Monday, February 14, 2011

Who Do They Think They Are?

For the past two years I've toyed with the idea of homeschooling.  I'm very anti government and I miss my babies when they are gone.  I've talked to people who've home schooled, I've talked to teachers who've taught in the public school system, and I've talked to teachers who quit teaching to home school their kids.  I've talked til I'm blue in the face!  I've prayed, I've thought, I've written lists, and I've asked God to smack me upside the head with a sign because I just don't know what to do.  Every time something goes wrong (or not my version of right) at school I think it might be my sign then, inevitably, I talk myself out of it.

Last week Hadley brought home a letter from her principal that informed me Hadley has been late to school five days totaling 4.14 hours of lost instruction time and they will "consider proceeding with referral to the Aces Program."  So, I looked up the Aces Program. 

Below are the 23 questions that someone is supposed to judge me on and answer.  Keep in mind,  when reading, that this is because she was tardy 5 days THIS YEAR.  Her reading is above grade level and her math skills are also above grade level, she has been rewarded multiple times for showing "falcon pride" which is basically a good citizenship award.  This program referral was bases solely on tardiness!

Pre-Assessment Questionnaire

Please give an explanation for any “yes” answer.  Thank you for your time!

1.  Is the child doing well in relationships with family?             No             Yes

2.  Is there evidence of problems with functioning in the current living situation?     No    Yes

3.  Is the child performing well in school?             No             Yes

4.  Does the child have positive social relationships?      No              Yes

5.  Does the family have strong relationships and excellent communication?       No      Yes

6.  Does the school work closely with the child and family to identify and successfully address
 the child's educational needs OR does the child excel in school?           No         Yes

7.  Does the child have very stable relationships with family members, friends and community? 
Have those relationships been stable for most of his/her life and are likely to remain so in the foreseeable future?   Is the child involved with both parents?                No           Yes

8.  Does the child have natural supports who contribute to helping support the child's healthy
development?             No             Yes

9.  Do the child and the family speak English very well?                No        Yes
10.  Does the care giver have good monitoring and discipline skills?                            No           Yes

11.  Does the care giver have significant family and friends in their social network that actively
help with raising the child?         No           Yes

12.  Does the care giver have stable housing for the foreseeable future?         No             Yes

13.  Does the care giver have mental health needs?         No             Yes

14.  Does the care giver have substance abuse needs?    No             Yes

15.  Does the care giver have problems with impulse, distractible or hyperactive behavior that
places the child at risk of future functioning difficulties?          No             Yes

16.  Does the care giver have a history or suspicion of depression or mild to moderate depression
associated with a recent negative life event with impact on life domain or functioning?                                                                                                                                                      No            Yes

17.  Is there a history or recent onset of defiance towards authority figures?     No         Yes

18.  Is there a history or suspicion of problems associated with antisocial behaviors including
but not limited to lying, stealing, manipulating others, sexual aggression, violence toward people, property, or animals?     No         Yes

19.  Is there a history or suspicion of problems associated with traumatic life events?     No   Yes

20.  Is there evidence of anger control problems?      No         Yes

21.  Is there evidence of delinquency?       No               Yes

22.  Is there evidence of problematic social behaviors?      No            Yes         

23.  Has the child engaged in bullying at school or in the community?         No    Yes
Of course the letter was only vaguely threatening and they didn't actually commit to referring her to this program, which screams to me that they are trying to bully me into submission.  They just want me to know they have the power to do this, not that they are actually acting on it.  The bullying won't work with me because, honestly, I'm just too stubborn, but it has made me think.

WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE to judge my parenting based on 5 tardies?  Since when does the government think they are the high court of my personal life?  They screw up everything they touch and they expect me to conform to their ideas?  I will admit, those conformist exist but they are not the successful ones, the are the ones on welfare!  (okay, that was a low blow but I am mad over this!) 

I made it five years without any help from the public schools, what so ever!  I taught her to walk, to talk, I potty trained her, I taught her to say please and thank you, I taught her to be respectful, I taught her to tie her shoes, I taught her to count, I taught her what her colors were, I LAID THE FOUNDATION!  Now that I've done the hard stuff, the school system wants to swoop in, take credit and "tweak" my work.  I DON'T WANT IT TWEAKED!  I like what I've done so far!  Apparently they do too since they can't get enough of her!  ha!

I can think of kids who have perfect attendance and who are never late who could benefit from this program.  Not that this is the case for all kids with perfect attendance but the parents who don't want to be bothered find it easier to send their kids to school than deal with them.  They don't keep their kids home because it's too cold or unsafe to stand at the bus stop-they don't care enough to deal with it!  I'm not saying that every child with perfect attendance lives in that situation but it certainly happens! 

When I worked at a preschool, we had a little boy who never missed a day.  He was always early, he stayed late, he showed up no matter what the road or weather conditions were.  Not because his mother was so responsible but because she couldn't be bothered to raise him herself, but not to worry!  The school system won't bother her either since she manages to get him there so they can make their buck off of him!

When did it become the government's job to raise our children?  I have heard more than one parent complain when school is called off because they don't want to be bothered.  I'm sure it's an inconvenience for working parents, but that doesn't change the fact that it's not the school's responsibility to raise our kids.  If you don't want kids-don't have them!  Kids are HARD work, they are time consuming, they are all encompassing and they are worth it!

These after school programs and summer "enrichment" programs and all the various names the government has created in order to control more of our children's lives are a bunch of hooey!  I want to know how much of our tax dollars go towards these programs?  I don't mind my tax money going towards education, in fact, Carmel recently voted in favor of a referendum to raise taxes for the schools.  That's fine, but how much of my money is going towards child care?  I don't pay taxes so mom's don't have to be responsible for their children! 

I am blessed to be a stay at home mom, and I know all parents aren't.  My mom was a working mom and my dad travelled for work a lot, but mom figured it out without the school raising me.  She found sitters and family and friends to help out, and that's what parents need to do now.  QUIT RELYING ON THE GOVERNMENT!  That's how we got so messed up in the first place!

So, I find myself in a familiar position of considering home schooling again.  I had an epiphany last night when considering it of my fears is always "I might screw my kids up"  every time I think of homeschooling that crosses my mind but last night it hit me..."yep, I might screw them up but why would I let the government screw them up for me?"  Like I said, everything the government touches they mess up so why give them my children? 

As for me, I'm still praying and considering and who knows what will end up happening but last week was a reality check for me, for sure!  My children will not become a just dollar sign, I am their biggest advocate and that will continue whether I homeschool or they remain in public schools.


  1. I love your passion! And as a father, has Keith done anything?? :) LOL!! I am kidding, and I agree.

    It's also not fair to punish a child for a "tardy". They cannot drive, so what do they think...humiliate the child so the parent is never late again? Oh that's effective educating. you know now how many meetings I attend where the leader of the mtg. is late??? CEO's I bet they are late a lot!

    As long as the child shows an understanding of the material...comprehension and performs well on tests...what's the bloody problem?

    This came to me on a bad day...LOL!! You are a wonderful Mommy and if Hadley is "tardy" 50,000 more times, you still care much more about she and Lydia than most parents who are there on time. :)

    LOVE YOU and am praying over your decision.

  2. This is one of the reasons I do home school. I don't want others to raise my children. It is a decision you have to make though. No one can make it for you. It isn't easy but it is the most rewarding job I have ever had ... mother and teacher. If you need any help in the what should I do first let me know. I have been in your shoes over the decision to home school or not home school and i'll be glad to listen