After my last post, I got lots of people saying "Pull him out now!" While there's a part of my which delights in that idea, a larger part is not ready. Let me explain why.
He hops out of my car every morning ready and eager for school. When he was learning at home, it was always a battle to get him to the table and an even bigger one to keep him there. He's excited about learning again. That's invaluable to me.
His teacher teaches in a manner which is as close to homeschooling in an institutional setting as it is possible to get. His teacher's daughter homeschools and she says she has gotten many ideas from her. Ideas such as planning the entire year around the Magic Tree House books. Not only is this a great idea which I love, but I'm stealing it for my own future third grade lesson plans.
The special ed teacher wants to help him and has a plan. She has compiled a list of things to do and try, if only she had an IEP so that she could. She ran into me in the hall last week and teared up in her frustration of being kept from helping him. She wants to help him and has a clue about how to get there. I have nothing. I can pull him out of school and let him read all day, but he wouldn't learn math. I don't know how to teach it to him and I can't afford the tutors who might be able to do so. Math is non-negotiable. He has to learn it.
It is not the teachers with whom I have an issue. It never has been. It is the traditional educational system which I despise. It is the bureaucracy which keeps children locked into routines which can not help them until the adults in charge get to them. It is the stupidity of a system which won't let teachers even talk to students without the approval of their higher ups even if the children need their help. It is the valuing of rules and the status quo over the individual child. It is making those rules and guidelines more important than my son.
This, together with the negative social aspects, makes me want to keep him home, but home to what? This is the question all home-educators must answer for themselves. Are we keeping them home because it is in their best interest or because we're afraid of the schools? For me and with this child, it would only be out of fear. There is still hope for him within those walls and that is why he is still there.