Thursday, March 23, 2006

Public School and Voting

I received an email today from a friend whose kids go to PS. Her son is in K this year and is enthusiastic about learning and loves going every day. He gets excited about the bus ride, lunch time, recess but also about all the new things he's learning.

I taught at a dayschool for 5 years. Most of those years I was an aide but I did teach the pre-pre-K class for three year olds for a year and a half. Those kids also were exuberant about school and learning. But we know that by the time they hit middle school, they're complaining and dragging their feet. When does that change occur and why?

I remember my own experiences in school: at one point, it was no longer cool to ask questions and be a know-it-all. When did that change take place? Somewhere around 1st or 2nd grade for me. I suppressed my curiosity in order to fit in with my peers. Peer pressure isn't only for sex and covers all aspects of living. We know it why do we continue to put massive groups of same aged kids together to learn?

I realize not everyone has the opportunity to homeschool their kids. I realize that our family has been given this gift of free learning from God and we don't take it lightly. However, a vast amount of my tax money goes towards public schools and therefore, it is still my concern, regardless if my kids attend or not.

My DH has instilled the importance of voting in me. Growing up, politics were a major source of family quarrels and I did everything I could to ignore my civics class and history classes and stayed out of political conversations. In this respect, I find myself very uneducated. But I do make a point to attend each election, no matter how small it seems. And I make school votes in the frame of mind that my kids might attend one day, all the while hoping they don't because I see so many blatent problems. We all see them. How many of us have been asking, nay shouting, for school reform? How many 20/20 specials have we watched with our mouths gaping open in shock...or sadder, nodding in agreement that we've seen those horrors with our own eyes?

My thoughts are wild and random this morning so I suppose I'll step down from my "Homeschoolers need to vote too!" soapbox.

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