Lately a lot of people seem to be making assumptions about what we will do for #3's schooling next year. The homeschoolers seem to think that this year was a total disaster and those with children in school think we'll be enrolling everyone next year because it has to have been so much easier. They're both wrong.
He'll be home next year because the whole school system just seems wrong to us. We're his parents, but are expected to surrender any control of him and/or his education the moment he sets foot on campus. Let's just start with the fact that we get no say in which campus he attends. (He's special ed due to vision issues, so private school is not an option. They don't have the resources to help him.) There are other schools and other teachers who would have been easier to work with, more eager to help him, but we are required to send him to the school in our neighborhood. He got the teacher to whom he was assigned. We didn't get to interview her, ask for her credentials, assess her abilities in any way. She gets a paycheck from the school district, so we're supposed to just accept that as good enough for us.
It's not. I wouldn't allow the neighbor's son to mow my lawn without asking for references and experience before hiring him, but we're required to hand our son and his education over to someone we know less that the lawn boy.
Maybe this makes us control freaks, maybe it means that we're overbearing or domineering...but I don't think so. I think it means that we are parents, that we love our child, that we know his challenges and want the people who work with him to be people we would hire and for them to realize that we don't want to turn him over to them.
I'll give you an example....the other night, I took him out for pizza and met a man while standing in line who has worked with my son at the school. He seemed like a nice guy, but I had no idea who he was. He introduced himself as the guy who pulls my son out of class when he gets distracted and can't focus on his work. I had no idea this was happening. Let me repeat that....A man I've never met before now gets called in when my son is having a bad day. He removes him from the teachers I know, the place I assume he is. For an undetermined period of time, he calms my child down (I'm not sure what that even means) and then returns him to class...AND NO ONE HAS TO TELL ME ABOUT IT. No phone calls. No notes. Nothing.
He smiled at my incredulity and said, "He just has problems focusing sometimes. I help him fix that."
I gulped, tried to control my wrath toward the school and system that has broken my trust so many times in the past. "Literally," I said, "He has problems with his eyes. Is that what you mean? His vision gets bad and he needs to rest them so you help him find a quiet place to rest his eyes?" I hope, I hope, I hope...
He looked a little lost. "He has eye problems?"
The stranger-to-me has no idea that my son has Convergence Insufficiency. He has no clue about his problems. As I asked questions, I learned that he takes him to his office and asks questions about his family and tries to find out what's bothering him. Heaven forbid he actually know something about him first.
He'll be home next year, because I'm his mom. His dad and I know what is wrong with him. We aren't interested in psychobabble to get to the bottom of things, because we know that he has medical issues that effect his scholastic abilities. We also know that he may need help that's not us. We just want to know who those people are, where they are with our children, what they're talking about while they're there, and what qualifies them to be there. We're bringing him home not because the whole thing has been a complete disaster, but because it could have been and we wouldn't have known anything about it until it was too late to stop it. We're his parents, and until we get to be the people in charge of his education in a school setting....we'll be keeping him at home. I know other people put their children in schools and they are happy with the results...they're a lot braver than I am.