Please Help, Trying to Figure Out if Homeschool is Right for Us.
First, we live in Nebraska, and I can't make heads or tails out of how to start the process.
But my son is in Kindergarten. Prior to this, he went to two years of preschool and loved every minute. He was super excited to start Kindergarten.
His teacher, however, is a nightmare. She is VERY strict on the little boys in his class. They use a color chart system for discipline, but she is very lazy about doing it correctly. She'll have boys (specifically, I've heard this from several students in his class) clip down to yellow or red, and then there is NO standard for clipping back up to the "good" colors. It's just whenever she's decided they've behaved well enough for long enough.
And as you can probably guess, in a class of 30 that means she sometimes forgets! My son has clipped down in the morning, been an angel the rest of the day by her own admission, but I look and he's still on red. My son has told me she forgets to let them clip up. That they can't apologize and make things right.
My 5 year old has said this exact phrase: Once you clip down, that's it. You're done for the day. She's mean to you the rest of the day and you get no warnings, just trouble.
He's also said:
You know it's not possible for me to be a good boy. You know I'll get clipped down no matter how hard I try. (In response to me telling him "I love you, have a good day!")
Mom, could I just go to school at home? I don't understand why I'm good there and bad at school.
My 5 year old is DEPRESSED!
I've talked to his teacher numerous times. The day after I talk to her, my son goes up to Blue, which is really good but not the top. Then right back to nothing but bad colors.
We're talking to the principal tomorrow, but I don't have high hopes for this right now. The whole school uses the color charts. My son is defeated and upset and he no longer embraces life like he once did. He firmly believes he is "bad" and that he shouldn't enjoy things because he'll be punished no matter what.
I'm going to ask to try a different teacher, but my sister homeschools in Montana and I'm thinking I'd like to be prepared to go that route, at least for his early years, so he doesn't get so defeated by the system. If the new teacher uses the same system and guidelines, it's likely things won't work out there. of course, she might not be as strict and allow children to be children, but it's killing me to see my son this way.
Update Nov 7:
DH is not on board with homsechooling yet. Per my state laws, I would have to get his signature as well on the forms. I'm not sure what his hangups are and I'm still talking to him.
So far, DH has said he really wants to try another teacher. I am compromising by telling DH I'll give it another Quarter, tops. If something goes drastically wrong, of course, I'm not waiting. DH has agreed to those terms.
I've let my son know I have his back. I've told him he has to respect his teacher, be polite, and do his best. But I've told him also I'm not even going to look at his charts for a while. The pressure from DH and I is off. I cannot see how 99% of the people who interact with my son praise his good behavior, but his school sees him as a "troubled problem child" in the classroom. There is too large a gap between his behavior outside of school and what they claim is happening in school.
Another major problem I've had is that I spoke with this teacher earlier in the year about this problem. She said she had a more personal chart broken up into time blocks the kids could use. I thought this might work better, since my son does respond better to more immediate consequences and rewards. But last night, my son informed me she fills out all the charts at the end of the day! How is that helping kids? What if she forgot something or mixed up what kid did what?!
I'm allowing that my son might not be accurate in all his assessments of the situation. However, his situational awareness, logic, and his ability to understand consequences are all exceptional. Even his school noticed this in his report cards. He also has a large vocabulary and by the school's own admission, he's Above Average in his ability to explain a situation properly and in proper sequence. His own smarts is proving to be the teacher's undoing.