McKinley has had a borderline cold, and I’ve kept him out of school for two days, mostly because the flu is also going around. I’ll be extra careful when it comes to such situations, never mind the fact that he’s racking up his allotment of absences. Now I’m going to start ranting. I just had to go and mention that! But Christ! If he’s five minutes late the school officials count that as one third of a day, and, well, He’s Always Late! I’m not sure exactly where we stand, but the school system says if he misses 26 days he has to repeat Kindergarten. I’m sorry, but can anyone explain to me the logic of having a Kindergartener and a High School Senior having the same attendance policy? I really don’t get it. Of course, I’m subversive and will probably end up homeschooling both my kids in a few years anyway.
Here’s why: McKinley already comes home from school saying, “GOD! I HATE school! It’s so BORING!” I thought he’d love Kindergarten, and I’m sure he does some of the time, but his consistent response when adults ask him how he likes school is, “I hate it.” This is not good.
Generally if McKinley is home and not terribly sick, I’ll keep Renee home, too, so they can keep each other company. So yesterday and today they’ve been hanging out and having a fine time. And something they did really got me thinking, Hard, about homeschooling.
I have the German edition of Rosetta Stone, which is a computer program for learning language. I got it almost a year ago in hopes that I could persuade Alex to go to Germany for a year with an exchange student from there who had become a good friend. She wasn’t up for it, so I shoved it away somewhere, only to find it over the weekend. I stuck it in my computer yesterday morning just to see how they would respond to it. They were AMAZING. I don’t have speakers hooked up to my computer, only headphones, so Renee would wear the headphones and repeat all the little German words the woman would say, with great skill, and then McKinley, who is still learning to read English, would listen to Renee say the words and then click on the appropriate box on the computer. Now, I’m not going to say that they were acing it without a mistake, but Damn, damn, damn, they were getting it, and they did the same thing again today.
So anyway, this little post is about the amazing intelligence of children, my children to be exact, heh, heh, heh. And how I think that–especially here in a rural part of the Southern United States–public schools are (control freaks who say five minutes counts for one third of a day, and) limiting the range of experiences our children can experience and thus limiting the growth of their minds. I mean, Kindergarten classrooms are great, but for thirty hours a week? When you are six? I bet it’s BORING after awhile.