December 10, 2007

Homeschoolers Going to Public School

“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” ~ Jack Handy

Tomorrow we are going on a "behind the scenes field trip" to.... a PUBLIC school. Someone (and I 'ain't sayin who) in my family is a Vice Principal! This "insider" has agreed to take my children and I behind the "Iron Curtain" to get a look at: how cafeteria lunch is run, just what a hall monitor is, how to file discipline reports, what a REAL classroom looks like... and more! We probably will bring a notepad and count how many ugly Christmas sweaters we see, too. This just may be the most educational field trip they take all year! I'm so excited.

For those of you who are scratching your head in wonder at why a homeschooler would be interested in a field trip to a public school... I'll let you in on a secret about me - I don't view the Public School as my enemy. There are lots of GREAT teachers and administrators in public schools - many who are just as frustrated with the "system" (and their benefits and pay) as homeschooling moms are. They have just chosen to stick in there and try to individually make a difference for the kids who CAN'T homeschool. Some have grown children who no longer attend schools, but they have a huge heart for doing what they can each day to make things better for public-school students.

There are quite a few teachers in my family. Some of my best friends have kids in public schools. My mom is a substitute in FIVE school districts. Even if my kids don't attend a public school, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy learning about how others are learning. I think we need to hold out hands of fellowship to each other (teachers of public, private, and homeschools) and lift each other up in prayer. After all, teaching is about touching lives... and it isn't about US, it is about the kids. I think we can all learn FROM each other.

I better get some sleep so we can get up and get ready for our big day. Hope I don't forget my lunch money!

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Judy said...

Sounds kind of fun to me except for my kids the big winner would be riding the big yellow school bus.

JacciM said...

What great fun :) I hope you get a chance to post on the trip. I have to chuckle at the idea of a homeschool mom going through the public school taking pictures for her blog. "Here's where they hang up their coats", lol. I'm looking forward to it.

I hear you on the public school teachers. My father in law is just finishing up his 30th year in the public school system. I know he has been a tremendous blessing to hundreds of kids over the years. I agree that we need to support and encourage those in the trenches.


Anonymous said...

I have 6 aunts and uncles who are public school teachers. Two of them view what they do as ministry.
How much fun your two will have viewing school. And what a blessing that you can still bring them home when it's all over :)

Unknown said...

Enjoy your visit; there is so much to appreciate in a public school.

Even though I'm homeschooling my 8-year-old son, we love our public school community!

My daughter attended the public school K-5 and my son K-1. I would have happily kept them both in public school if it met their academic needs.

Unfortunately, our district doesn't have the resources to meet the needs of the gifted & talented. And everybody is suffering as the No Child Left Behind Laws force teachers to neglect creative project and anything else that isn't on the tests.

Still, my son and I visit the school frequently to pick up friends or to attend school-wide events.

We're enjoying the freedom and creativity of a homeschool education combined with building relationships in our expanding community.

Anonymous said...

I was a student aid my whole jr and sr yr of hs to the same teacher. I was more than an aid really LOL more like a secretary/personal assistant. I got to learn a lot about what goes on. Not everything is tulips and sunshine, that's for sure :( We ended up very close, good friends, and she has since moved to an elementary school teaching 3rd grade. The first year of TAKS. She hates it. It takes away from her teaching. But she is a wonderful teacher, adores the kids, and goes that extra mi--30--miles. In any type of school, you've got the awesome, the good, the bad, and the HOW DID YOU GET A JOB TEACHING?!
My m-i-l teaches sex ed at the private school here. We were talking yesterday about sex ed in public and private schools, and at home. Parents of public kids are sending them to her classes. All the public girls know about is birth control. So sad. I like the approach of the private schools, although I think I would rather teach my kids about it at home. I'm sure today will be an eye-opener for the kiddos. I think we're all looking forward to your report!

Mamaof3 said...

Hope you all had a fun day! I agree with everything you said...AMEN Sista! :)

Elaine said...

I understand what you mean about the PS not being your enemy. There are some great teachers out there and many wonderful kids come out of the PS system (I consider myself to be one of those ;) . Many of my friends work in the PS and are terrific teachers that I wish could be my kids teachers.

I homeschool because that is what my hubby wanted and God called us to this. I do know that with much of what is allowed in the schools around us that my daughter would have fallen through the crack and been labeled. She is thriving because she can learn at her pace.

I would love to have your opportunity to go behind the scenes with my kids to a PS so that they can know what happens there.

I look forward to reading all about your trip.

my blog:

julie knollenberg said...

What an awesome statement! I can't thank you enough for expressing your thoughts. I was a former public school teacher now homeschooling Mom. I wish reach out like you have! I can't thank you enough for sharing your thoughts!!! You are an incredible lady. Have a great trip!

Llama Momma said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

(From a public school mom who loves both Jesus and her kids to bits!) ;-)

Lady Why said...

That sounds like quite the adventure!!! I'll look forward to an update!

Anonymous said...

thanks for seeing both sides...not everyone homeschools, for whatever reason, but that doesn't mean that public school moms love or value their children any less than homeschool moms.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! My oldest volunteered in a public school during her high school years, but my younger two have never been in a public school. That would have been a great field trip idea!


Mama Sky said...

My sister-in-law is a homeschool mom with a blog and she left a post for yours. I'm a public school teacher with no kids and really appreciate your post. I teach 9th grade, and after seeing what I see in the school system I work for, I will not put my kids in school if I can help it, but I'm doing what I can while I'm here. Thanks for the nod!

Sprittibee said...

judy... yes, the yellow bus... what memories. Maybe one day we'll do one of those field trips, too.

jaccim... no photos. :( I did notice where they hang their backpacks and coats, though.

isaiah5513... yes, i know many teachers who view their jobs as a ministry (and a thankless one most of the time).

livingbylearning... my kids haven't ever been to ps, so they really enjoyed the inside look. i was thrilled when we were invited. i love so many teachers that i have met. that is great that you are keeping up your contacts with the ps kids in your community. we mostly do that through our youth group/church.

sara d... i think that same teacher was at one of your parties? i had my share of bad teachers, too. one that tried to fail me and if it had not been for my mom saving all my papers, he would have! I was able to prove that I made an A rather than a C on my final as he had recorded it. the sex ed thing is a real pet peeve of mine, so i'll keep that soap box closed for this post. :) i'm glad that my kids both have already had the birds and bees explained to them by mama and papa bee.

deanna... :) love the amen. I just love it when Beth Moore asks everyone to say amen. LOL

elaine... hope you get a chance some time to go to a ps in your area. :)

makingtimeforwhatcounts... thanks for your sweet comment. :)

llama momma... love your name. have you heard the llama song? we can't get it out of our heads. you are so welcome and i'm quite sure that there are a million moms just like you out there who have kids in ps but love them to bits, too!

ladywhy... that photo is awesome. have you read the book "Home Making"? that is the photo they use on the cover. hope you enjoyed the update!

anonymous... :) glad to have your comment.

prodoceo... i have a homeschool friend who has a ps son that plays sports and three other hs kids at home. she works at the booster club and concession stands, etc. she is very involved in hs and ps. :)

sky... i'm glad to see your point of view and your comment... my mother tells me what is going on with the kids in five districts in Texas, so I get an earful daily. she has had cops in her classes and has also taught at detention centers. i'm glad that there are good teachers out there for the kids, though - despite how bad it is in individual schools. there still needs to be light in the darkness. who is your sister-in-law? I'd love to see her post.



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