Unique, wonderful and perfectly made....and thoughts on education.

There he is, child of mine. perfectly made in every way. He is articulate, funny, smart, curious and oh so strong willed. Perfect.
I can't even being to tell you how frustrated I was yesterday. I happened to be in a conversation with a 2nd grade teacher, talking about the possibility of this first born of mine being in her class....it was a tentative conversation, an information gathering exercise. Kind of one of those conversations that happens when your kid is sad because all his neighborhood friends have gone back to school and we aren't back in our homeschooling rhythm yet....you know, the lull.....
So, I set out with my pad and paper to glean all that I could from this school.
I hoped for the best and all my worst fears were totally confirmed. The teacher didn't want to accommodate Luke because he was a year behind in reading. "He would be better suited in 1st grade," was her commentary. 1st grade? But hold on. He can cope with complex scientific concepts, he's amazing at math, his comprehension is at middle school level and he articulates the same. Really? 1st grade just because in 1 area he is behind the curve? Give me a break.
"I just don't have any students in my class at that level in reading so he would be in a group on his own and that would be hard."
"Yes, I can see that would be hard for him," I reply.
"No, not hard for him, I was thinking about it being hard for me." She responded.
Incredulous. Stunned. I could barely believe what I was hearing.
And the conversation went on with her grilling me about his behavior, how had I been teaching him to read, whether I'd got physical therapy for his handwriting - all the prejudices I'd heard that people have about homeschooling parents but never actually experienced for myself. I made no efforts to tell her that I am teacher - trained at a highly respected college. She never stopped to ask. She had already formed her own opinions about who I was and who my child was.
When did giving dignity to each child get struck off the list of what is important in education? When did test scores become the standard for everything? If my experience on the phone is really indicative of where education is at then we really have a major societal problem.
"We are an above average school" was about the last comment I heard as I muttered something about it not sounding like a good fit for us.
I was angered. Not just because it was a slight against me, my educational choices and my son's ability (or perceived lack of ability) but because we have turned people into numbers and diminished souls at the cost of achievement. It all reeked of pride and ambition and ego. When was the last time anyone ever heard our great Teacher talk about the way to getting ahead as scrambling your way to the top? No, never. That will never fulfill the souls of our children. It will bear the fruit of shame or arrogant pride. Neither of which I ever want for my children.

So, here we are, 100% committed to teaching our children at home and rejoicing in how they are made. And that, folks, is all from me today.


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