How Much Do You Know About Your Child’s School? by Tina Kaht

November 16, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Education

Prior to home schooling, our kids attended a lovely school, where they were flourishing, and my husband and I were content with what they were learning and their environment. But when we moved to anew citybecause my husband got a better job, we were forewarned by his future employers that the schools might not be what we were used to.

We didn’t find out what they meant until we attended “Open House” at my daughter Kelsey’s new elementary school. She was so excited that we would be coming to her new school! We had helped her prepare at home because we loved her enthusiasm and jumped at any chance to help her succeed at school. In the first few weeks of school, we made decorations for the upcoming “Open House,” and we watched as she diligently worked on an autobiography and a beautiful self portrait.

Finally the big night came! The whole family was dressed up and pumped up for Kelsey’s big night! It may sound silly, but we were really looking forward to sharing this new school experience with our daughter. Dad, Mom, Kelsey, brother, and sister all piled into the car.

Of course, when we first arrived at the elementary school there was a lot of excitement and confusion: frenzied children, confused parents, and surprisingly (to us), not a lot of staff. We finally made it to Kelsey’s classroom. There was her desk, so nicely adorned with her writing and self portrait she had worked so hard on. We ooed and ahed appropriately, and then curiously looked around the rest of her 5th grade classroom.

We soon noticed children roaming around without purpose and an otherwise nearly empty room. Kelsey’s desk seemed to be the only one prepared and decorated. Where were the other parents? Where was her teacher? We searched for her teacher so Kelsey could introduce us. We found her and Kelsey bashfully but proudly introduced us.

Her teacher, aloof and distracted, seemed to barely recognize Kelsey (5 weeks into school), and we were disappointed but already silently finalizing our plans to homeschool without even realizing it. Other things we had heard began to surface in our minds. Overcrowded classrooms, in this instance, meant the kids could not check books out from the school library because it was being used as a makeshift classroom. Parts of the cafeteria and trailers surrounding the school were grossly insufficient to deal with the overflow.

To be fair, we found out later that the teacher had been suffering some health issues and was subsequently replaced, but we had withdrawn Kelsey by then. The dismal classroom, unsupervised children, and indifferent teacher were just the final factors that tipped the scales for us between public school and homeschool.

Looking back, after 11 years home schooling, I can hardly believe it took us so long to make the decision. I had been checking into Kelsey’s new school and found some unsettling information. Not only was her school at the bottom of our state statistically, but it was very nearly at the bottom of the nation.

When I pulled my children out of an overcrowded and under funded school system, I did so without any real idea how to school them. I just knew that I wanted something better for them, and that I wanted to be a bigger part of their education. I was excited, determined, and sorely unprepared.  But with the grace of God and a generous teacher, our first year was better than expected. Now my daughter is a senior in aerospace engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, and my son is a junior in our home school.

Find out more about your child’s school: links to The United States Education Dashboard. links to United States Department of Education- School performance- choice and supplemental services.

Do your middle to high school age kids struggle when writing essays?

 Many children struggle unnecessarily with their writing, and we parents sometimes feel inadequate when helping with and grading their essays. Tina Kaht, an 11-year veteran homeschooling mom, recently published an e-book to help in this vital area. Click here to view an excerpt and Table of Contents from One Stop Shop Essay or to purchase visit



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