I need a good slap in the face. I mean, some sound advice on homeschooling.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to volunteer in Lucas’  class.  WOW is all I can say.  THE KINDER CLASS HAS 34 KIDS.

I am really not sure how much learning is going on in there and it seems to me like the bright kids are only getting as much as the lowest performing kid in the class.  Don’t get me wrong I understand the need for individualized attention and that is EXACTLY why I am concerned.

I was in charge of what they call “centers”.  Totally foreign to me, but I am sure all of you educators understand.  Well, in my center I had 12 kids at a time for about 20 min, times three (minus 1 or 3).  I was in the Reading and Phonics center, I had exactly 2.5 seconds to instruct the children on what the lesson was then it was me jumping from one kid to the other and back again trying to spread around and cover everyone.  Of course the bright kids suffered the most because they got it.  I spent my time with the ones that didn’t get it because that is where my heart goes and they NEEDED it. The kids that got it started helping out their friends, trying to do their work for them.  When I said that they could only suggest help to their friends and not do their work for them, the smarties left the tables and worked with puzzles on the floor (why aren’t they given more challenging worksheets?)

It was very rushed.  Very chaotic and that was with two parent volunteers!  Most days the teacher has no volunteers and no aid. I asked her how she can possibly instruct, and have them learn with a class size of 32. She said “well we just get into a big group and try to learn”.  After being there for only 3 hours, It’s apparent that the learning she’s talking about is totally impossible. I asked if it was always that rushed and how much one to one learning they got to accomplish on a weekly basis.  The teacher responded to me about how happy she was to have two parent volunteers because she had time to do assessments and catch up with all the individual schooling she had to do.  That is sad and I was extremely disheartened.  Our school is supposed to be the best in our district.

If I could just pull the kids and put them back in Calvary I would, but it’s not really an option right now.  So, am I totally crazy to think I can do a better job if I just home schooled my kids.  SLAP ME  NOW!

For now all I can do is be in his class weekly.  Thank God for my Mom who is coming up on Wednesdays to hang with Ruby.

All of you products of homeschooling or all you homeschooling Mommas, what are your words of wisdom?  I am trying to listen to the quiet whispers of God, but only getting very foggy and static-y messages!

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Jessica B. - December 11, 2010 - 3:45 pm

I feel for you … I feel what I did with Cameron really made the difference for him. He went to a Montessori school his first 4 years, did Kindergarten then repeated Kindergarten in Irvine Public. And at that point, Irvine Public School Foundation made it possible for us to have reduced-class sizes K-3 (only 18 kids). Move to Irvine! Maybe my decision to live in a shoebox and stay here wasn’t so bad. Hang in there…and look into home schooling – you have the smarts and organization skills to pull it off. Now to find your Chicken Posole recipe, my mom is sick and I’m gonna make it for her :)

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