When kids are little, they believe what you tell them. They go with the flow. But the longer you homeschool your kid, the more curious that kid becomes about what’s really going on inside school. So I started looking at all news items about school as potential points of discussion with my kids.
School defines normal kid behavior as a medical problem
I was filling out a form at Boston University’s child psychology program, and there was a list of mental disorders to choose from. One of them was school refusal. That’s a disorder? I feel like it should be a disorder to want to go to school. Like, seriously, is your kid so unimaginative they can’t think of anything else they’d rather be doing?
School defines normal parent behavior as mentally challenged
The hardest thing about sending my kids to school was that I could never do enough to make the teacher happy. I missed a paper or a signature or an event. Every day at school is a test for the parents, but the requirements of parents are so pointless that they seem to be there just to drive parents crazy.
The poet Sara Holbrook found her poem in a test for 7th graders. The commentary from Holbrook is great. First, she points out that the material is totally inappropriate for kids. Then she shows how the person who wrote the test misinterpreted the line breaks and therefore one of the questions had no right answer; Holbrook cannot answer the test questions that refer to her own poem.
School defines normal human curiosity as disruptive
School requires everyone to conform to the program — whatever that school’s program might be. Children have a natural ability to find activities that interest them, but there are relatively few activities available in a classroom, so kids force themselves to just choose something that’s offered. Kids get used to the idea that if it’s not offered at school they won’t learn it.
So when my son was 10 and asked to go to regular school, I told him he would have to give up his music lessons. “You won’t have energy for four hours of cello practice and three hours of piano practice. The school days is too long.”
“Other kids do it,” he said.
“No they don’t. They don’t practice as much as you do.”
“I can do it! I can do it!”
I relented and he danced and dabbed everywhere in celebration of his upcoming school day.
I dropped him off at school at 7:45am. I picked him up at 3pm.
He said, “I did it! I told you it would be fine!”
I gave him a snack and he sat down at the piano.
I ran errands and got him another snack, just in case.
When I came back into the room this is what I saw: