"I will be homeschooling my bright inquisitive daughter because I
see many kids who have started out that way in our wonderful schools
but are no longer. They have to slow down for the kids who need more
help, there are too many other kids who need attention, etc. My
sister in law works in preschool for Richardson and has said much
the same thing-she can't do much for the really bright, love to
learn kids, because half the class are in need of learning
basics-she has kids who don't know their colors at 5 yo and kids who
are ready to start reading, but the kids who don't have the skills
have to come first."
This statement is exactly why I decided to homeschool my 6-year-old son earlier this year: he was significantly ahead of the rest of the class, and the teacher was not able to give him what he needed because she had
21 other students with other needs to focus on. Further, the school has the ability to go after additional funds if they have to serve children with developmental problems or learning disabilities, so she was pressed by the powers-that-be to cater to those students instead of to the students who fell ahead of the norm.
We saw this with our 15 year old daughter when she was beginning school: her eyes lit up and she was excited to learn. She loved school and was anxious to go. Quickly we saw the light go out with her, so I pursued a supplemental program with her. Then it was like we were sentencing her to seven hours a day of boredom during which she would sit and daydream, to be followed by an hour or two of exciting learning at home. I kick myself now for not taking her out of school and bringing her home (we considered it year after year), but we let the "socialization" argument win us over time and again. She is a sophomore in high school and is heavily involved in a lot of activities at school and doesn't want to come home at this time. We still do a lot of supplemental stuff with her, and it seems to work.
My son, on the other hand, was going to become a discipline problem if we had left him in school. He also is a quick and eager learner who quickly became bored at school. Instead of daydreaming though, he would begin to talk (he's a very sociable little guy) and disturb other students when he finished his work, not understanding that they weren't done with their work. What a shame it would have been for him to be labeled as a troublemaker, when the only problem he really had was not being challenged.
We are in a small, rural school district, so the problems aren't limited to big schools - these are problems for us all. I don't blame the teachers - they are doing what they can in a difficult environment, but the system as it exists just doesn't serve anyone but some of the very average learners, and possibly the disadvantaged learners (and I'm not sure it really helps them either!).
And as to the discussion about rampant drugs - they are out here in the rural areas too! I think our problem, while not as BIG as the big city problem, is probably proportionate to them.
Used with permission Copyright 2003 Texas Home Educators