- Education and Science
10 Reasons Why Your Child Should Not Go To School
Do you have an angry child or a child who doesn't fit in? Or maybe you just have a 'normal' child. Here are ten reasons why most kids don't like school and ten items that most adults ignore. Adults are more apt to say, "I went to school and I turned out just fine." You might be just fine, but is your student? Hopefully, your child doesn't want to beat you with a stick in the near future (something they will probably learn at school). My not so fine list follows.
I have another lens that deals with why your child should be at school. Check it out if you're so inclined.
Example 1. Teacher: "Susan will you read page 138?" Susan: The...con..cons...const...construction..of..the..". Teacher: "Constitution". Peer, speaking softly: "You're stupid"
Example 2. "That shirt is hideous, you should be ashamed to go outside in that."
These are fairly mild and I don't need to go on, although the list of insults, bullying, and trampling of self-esteem goes on ad infinitum. You get the point.
Obesity - studies have shown that if your closest friends are overweight, you are overweight. Pack the students all together, feed them all the same highly processed food for breakfast and lunch, and watch them grow. One in three children are tipping the scales in a manner that will affect their entire lives and no one at school is teaching them any differently. If your child is lucky, they might get 20 minutes of recess a day (if they are doubly lucky it might be outside recess) and P.E. once a week.
Drugs - as much as we might want to say, "That doesn't happen at my kid's school!" - it does. Right now your child knows that if they wanted to find an illegal drug, they just have to talk to Bobbie or Susan or Dante. Your best students understand, your worst students understand, your teachers understand. It's there and it isn't going away. Simple supply/demand. Just look at how well our national 'War on Drugs' is working.
Ready to pull your kids out of school? - There is help and there are options.
Drugs - schools certainly don't want their students to use drugs. Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, oxycontin, K2, and the list goes on, are all available. We celebrate 'Drug Free' week at school. We talk about the evils of drugs and what they do to your brain and body and how terrible they are for every part of your life. So why is it that any young kid who doesn't fit the mold (sit down, be quiet, do what you are told) is referred to the counselor for testing, who then refers the student to a doctor, who then prescribes some pretty heavy duty mind altering drugs to make the student sit in their chair nicely? You would be surprised how many students are on some form of behavior modification medication. Labels get slapped on any kid who doesn't conform and (for their own convenience) the teacher will want the student on medication in order to keep the kid subdued.
Socialization - the first question from everyone's lips when a parent says, "My kids are homeschooled." is, "How are they socialized?" In their minds, the people who ask this question are thinking, 'Poor kids, they'll never be normal, they will be socially awkward and unable to work with anyone.' In truth, have you ever thought about the type of socialization that schools provide? Schools provide the type of socialization that prisons provide. We teach how to walk hallways in a single file line with no talking. We teach how to sit quietly for long periods of time. We teach exactly how to fit into a mold, listen to an authority figure without question, and be like everyone else. To be fair, there is socialization at school. But do you really want that eight-year old who knows lots of great explicatives socializing your eight-year old? Guess what, that kid is the one who is taking care of your child's socialization needs. The kicker, ask yourself how many of our nations inmates were socialized in our schools?
Frank McCourt wrote Angela's Ashes, Oprah loved it, and he became quite famous. - Did you know he was a teacher before he was an author?
State and federal mandated objectives. There are not enough hours and days to incorporate all of the topics set forth by the various governmental agencies. The subject matter is shoved at the students day after day in endless monotony. Worse, how relevant are the subjects? Does a fifth grader really need to know what a dangling participle is? Does anyone outside of a college course for English majors need to know that? I'll answer my own question. NO!
Here's another fantastic example: third graders must have an understanding of Roman numerals. We test them on this skill set. I'm guessing this is because we are all going to revert back to using the Roman counting system sometime in the near future?
Elementary students are responsible for: Math, Reading, Science, Writing, Grammar, Social Studies, Art, Penmanship, Music, P.E., and Computers. That's 11 and I probably left out a couple. These are just the main subjects; think about the subtopics within each category. Is there anyone in your personal life who is good at everything? Probably not. We are all good at certain specific activities, yet we require school children to be good in all subjects all the time. This is completely out of whack with our normal existences. Furthermore, how much time do you think the teachers spend preparing for each subject during their 'plan' period?
Artificial environment - where else are human beings grouped together in such a manner that their entire day is absolutely controlled by an authority figure who dictates what they do all day long (hopefully it isn't like that at your place of employment). Answer - our prison system comes to mind.
Testing - students are no longer learning subject matter; they are learning how to eliminate choice b and d. That way they have a fifty/fifty shot at guessing correctly on the state and federally mandated tests. We call it 'good test taking skills', who cares if they know the actual subject matter.
Learning - I shouldn't make this a blanket statement, but I will anyway. True learning has gone by the wayside. The typical cycle is cram, regurgitate, and forget. The students have material splattered at them at an incredible pace in order to meet all the aforementioned objectives. They are required to have memorized test-taking skills and keep enough basic knowledge to perform at a proficient level on the tests. After that, they are free to forget everything. They've been conditioned to perform when needed; not learn for a true understanding or enjoyment.
The textbooks supply just enough information to summarize a topic. How can you possibly hope to grasp a novel like Where the Red Fern Grows in an eight page summarized version? The abridgements are just as good as the real thing, right? We are shortchanging the students on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis. Is it any wonder that our students are so unprepared when they 'graduate'?
Issues are not limited to the students.
And the number one reason you shouldn't send your kid to school...
This list doesn't even come close to accounting for all of the maladies that go on inside the public shrine that we call school. I just picked a few that were rolling around in my head. Most of all, it is just sad and depressing to watch what goes on inside our sacred halls. We are mentally and physically beating our kids up with nothing to show for it. There has to be a better way.
Epilogue - Bonus Question:
Show up, demand better, help out at school, take your kid(s) out of school. Most (but not all) teachers work very hard, but one drawback is that many have never been out of the school system. They started at age 5 in elementary, went to junior high, high school, college, then at age 22 stepped right back into the school as a teacher. It is all they know.
They are put into a system that has failure built in. The world around us has moved on, but the school systems operate in the same manner as they did in 1952. How many companies operate on the same platform as they did half a century ago and are still around? I've answered enough questions; you can take the last one, and if you've read this far...Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to express my frustration and voice my thoughts.