Saturday, October 12, 2013

Parental failing

I have spoken about my youngest daughter's unfortunate desire to attend the government school across the street.  Well, those chickens are coming home to roost.

I fought, was outnumbered, and defeated.

She went to kindergarten last year, even though she was technically too young to start.  Her mom (and all my relatives) encouraged her to go, and her mom actually sort of pushed her into going last year.  "Here, take my child!"  She loved kindergarten, so she expected our daughter to have the exact same experience.

She did well, but because of her age, and the fact that the teacher said she thought my daughter would benefit emotionally and socially from repeating kindergarten (and because her mom thought it sounded like a wonderful idea), she is back in kindergarten again this year.

My daughter liked her teacher enough that she wanted to be in her class again this year.  I don't have anything in particular against her teacher, although it does bother me that in this government school it is official policy to show the kids religious programming and have them pray for absent classmates.  Yes, that bothers me.

But this isn't about that.

Before my daughter started kindergarten she was rapidly learning to read and write.  She would try to write words and ask me how to spell things all the time.  She liked to try to read and would participate in bedtime story reading with me.  She was to the point where she could actually read (nearly) entire kids' books to me.

But, no more.

Since she started school, her desire to learn has taken a nose-dive.

Now she never tries to write anything.  She never reads except by accident.

And yet, her mom and my government school-worshiping family members don't notice this change- probably because I am the one around her the most.  And it bothers me.  I feel like I am failing her- but I know this is a fight I will not win.  Because, even though my daughter often says she'd rather not go to school anymore (admittedly, mostly when it's time to go to bed or wake up), the resolve of the other "people of influence" is only stronger.

I see school doing the same damage to her that I see in so many others, and that I don't even know how I avoided.  School was a living nightmare for me, and I still hate it with a red-hot passion- I wish I had never been forced to attend, since I learned nothing positive from "class" after I learned to read, but only by skipping class and reading in the library.



  1. School was a nightmare for me too. I so agree. Once a kid learns to read, the world is theirs. I am watching my eight year old grandson just blossom into this incredibly curious and confident human. He has been taught to question everything and given the tools to find his own answers. It just doesn't get any better than that in my opinion. Fortunately, he has two very involved and dedicated parents. He's learning to play the guitar in "school" and is very, very good. Anyway. Sorry about your government loving family. I have one too. That is why I moved 500 miles away. The best thing I ever did for me and my kids. Can I hear a "baaaa" for the black sheep?

  2. Silly rabbit, public schools are not for learning or education. They are for programming, controlling and developing obedient servants of the state. And they eventually learn enough of the three "Rs" to function, not excel in the statist beehive. Critical thinking, true study of actual history and common sense are long buried concepts.

    Public indoctrination systems have replaced antiquated 'educational schools.' Why do you think the elites send their own kids to actual schools?

  3. I am utterly convinced that the sole purpose of so-called public schools is to crush the desire to learn and replace it with the desire to "get by". I agree that once a child learns to read she is unstoppable -- which is why the state wants to get to her first. Children are machines built to learn. Expose your child to people you respect at every opportunity. She needs to be around people of all ages, not people her own age. The holy educational principle of "socialization" serves to reinforce the behavior of children over the behavior of humans. Do you suppose, perhaps, that the economic "necessities" that cause most families to have two working parents, and no one at home to raise the kids, are part of that plan?

    As to the idea of elites valuing education, I don't think they do. I think they value the appearance (and the "awesome networking advantages") that come from a high-priced extended stay at an ivy league institution. Just look at what a so-called Constitutional scholar, who seems to have no comprehension of that document at all, can become with the right contacts.

  4. Have you read the writings of John Taylor Gatto? He exposes the sinister history and true purpose of public education. It's not what people think it is.

    By the way, I also hated school.

  5. I hated school with a passion because I saw no purpose to 80% of it...I spent many hrs in the library also...The only classes I enjoyed were the ones that actually taught me something of value...The problem with kids these days is there is no motivation to learn these days because of a lack of reading and having all things spoon fed to them thru tv, internet, and iphones...They have no imagination and no dreams so they just grow up apathetic and don't really care about anything that's not spoon fed to them....

  6. "Kids these days"... That made me smile.

    Anyway, yeah, I had a couple of classes where I actually learned- due to excellent teachers. Both of whom were usually in trouble with the administration for one thing or another, and one that I know of quit soon after my younger sister was in one of his classes. I know he didn't buy into a lot of the statism inherent in "The System", because he is the biggest reason I thought critically about what I was told, and ended up an anarchist.

  7. one thing i noticed, being a recent graduate from public high school, is a forced equality. i'm not able to finish my work faster than others. it gets slightly better in college, but the states tools live there as well. story time: in my political science joke class, the self proclaimed raving liberal teacher, has to ensure no one is better. we had an exam, the guy says it'll take about an hour and a half. being the broke prick i am, i neither read the book the exam was based on, nor did i buy it. anyways i finished in 8 minutes, and the guy acted like i probably left the whole thing blank, and informed me that if i get below an 80 i can retake it, at home mind you, and get an 80. he then expected me to sit there and stare at the wall until everyone finished. that obviously didn't happen, so i told him to have a nice day and went about my business. the next class it turns out, half of the class (which eat up the teachers statist nonsense like it was sustenance) failed. but that's o.k. they got to bring their stuff home, use google, and make sure we're all equal. i got an 88, so i couldn't improve. so everyone gets 80's. now not to be a braggart, but i know i'm the most intelligent person in that class, i got the highest grade, and it irks me that the rabble gets elevated for nothing. what's my motivation to learn, if everyone wins? that is the problem, and why your daughters willingness to learn is faltering. the best you can do is offer a reward for learning, maybe play up a book as incredibly awesome so she'll want to read. i learned to read and use a dictionary because of how my father hyped up the hobbit. i think it's a proven method, to garner learning, through their own thirsts rather than forcing them to get by, as it's said.

  8. I don't know your situation but my wife also wanted to send my son to school. I laid down the law and said if she wanted that it would have to be a private school, no way in Hell was my son going to a government school. And it would be her responsibility. I also told her she needed to do some reading about "education"; she doesn't get to participate in the decision until she could make an informed one. Don't remember the details any more as it was a while back.

    Anyway she actually did the legwork to get him into St. Mary's, the same school she went to. By the time the day rolled around she said she preferred to have him at home! I had quit working so I homeschooled him (actually he did almost all the work himself, I just got out of the way).

  9. My situation is particularly difficult (from my perspective, anyway).

    Her mom is pretty much functionally illiterate, so there will be no reading of anything on her part, and there would be no comprehension even if she did read it. However, I have already told her that I refuse to lift a finger (beyond walking our daughter there and picking her up) to keep her in school- any "homework", smoothing over administrative difficulties, or whatever, I won't do. And, I'm sure I am being a pain about some ridiculousness already.

    Fortunately, her teacher is as critical of school as I am. Go figure.