My grandson is in kindergarten this school year. His parents tried to get him enrolled in first grade, but were denied. The boy can read and write and do math so kindergarten is, as he puts it, “too easy.” He says he wants a challenge. Isn’t it nice to hear that a child wants to learn more? He’s a lucky guy because his parents are very willing and able to give him the challenges he wants without waiting on the school to do it. Thanks to the internet, they have a plethora of classes for children his age. He’s hooked into Kahn Academy which gives him the challenges he says he wants.
When my son started school, he was very shy and had a hard time socially. I visited his classroom a time or two and was surprised at the chaos that seemed to be going on. The kids were bouncing off the walls, yelling, running, and to my eyes, not learning a thing. My son sat by himself or with one friend playing or coloring. At parent-teacher conferences, his teacher said he was very immature and would probably be held back until he matured socially. It made me mad. We didn’t let our son behave like those other kids so it wasn’t that he was immature, he was well mannered. I didn’t let them hold him back for that reason. Midway through his first grade year, we moved to another school district. When I visited that classroom, the kids were busy working and doing assignments. At that parent-teacher conference, the teacher remarked how mature our son was and how well he was doing. In that moment, I was forever grateful we moved to another school.
I admire parents who work hard to educate their children at home. They can learn at their own pace without distractions and get one-on-one help when needed. Not all kids are lucky enough to have that kind of help or have one parent staying home with them, but I wish they were. Those who could excel could, and those who needed specialized help could get it. In general, home-schooled kids do really well after they get their GEDs. My son’s roommate in college was home-schooled and a year younger than most of his classmates. He did really well in college.
Educating children is so important. Teaching them how to work in groups, how to learn, where to go for information, how to focus on a project, and the basic knowledge needed to function in the world is vital to society as a whole. I spent years as a literacy tutor for adults so trust me when I say, knowing how to read and comprehend at a high level, write well, and do math at least at junior-high levels are essential skills for functioning normally in our world. The more children know, the better off they are.
Our teachers are overworked and underpaid. They have to be instructors, counselors, nurses, advocates, and role models. Let’s be supportive of them, whether they teach in the schools or teach at home.