Tuesday, June 24, 2008

School's out for summer...

When I was a child, I hated school. I was shy, I didn't know how to talk to anyone and I would've been just thrilled to be left alone with my books and crafts. We were poor, (not that I ever knew or thought about it), and we lived in a rough neighborhood in the slummy north end of our historic east coast city.

For grade primary I went to a private school in the somewhat wealthy South end, which entailed my going there, often unattended, on the city bus.

There was an older black lady I usually sat with when I was alone who got off at the same stop as me. On her way to her job no doubt. I sensed that she was looking out for me and gravitated towards her. Now, I wish I knew her name.

It cost 10 cents for the child fare at the beginning of 1979 and 20 cents by the end of it, now the child fare on metro transit is $1.40...

After going to "The Academy" for a year, I wanted to attend the same school as my big brother and then my Mother could no longer justify the astronomical yearly tuition of $500, and so I was enrolled in St.Pats, just up the street, the second school in a string of a dozen or so educational institutions I would eventually attend. It was rough. Especially compared to the la-la land of privilege place I'd attended my first year. I hated school so much that later decided that I was not going to have any children so as to not put anyone through what I felt I needlessly suffered while being educated.

As a young adult out on the west coast, I discovered the homeschooling and unschooling movement and changed my mind. Maybe I could have kids in good conscience after all...

When my first baby was born, I started collecting educational materials. By the time she reached "schooling age" I had decided that unschooling was the way to go. We were by that time relocated to that particular east coast small-town bible-belt area both us parents are from. We tried the relaxed approach for a few years, but when she turned 8 , Frances still couldn't read and I was exhausted from caring for her and the twins 24-7 with no family support, so I enrolled her in school. I'm still not sure it wasn't a huge mistake. She still doesn't read or write well, but she is brilliant at math.

The twins were enlisted a year later, at 5. Teddy hated it at first, until he discovered soccer. Joy is like mini-me! She learned to read early, and could happily sit in a corner and read all day long. Says she has no friends at school. :(

My baby Robyn, is not yet 3 years old. She is a little ray of sunshine who would be so dimmed by school. She was born trauma free at home unattended, and then we participated in a skin to skin contact study where we had bare skin contact for at least 6 hours a day for 6 months... She is the happiest, brightest, most well adjusted child, not only of mine, but that I've ever known... I really think that this one, especially, would be best off kept away from school.

This year, my twins in grade one, caught lice, numerous colds and flus, were given fluoride against my wishes, given candy almost daily, serenaded by Ronald MacDonald, visited by the police, brought on field trips to fast food restaurants,(and bought pop there by a teacher who knows they don't usually get junk food!)...ETC...

What rings in my mind is that I knew better all along.

I will not send them back next year.

Enough is enough.

Maybe we are just not "school people"

No comments: