The charter school’s application was denied. The steering committee is appealing to the state Board of Education. This is where we stand right now. The school I think would be best for our sons is in limbo. Still.
I know every gifted and twice-exceptional learner is different…ohhhh, do I ever know this!…but does an ideal educational situation for such a child exist? I know every school and teacher is different, but I’m convinced that public schools aren’t the best option for divergent learners, gifted, or 2e kids. My sons attend a “Gifted and Talented Focus School”…public, our neighborhood school…and it is a terrible fit. I see my 3rd grader’s love for learning ebbing dramatically. The ONLY thing he talks about is the 1 hour A WEEK he goes to the GT pullout program. Last week A created a podcast, reading aloud to kids. Next he wants to upload it to iTunes. Everything else is boring, or stupid, or just not talked about. Can’t say I blame him. If I had to learn to skip count to 100 for the third year in a row, I’d be bored to tears too. The school appears to be achievement based for giftedness, not ability based, and that’s just wrong.
Is homeschooling the best option? On the one hand, I’d never have to deal with the unholy homework battles again, or doing the school’s dirty work in forcing him to do more of things that he’s already done a gazillion times before. On the other hand…frankly, for my own sanity, I need them to be someone else’s responsibility for a few hours a day. Tiffani, at Child’s Play, had this to say about 2e kids and learning today:
One thing I know is that if you have a 2e kid–creative, right brained, divergent thinking, gifted with significant learning differences–regardless of where they go to school, you are a homeschooler. You have to take their homework and then reteach it so they understand. You have to work, hard, with them to help it make sense and stay relevant. They may go to school every day, but the real learning probably only starts once they’re one on one with you.
She’s absolutely right, of course. I’m already a homeschooler, I just don’t get to choose the curriculum. Right now I’m making A learn what the school wants him to learn, while the school ignores the things that interest him, such as science. This morning we sat down to watch Bill Nye’s new educational series on algebra. How much do my boys want to learn? They RACED through their morning chores so they could watch a DVD on algebra before school. They loved it. A was excited to learn about exponents, and ratios, and how negative numbers are just numbers on the number line, on the other side of zero. What will he do in math today? Drill and kill on multiplication and division, where he’ll maybe hit 60% accuracy and feel like a failure. Here at home? Watch out, he’ll smoke you in Monopoly, using those very same skills and not know it.
Winter break is going to be a break from the homework battles (and really, is there a better way to kill the love of reading than filling out a reading log?), but an increase in actual learning. Museums and learning games and reading for fun (RULE #1: NO.READING.LOGS.). If you think you’re playing me in Spore on Facebook, um, no, you’re playing an eight year old who hijacks my account every afternoon.
I’m still 100% behind the charter school as it goes through the appeal process, but I’m also actively investigating private schools and homeschooling. If it wasn’t such a raging PITA, I’d consider moving to be closer to a great school.
I’m just sick of sacrificing my sons’ education at the alter of their schooling.