School or the Military?

My eldest son came home from school yesterday and fought back tears of frustration as he recounted an incident that had occurred during gym class.

A handful of the students had caused trouble and the teacher had decided—perhaps in a moment of complete exasperation; I mean, teenagers can indeed fray one’s nerves to that point—that the entire class would be punished for it. All of the students will have to sit quietly during the next gym class as opposed to participating in any physical activity.

I understand the logic. Make all of them pay, and they will extend their anger and disapproval towards the offenders, causing them to think twice before acting up again. Who cares what teachers think? But it’s a little different to have your peers hate your guts…

My problem is that already, the older kids are not permitted to run around outdoors at recess, as the playground and field are reserved for the younger ones, which I understand as they combine grades K-12 and want to avoid any bullying.  But that leaves gym class to be their only real physical outlet during the hours they spend in school. Do you see where I’m going with this? So the rest of the students, some of whom already feel trapped as they must sit on plastic chairs in a room and do things on paper when they would rather actually be learning something now have to spend their designated active time sitting on their butts thanks to a few trouble makers.

This is another reason why we will be homeschooling again next year: because 90% of what kids learn in school is simply how to behave in school.

My self-doubt as a homeschooling parent is being removed with each day that my children board the big yellow bus that backs into our driveway. Something tells me it that by June it will be gone forever–definitely not a bad thing to lose…

On a closing note, I would like to add that I find the staff to all be wonderful and kind people who do care about the students. It is the system I have a problem with. This year was an experiment, as two of our children did attend school last year and did quite well (although one did ask to be homeschooled again regardless). Two months into it, while we are amazed at how much French the children are already speaking, we know that we will be ready for life to go back to normal at the end of the school year.

9 thoughts on “School or the Military?

  1. I love what you said about “90% of what kids learn in school is simply how to behave in school.” So true! I attended school myself for a while and homeschooled for a while. I definitely liked homeschooling better. Enough to choose to homeschool my own. Now with homeschool co-ops everywhere, I can’t think of a single good reason not to homeschool as long as you can afford it!

    1. Clark Aldrich stated in his book Unschooling Rules:55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education that one of the main things kids learn in school is how to behave in school. Since my children have been in this fall, I am seeing the truth of his words on an almost daily basis. I would say it is about 90% of what they actually learn and absorb throughout their day.
      The kids are there this year to gain the foundation in French. My husband and I were just discussing the gym incident. We agreed that if it were an English school, we’d simply pull them out right now. Again, nothing against the teachers & staff; it’s the system.

      Interesting to read that you were homeschooled and also experienced school, and have chosen to homeschool your own children. It is definitely wonderful to have so much homeschooling support, both online and in person. The movement is growing…

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      1. Oh, I thought they were just taking French at school, but the school is French? That’s really cool! That would be a great way to learn a language. Wish I could do something like that with my Spanish. I’m forgetting more everyday.

      2. It’s amazing how quickly we lose it unless immersed every day. I grew up in QC attending French school except for four years in high school. I find that if I don’t speak the language regularly I draw blanks mid-sentence when conversing with someone lol…
        The school they are at is French. We are in the Canadian Maritimes, where English is the predominant language, but there is a French school board here as well. It is Acadian French, which is a little different than what I grew up with, but not much. 🙂

      3. Sounds really neat. Is it still pretty important to be able to speak both languages fluently, or is it a preference? I think it would be great to live in a culture where most people are bilingual. I don’t know anyone personally that can speak anything but English. Not well, anyway.

      4. Bilingualism is incredibly useful in Canada, but the primary language on PEI is English, much like it is French in QC. I would love to learn Spanish. I took classes in high school but can’t remember much lol…

      5. I’m assuming that PEI is Prince Edward Island and QC is Quebec? I really don’t know anything about Canada. Is Prince Edward Island as pretty as it looks on the Anne of Green Gables movie? I love those books. Does it get terribly cold in winter? Sorry if I’m bugging you – I know I’m off topic, but it all seems so interesting. I’ve never lived anywhere but Missouri!

      6. Ha ha ha! No worries, you’re not bugging me at all. Yes, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. It is even prettier than in the movie, especially if you know the spots that are off the beaten path. It does get cold but not too bad (QC is MUCH colder); we just have bad storms due to being an island. The snow will blow sideways and it is hard to see where the road ends and the shoulder begins. I have never been to Missouri…

      7. We jokingly refer to the state of Missouri as the State of Misery. Many days in the spring and fall, you need to run heat in the mornings and air in the evenings! Summers are HOT and winters are COLD. We have had our share of nice weather this year though. It seems that nearly every Sunday has been nice this year! I would love to see Canada someday. Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are at the top of my list!

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