Friday, January 22, 2010

take some initiative!

Last Friday night I took Maggie to ballet class and afterwards went to La Madeline's for "girl's night out." While we were sitting in the studio lobby I got to chatting with a couple of fellow ballet moms. It was a pretty ho-hum discussion until one lady started in about the upcoming cuts in the county's education budget. Apparently her gifted 4th grader has to be bussed 45 minutes and she is already started worrying about what to do when he "runs out of math classes in 10th grade." Come on! I thought this woman was joking, but apparently she is convinced that her kid will have exhausted all of the county's resources in the year 2015. I did mention aloud the possibility of dual enrollment option at community college.

Then the other lady started in about her 2nd child who is in once a week speech therapy and was recently informed that her child doesn't have enough disability to qualify for more services. "She can't talk! I pay taxes, I can't believe they won't do more for her!" I brought up the idea of asking for suggestions of exercises, reading some books to get other ideas, and working with her daughter at home, but this was rebuffed.

Then I shut my mouth, for I understood that complaining about the system while doing nothing to change one's own situation is a form of recreation for these women as well as millions of their ilk. Those of us who homeschool might have complained or been frustrated in the past, but we didn't just gripe. We took some initiative and did something about our children's education. We have researched methods and materials, outlined a scope and sequence, organized our materials and our lives, and actually teach our kids. Having children means having responsibilities: helping them reach their educational goals, feeding them spiritually, taking care of their physical needs, and showing them how much they are loved and valued. If we pawn off all these responsibilities onto some government institution we have no right to complain about how poor a job they are doing. I just hope that sooner rather than later these moms will decide that the public school system is not designed for children who are not perfectly average and break free from just complaining and do something about it.


Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience one night this week. I was invited to a social group of "republican women" and during the get-to-know-you chat it comes up that I homeschool four children and have a baby. Then proceeds the standard comments of "how do you do it? I just couldn't do it, blah, blah- even though I object to all the liberal crap they are teaching in the public school, and we can't afford private school tuition, blah, blah". I just nodded my head, uh huh, I know what you mean!

The simple fact is that people do what they have a priority for.

I hope you are feeling better, and finding a way to get recharged, Katherine. I pray for you and family.

Alicia :)

gfcfmomofmany said...

I think you saw right through it. This type of complaining goes either way. One a person truly desiring to change but unsure how. You can talk to these type of people and encourage at least enrichment of their children's education. Then the more prevalent type. I want to gripe. I want to blame someone other than myself. These are the types that will start to make fun of YOU for your silly homeschooling even though they just wasted an hour on berating the public school system.
I no longer get mad at these parents I feel sympathy. I wish they would stop and look at the education their child is receiving and honestly answer, Is it the best education for your child?

God bless
Heather Laurie