my kids I would either homeschool or go the Montessori route. All three of us don't do well with maths of any type but excel in the language arts. I think it would have made a world of difference to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and centered around at what we do well. I thought I was stupid my whole life. It wasn't until I took my home support course that I learned I was actually quite intelligent. That sad thing is it took my over 30 years to figure it out. 30 years of feeling like a failure and that there was something very wrong with me.
I agree with the teacher. You are a good mom in my books.

Tori said...

I LOVE this just LOVE it!

Mark Goodson said...

Wow. You know I'm a teacher, and I have a lot of problems with how we educate. I'd love to have a longer conversation about this and how the Little One is getting through.
Have you read Leonard Sax stuff? There's Boys Adrift and Girls on the Edge. He puts it all in perspective for me.

ML B said...

You are the fiercest advocate for your family. Like a mama lion.

It didn't take the teacher long to write that, yet it was so comforting and validating for you.

We could all take a few moments to acknowledge someone's pain/fear/grief/shame today, it is truly a kindness.