Would you send your child to school?

I was recently asked this question:  If I could find the *perfect* school, would I send my children? 

This is actually a harder question then it seems.  At first I wanted to say *if I found a school that held my same philosophies, was flexible and had small, mixed age groups…then sure.”  But then I thought weeelllll….maybe not.

Why not?  Because any school, by it’s very existence, takes charge of a child’s education.  It assigns and assesses and directs.  Not that I have anything against those things, after all we all need some direction every now and again, I’m just not sure I like an institution having that kind of power over my child’s future with little to no input from me (and in some instances none from my child either).  I prefer to leave that control in the hands of my children and, when requested by said child, myself.  I am not against getting some input, and the odd class (or two or three) in subjects I am not skilled in.  I’m not even against learning most of your subjects in a class setting if there is no coercement involved and by that I mean not fear of *failing* the class and getting a mark on your permanent record. My kids take lots of classes but if they don’t like them they can quit without having to explain it to their college admissions interviewer someday.

Not that I encourage quitting. I pretty much require them to finish what they started unless the situation is irredeemable, but I also don’t require them to take classes. If K isn’t interested in taking the writing class offered by the homeschool group? No problem. If she is interested and finds it more difficult then she thought? I expect her to try her best and finish. If the teacher is verbally abusive and not taking into account her LD? We can then discuss quitting after talking with the teacher and seeing if we can fix things. If she ends up quiting? Also no big deal. No *incomplete* on her transcript. No failing grade. No inability to sign up for the next class that’s offered.

This is quite different from a school setting where K would be required to take English 101 as a freshman no matter what her interests. Her teacher would be chosen for her and we would have little control over whether said teacher treated her fairly. If she was to fail the class, or be unable to complete it because of this it would be there on her permanent transcript ……..forever.  That’s a lot of pressure for a just turned 15yo (and she would have been a freshman last year if she’d stayed in school).

Maybe it’s my seemingly inborn tendency to buck the system, or maybe it’s my deep belief in redemption, but this whole idea that a single grade can ruin your future is just not something I can personally get behind. More and more I am finding that I have serious problems with how school (as an institution) is run. 

We are even finding that we are having serious issues with M’s school this year and may well be bringing her home at some point in the near future.  They seem to have a real problem with making realistic accommodations to an autistic child that falls outside the typical child with autism and want to hold her blindly to school policy.  They keep making promises that they aren’t prepared to keep and are being sneaky at best (and outright dishonest at worst) about the issues we have brought up. There is a lot of blame placing, sweeping under the rug and shirking of responsibility.  *sigh*

So would I send my child to the *perfect* school?  Nope.  It doesn’t exist for one thing and for another we are doing just fine at home.


One response to this post.

  1. We ARE sending our child to the perfect school. It fits our family like a glove. We homeschool! 🙂


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