We have “threatened” our daughter that if she didn’t behave herself we would pull her out and homeschool her. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so flippant.
My daughter has always attended public school, and we have been fortunate to be in a good school district with some of the top elementary schools in the state. She has always been an A’s and B’s student and has been on the honor roll for her entire middle school career (I didn’t know this until recently because she never brought home the certificate!). I have never had any issues with her school, so I have never had any reason to look at alternatives. Then 7th grade hit.
So far my daughter’s grades have stayed good in 7th grade, but her behavior has not. She is a good kid, but we have had issues with respect and truthfulness. And we have had some serious concern with her choice in friends. We gave her a deadline of the end of the school year to shape things up or we would be looking at other schools.
There was an incident at her school this week that not only sped up making a decision on her education, but basically made the decision for us. One day after track practice my daughter came to me, and she was fairly upset. A friend had confided in her that two boys had been making crude, sexual comments to her, smacking her on the backside, and unhooking her bra. The friend was upset, which made my daughter upset. I was livid when I heard this story.
I immediately emailed the principal and assistant principal. I heard back from the assistant principal the next morning and he assured me he would be investigating the situation as soon as he got into the office. When I didn’t hear anything further I emailed him and asked for an update. He responded with a phone call informing me that he had called all of the kids involved into the office, and the friend denied that it had happened. He informed me that my daughter had embellished the truth, and completely brushed the situation off.
A few days later the school principal called me. He talked to the kids himself and one of the boys admitted that he had indeed done everything he was accused of. My daughter’s friend came clean as well, saying she had lied because she was scared. The principal wanted me to encourage my daughter to come forward again if she knew of any other incidents. I asked him how calling my daughter a liar, even though she was the only child in the situation telling the truth, was supposed to encourage her to come forward. He had no answer. He also informed me that the boy had been “punished” by making him call the mother of the friend and apologizing.
I talked it over with my husband and we decided that this was the final straw. We had been doing some research on our options, which were basically homeschooling and Christian school. The Christian school would be badly within our budget and not give us a lot of financial margin. We decided that we will try homeshchooling.
Ironically my husband and I were both homeschooled, but never had any desire to homeschool our kids. We have both seen too many homeschool horror stories, and we live in a small city with a great school district. It wasn’t until middle school that we really started to see the stark difference between our values and those of the other kids and the administration.
We are committing to trying homeschooling. Maybe we will decide to go with the Christian school next year. Or maybe eventually we will feel like our daughter is mature enough to return to public school. We plan to dual-enroll so she can still participate in orchestra, choir, and track. We will be using curriculum from the school because a) I didn’t have an issue with the curriculum, it was the other students and administration and b) its free.
We are hoping to have her finish out the school year and then start in the fall. I’m sure it will be a huge learning process for all of us, but I am looking forward to having a little more control over the influences in my daughter’s life.
Do you have any thoughts on homeschooling? Leave them in the comments!