A post from a fellow blogger has had me thinking. I will not be giving a shout out to the blog mainly because I like this person, and the last time a similar thought came up and I linked to the post such the teen drama broke out that I was pushed to resign from a "club". Though to this day I don't believe I did anything wrong, just disagreed and stated my point of view. I told you. . . rambling. . .
So the thought is. . . is it possible to raise well adjusted children in a public school environment?
I don't shelter my boys. I have rules, but they seem lenient when I compared them with other parents around me. But I am also the youngest parent in the arena. There are no kids in the area Medium or Small's age, only a grandkid that comes to visit. And the children that are Large's age, the parents are 15 - 20 years older than me. Yes Husband and I are the youngest couple out here.
Large's hair is blue. This apparently is an issue. Husband was talking with some neighbors about a mile out and they asked what was up with Large's hair. Husband replied, he is getting into character. I have been trying to think why this is such a big deal. He is young, he wants to play, to be expressive, to get stared at. But he isn't a punk (he's anime, ha!). The boy is a math genius like his father.
Maybe it is because I am so much younger that I don't find a problem with this. My hair has been many many colors. So many and so long in fact, that I forgot what my natural color was. But I grew up with this, and my friends were just as odd. But they were on the debate club, honor roll, track and swim teams and 1 was our Valedictorian. We played D&D and Masquerade. We never got into trouble with the law. But we were ridiculed by our peers only because of how we looked. No one looked at our intellectualness and teased us for being geeks, or the fact that I spent an entire year speaking in Elizabethan poetry form (math was an interesting class. I think the teacher had me answer more questions out loud than anyone else just to see if I could keep it up) We were the outcast because of how we looked.
I warned Large about all this when he first suggested blue hair. ( remember we are rambling here, will get back to the question soon) People would no longer see him as the mathematician, but they would only see the blue. He understood but still wanted to proceed. I have no qualms about it. It is better to do it now and get it out of his system before he gets into the work force.
But something happened, society changed on me. I am the bad parent for allowing it. Maybe it didn't change, maybe my role it it all has. Well of course it has, I am the parent now, not the odd child. But my hair is raspberry color, so I shrug it off. I know what I am and so does my Husband and kids. That's what matters.
I digress, I get reports from other parents. My boys are chivarious ( which we do not find to be sexist in any way) polite, and compassionate when needed. Well behaved to the point that it seems to shock parents. However once home they are spawns from Hell.
I try to give my boys a nice well rounded existence, from pop culture to our laid back homesteading ways. They don't seem to be conflicted about this. They know how to use electronics and machinery, as well as hand and from scratch work. Husband was hesitant about the computer in the beginning, but I explained that I don't want my children to be workhorses, that they should be allowed to experience everything they can so that once older they can decide how their lives will be. With Husband's injuries, he understood and allowed it.
Our pop culture exposes the boys to many things, points of views and the such. We talk about things, they ask about things, and we allow them to come to their own opinions about it. The ages make their conclusions different, but they are becoming their own persons.
We teach them how to do many things with only their hands. Teaching them the benefit of hard work. Medium has decided that this is not for him, and will procrastinate on his chores. He gets punished the most, but I chalk that up to being rebellious. The boys find it difficult to rebel from us. This is one way, and I don't like it. But he will out grow it, like we all have. He will get tired of the punishments and conform to what we expect from him. Once out on his own, he can do what he wishes.
I came from a very liberal family. Very few rules. I did pretty much what I wanted when I wanted. Husband however came from a very strict family. I rebelled and freaked out young, while Husband did after he turned 18 and moved out of the house. By the time I was 18, most of it was out of my system. No more drugs, and I was fine with settling down with Husband. Husband, who is 5 years older than me, still was rebelling. He was 25 before he cleaned up his act. And that was only because of Large's birth. Husband and I have decided to attempt to find a happy medium. Which is better, being strict and sheltering, or free and accommodating? We try to find the balance between both worlds. It isn't easy.
Homeschooling isn't for us. I m sorry, but we tried. Our public school system isn't the greatest, however we have had only a few problems, (and Small's situation has been rectified, though I still have issues with the bully policies). My boys interact with a wide variety of individuals. Their friend list seem eclectic to me. Not something that in my schools days would have happened. Jocks to stoners can be found playing D&D at my home. And no, I don't believe that Large is smoking. In fact he has got a couple of kids to stop. He has dreams and aspirations and so far has chosen not to disrupt them.
Some of these kids that come around are punks. Straight out punks. Disrespectful and possibly criminals. Their parents seem oblivious to this fact, and claim that Large is the bad influence. My child doesn't have a juvenile record like yours. But that doesn't mean Large didn't convince them to do something. I am not stupid, my children are capable of anything, and I wouldn't put it past them. I will never deny or lay blame on someone else if they end up doing something bad. However in the instances so far, Large is not the person that is the problem.
So my boys are indeed in the public school system. However I do not leave their education completely up to them.
Will the public school system corrupt my boys? Indoctrinate them into 1 way of thinking? It could if I allowed it. Parents really ought to be more involved. If a parent isn't very interested in their child's life, then the cliques will become that child's family. I know from experience. I was too free. But if a parent is too strict the child will end up rebelling to dangerous levels.
I do think that you can raise a well adjust child with in the public schools system, as long as you keep involved. But I guess only time will tell and prove me right or wrong.
Enjoy the ramble. . .
(this was not in any way an anti homeschooling post)