Why I’m Getting Close to Pulling My Kid From School

What’s My Big Problem?

I’m the parent of a kindergartener and an educator myself. Having worked in the public school system for nearly a decade, I would always seemingly joke that I would never put my kid into the system after seeing the inner workings. I always would joke about it. But, I think the joke may be over.

My new journey is to learn as much as I can about what it will take to transition to homeschooling my daughter. I’ve always liked the idea but never thought that I would be a sufficient teacher for her. After all, I do need her to be able to learn from others as well as socialize well with her peers.

Those were my fears for not choosing homeschool all along – the peer isolation and the inability to be an adequate educator for her. I know these myths can be debunked.

My Issues with “The New Way”

As an educator, heart and soul, I am supportive of innovation. The innovation in teaching a foreign language developed by Dr. Stephen Krashen – the Natural Approach – is what drew me to teaching my passion, the French language. Upon researching for links to use in the previous sentence, I learned that Dr. Krashen himself has just published an article on his blog entitled “The Common Core – Ignoring Education’s Real Problems“, dated November 4, 2014. In short, he contests the Common Core agendas ignore the issue of poverty – the heart of the real issues of our schools’ brokenness. I encourage you to check it out – it’s a quick four page read.

So, what he said.

Then, to add to it, I feel so ill prepared to help my child through her school years. I was overwhelmed by something I saw in her class today that has insisted that I spill these words that are bursting out of me. I felt so unable to help my daughter do something as simple as 10+9=19. I didn’t have the proper vocabulary to help her. I know they are training them to learn the vocabulary that will help them succeed as they proceed, but it bothers me that I can’t help her. In kindergarten. I’m not helpless, I can learn, and I already have, but I’m an involved parent in the classroom. What about everyone else? How can they help their kids? The school isn’t sending home packets for us to study to understand what they are learning. It’s just happening.

It feels sneaky to me. And I don’t like that feeling. At all. Especially from the government. Nope. Not a fan.

I want to be clear – I DO want her to understand other concepts of learning. I just don’t like how things are going down in reality.

Do I take her learning into my own hands? Do I just bite my tongue and ship her off on the bus every day to learn The New Way? Will it even persist? Will the government take a deeper look at how they are trying to implement a common system throughout a highly diversified nation?

If I take her out of school, I still pay the taxes, but the district has one less pupil. That hits them where it hurts – in the pocketbook. Money talks, don’t they say?

I am ready to learn something new, too. Our New Way may just be the Homeschool Way. (I can’t believe I’m writing this!) But, I mean it.

Any comments, tips, suggestions are welcome. I appreciate your time reading my thoughts. Some may applaud, some may not. Which are you?

Sources Used

“Books and Articles by Stephen D. Krashen” (2014) Retrieved from the World Wide Web at http://www.sdkrashen.com/ on November 21, 2014.

Krashen, Stephen. (11/4/2014) “The Common Core – Ignoring Education’s Real Problems”. Retrieved from the World Wide Web at http://www.sdkrashen.com/content/articles/2014_krashen_the_common_core_ignoring.pdf on November 21, 2014.

“Natural Approach” (2014) Wikipedia. Retrieved from the World Wide Web at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_approach on November 21, 2014.

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Be true to you

I know so many people are trying to get ahead in life, working towards that dream career, chugging along to become someone.  As an educator and self proclaimed nerd, I support everyone who is working towards making themselves better.

However,  be true to you.

So many people work hard to get in a career that will make the bucks, pay the bills,  and allow them to live a certain lifestyle. But at what cost?

Life is measured in so many ways, but the money we make is left behind when it’s time for our legacy to live for us.

This topic has been said and done before, but it is so real that it deserves yet another blog post. I love my job,  but it’ll never make me rich. I struggle internally with the two – richess in the bank or in my heart.

I choose my heart. And a difference I will make. Maybe even for you 🙂

How To Get Your Students To Think Outside the Box – Discussion, Feedback, and Responses

The idea of thinking outside the box, the ability to see more than what the eye or experience allows, is a critical skill that requires attention in the development of our academic programs.

I presented this idea with a focus on classroom applications at the 2013 Connections Conference at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL, on March 13, 2013. This blog has been created as a means to continue to discussion.

Presentation Abstract: (click to see full profile on sched.org)

How often does the term “think outside the box” result in blank stares and silence in your classroom? Participants will acquire a variety of strategies to expand students creative and critical thinking abilities, allowing them to more easily and frequently “think outside the box.”

The presentation is available for viewing if you were unable to attend the conference: CONNECTIONS 2013 How To Get Your Students To Think Outside The Box

Please feel free to share your ideas of how to create opportunities for our students to utilize out-of-the-box thinking in the everyday classroom. I’d love to hear your feedback on the presentation as well!

I look forward to our discussions!

~ Laura Bantz