Well, today we’ve finally reached the end of this series. In all honesty, I could probably continue on for months with this theme, but I’ve reached the point where I know that if all of these reasons won’t help someone make the decision to homeschool, nothing will.
By now my dislike of the public education system is no secret, but what I really want to convey right now is that that aversion does not extend to teachers. Most teachers- current and former teachers- I know are selfless, caring individuals who truly want to help children succeed in the world. A great portion of them have a genuine affinity for children and only desire to to be a positive influence in their lives.
School Violence Is on the Rise While Discipline Is Declining
Unfortunately, in an ever increasing number of school districts, that’s just not possible. Schools have recently become overrun by violence. Simultaneously, teachers are losing the power to discipline their students in any meaningful way.
Not surprisingly, students have become well aware of this and are using it to their advantage.
Teachers Have Become Helpless
My oldest son graduated from public high school in 2011. (This was during my kids’ two year stint back in school due to homeschool burnout.) Every day he would come home with stories of his science teacher who had basically just given up.
Even though that was 5 years ago, the school environment had already reached the point that students had taken over the school. My son told me that the other kids in his class would spend the entire period listening to music, texting, braiding each other’s hair, and painting their nails while the science teacher would just sit at the front of his desk for the entire period doing absolutely nothing.
It would be an understatement to say that my son didn’t learn anything in science that year, although he did earn A’s in each rating period- probably because he actually behaved.
This isn’t an isolated case. Between speaking with students who are currently in public school and friends and acquaintances who either are, or were, teachers, the attitude of his science teacher is becoming more and more common because these educators know that, ultimately, their hands are tied.
Government bureaucracy has essentially made it impossible for students with behavior problems to be held accountable for their actions. I’ve written a few times about a boy in one of my daughter’s second grade classes who pretty much terrified the teacher, the class, and the entire school for months. Every day my daughter would come home from school worried about her teacher! The boy was not only explosive around other students, he used to physically assault the young, 20-something teacher who taught the class, and nothing was done about it until my daughter got hit by a desk that he threw. I called the principal, who gave a vague explanation of ‘needing to follow certain protocols.’ Then, and only then, was something done about it.
While that case may have been extreme, even minor distractions, left unchecked, are preventing children from getting the education the government promises to give them.
A few weeks ago, I overheard a conversation between my 16 yr. old son and a friend who attends the local middle school. She was telling him how during one of her classes she walks around and talks while the teacher is giving lessons. He asked her why, and she replied,
“My teacher won’t write me up. He says it’s too much work.”
Do you see?
That 14 yr. old girl gets what millions of parents do not- teachers are no longer in control of their classrooms.
Teachers Are Turning Against the System
Last year I was telling a friend at church who happens to be an elementary school teacher that my oldest son was thinking about studying to be a biology teacher. I thought she would be happy, but instead she was horrified, and said,
“No! Tell him not to do it. It’s not what he thinks it is. Please tell him not to do it.”
I was taken aback by how vehemently she was against it, but I knew where she was coming from. I’d already seen too much of the modern-day school system. She then continued by telling me that I made the right decision in homeschooling my children.
Her aunt, who was my teacher and my daughter’s teacher, is now a very good friend, and she’s stated more than once that she would never consider going back to teaching because it’s nothing like it used to be. It’s a babysitting service (and a terrible one at that), not an education.
If the teachers who earn their living in the public school system are losing hope and are literally counting the days until retirement, how can we as parents be at peace with sending our kids to an institution whose own employees detest it?
I agree wholeheartedly that all children deserve a good education. Unfortunately, government bureaucracy has almost guaranteed that that won’t happen in its schools.
**But I know a place where they can get one.**