. . . . . . . .
> > How long have you been home schooling and what are your reasons you decided to do that?
> Hi Jean,
> I homeschooled for nine years until last year when our younger daughter > finished twelfth grade and went to college. Both daughters are doing well in college, academically and socially--so it works!
> As to reasons! How many hours do you have? I can try to break it down into three categories: social, academic, and moral.
> SOCIALLY, the middle school was a cesspool.
My older daughter was getting bullied but the counselor assessed
that the names weren't racial or sexual, so he told me to "raise
my comfort level with this age group." My daughter began to raise
HER comfort level by developing similarly
> unacceptable vocabulary and behavior to fight back. This wasn't acceptable to our family.
> ACADEMICALLY, the sixth grade work was easier than the fifth grade work. Group work was frustrating me and my daughter. Students learned nothing in science. Grammar and spelling errors weren't corrected.
> It was the first year of Whole Reading. I read almost all the books on the required and supplemental book lists. There were a few good books, but many of them had dubious themes. Three examples: the president setting up a program to train orphans with food rations, like rats, to become unquestioning amoral agents; the world blowing up due to the incompetence of the US military and the last remaining man attempting to rape the last remaining teenage girl; "evil" developers disrupting the lives of innocent forest animals; etc. ---no books like Tom Sawyer, Little Women, David Copperfield, etc.
> The book that angered me the most was one containing a very explicit sexual scene ("....his hands are warm on my flesh, moving under my blouse, over my breasts, then rolling down my panties......" ), another scene of a guard fondling himself, a scene of the mother running around the house wearing almost nothing, etc. This is for 6th graders. There were other similar books in the other grades; I won't get into them, but you parents of public school students should read what your children are reading. The Bainbridge school district is not the only district like this.
> The MORAL aspect: I protested the use of that book as REQUIRED reading, and unwittingly threw the whole district into a frenzy. They accused me of being a book-banner, and voted unanimously to keep the book, especially because it was written by a minority woman! (Hey, I"M a minority woman, and that's really a lame reason.)
> When the curriculum committee and superintendent wrote up the final report about me, they lied about what happened. I asked them to fix the "error" and they refused, saying, "That's our truth and you have your truth. Who's to say who's truth is truer?"
> Ask yourself, if your school staff and administration don't know the difference between truth and lies, right or wrong, why should they have control over your children 6 hours a day, 9 months a year, for 12-13 years?
> Sorry for being long-winded. This is actually a shortened account. I didn't even mention our younger daughter's experiences. In retrospect, it all worked out well. My husband and I feel we are much closer to our children than if they had stayed in government schools. I hope you enjoy
> homeschooling as much as we did.
> formerly in the Bainbridge School District, now in Poulsbo.
9/21/01 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: [wa-ed-deform] Re: Reasons for homeschooling
WOW! What a story Joyce ... and I BELIEVE everything you say happened, and that's the scary part; that it happens!
The books your then 6th grader was "required" to read are abhorrent
and I commend your bravery and diligence in your pursuit with administration.
We have found, like you, that whenever parents
disagree, the face of administration changes into a defensive one (and even worse) and we were blackballed as a result or they just REFUSE to deal with you (as happened with us). Let me assure you, we never rose our voices and were respectful.
Here's a little story that happened at the end of last year that I find so interesting. Let me set the stage:
My eyes were opened last October when I started researching the new "fuzzy" math curriculum (Mathland by Creative Publications out of California) being used (K - 6) at the Sumner School District for the first time.
Mathland led to the WASL. The WASL led to the introduction of authors like:
*Bev Eakman (The Cloning of the American Mind): http://www.beverlye.com/
*John Taylor Gatto (The Underground History of American Education) http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/
*Charlotte Iserbyt (The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America)
*Robert Holland: http://www2.southwind.net/~educate/bob.html
and others .....
Then came more research regarding the School-To-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (STW) and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
During my research, I was "all the while" trying to reach other parents
as **I** had been reached last Oct. In doing so with STW, Cynthia
Wxxxx and I asked Jim Keefe, a North Bend dad (who spent 3 or 4 (or was
it 5?) years researching STW and the bigger picture & continues to
do so) to
come to the Sumner/Bonney Lake area to speak to others about School-To-Work and the bigger picture at a public meeting at the Sumner Library.
He was FANTASTIC. I learned ALOT! He let the documents speak for themselves basically.
Anyway, before the public meeting came, I had spoken briefly to the
jr. high person in charge of careers when I had been up to meet with the
Vice Principal. She was bubbly and very accommodating, showing me
her 9th grade daughter's "portfolio", etc. Of course, she thought
just a parent wanting to know more about my stepson's subjects. I wanted Bob to hear what she said too so we set up a formal appt. with her.
Then, we set up one with the bigwig, Ron Munkres, at the Sumner District in charge of the VO Tech, Educational Partnerships area to find out how Sumner HS was implementing STW since they are one of 5 STW Pilot high schools in WA State.
When Bob and I met with the jr. high again, the mood was a 180 degree change. We were met with defensiveness and she weren't as forthcoming as I had experienced previously. I felt they now considered us "the enemy" when all we were attempting to do was find out public information as to how STW was affecting OUR child/stepchild at the jr. high!!!!!
But, little did we know, the big explosion was still in store for us !!!
Cynthia had been dutifully handing out flyers at her son's baseball field about the public meeting on STW when she sensed something at one of the games. She had gotten an odd feeling from one of the parents in the group and had mentioned it to me.
Lo and behold, the day before our STW meeting, I get a call at home
from Ron Munkres, District Vo Tech Manager. I answer hello.
In a controlled rage, he asked me if I was Jean Ward. I answer yes.
He asked me if I was having a meeting at the library about STW. I
said yes and started
to expound but he continued and said that the flyer we were distributing contained falsehoods (the baseball mom Cynthia had run into at the field worked in Ron's office) and he cancelled our meeting with him telling us that we already had our minds made up. He continued, not making any sense, in a rage, about feeling like Jesus who was being led to the slaughter and made references to King Herod, etc. etc. I told him I wasn't religious and he said "That's too bad" but continued on spouting
religious analogies and again reiterating he wouldn't meet with us. I told him that we had a right to find out the information and he said "Take it up with the School Board" and hung up on me.
Of course, I wasn't going to stand for being treated like that. To make a long story short, the Sumner District Superintendent, Donald Eismann, called me profusely apologizing saying he wasn't at a loss for words very often but he was now about Ron's behavior.
We did get "some" info. from another District employee and the planning principal (prior Sumner High principal) of the new high school coming to Bonney Lake in 2005 but we were met with the typical ed reform rhetoric and superficial answers.
That was just ONE of the many experiences we had with ps administration last year, our first where we had anything to do with the district.
That's how CONCERNED PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS are treated by administration ... just as you had been treated Joyce. They love parents when they are submissive and unquestioning but once you cross the line, they consider you the enemy and one to be "handled" and "schmoozed" by their Community Relations Specialist.
WHEW ... a long winded venting ... I feel MUCH better ... :-)
Taking the girls to the Puyallup Fair today ... help us wish away the