So. I have to vent off to somewhere where no one knows my name because I just have to get these feeling/words out.
Let me start off that I am a part-time 4k teacher (3 mornings a week) at a private school. I love my job. I always wanted to work at this school. I also wanted my children to attend this school because I would literally have panic attacks thinking that I may have to send them to public school. So I got my dream job and could afford to send my kindergartener to this school. Everything was wonderful her kindergarten year went so well and she made a lot of friends and did extremely well academically. I enrolled my 3 yr old in the daycare program one day a week to give my husband a break from two kids at home in the morning to just one (our baby). LOVED the daycare as well.
Fast forward to this new school year. I had so issues with the other 4k teacher at this school (her teaching method with 3.5 and 4 yr olds is not what I feel is developmentally appropriate and her tone of voice with the children is always on the harsh side - she is sarcastic as am I, but one has to watch the type of sarcasm you use with children). My three year old was to be in her class NEXT year. I started having second thoughts to sending her to that teacher since #1 - I know exactly how she teaches and as a educate parent, I am not sure I want to pay $$ for my daughter to be in her class #2 - my daughter tends to be a go-go-go kid, always on the move and hasn't responded well to my 'teacher-directed' approach to helping her learn things at home, so I worried about how she would do sitting for MANY teacher directed lessons in a short 3 hr morning classtime. #3 - my daughter wouldn't be in my classroom where, I am sorry to say, but I think where all 4k kids should be in comparison to the other classroom. So my husband had been talking about not sending our 3 yr old until she was old enough for kindergarten.
My older daughter is now enrolled in the school as a first grader. Over the summer we moved into a new home and it has been an adjustment as we have done renovations and all that stuff. I didn't get to work with her nearly as much as I would have if we wouldn't have moved. I was confident in her going into the first grade because I had asked her teacher toward the end of the school year where she would like her to be in reading and she said as long as she is doing well at her AR in kindergarten and knows her sight words and can sound things out as well as a basic comprehension then she will do just fine. That is where my daughter was and maintained over the summer. This year had been going well, I would sit down for awhile and do her sight words and her reading with her at nights about 3-4 times a week... never got any information that she was behind or anything. Until last Friday when I went to pick her up from school and her teacher (among the children waiting to be picked up along with my other smaller children running around) says to me that I will see a white sheet in her folder about her getting extra help with her reading. I was a little caught of guard, but automatically thought that this meant she was a bit behind and would be getting some help from the aids that we have at the school. To be fair, I probably didn't hear her all the way or correctly, but again, it was after school with children running around! I got home and looked in her folder and saw that it was simply some help for her, but that HER TEACHER HAD ENROLLED MY DAUGHTER IN TITLE 1 WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE. Title 1 for anyone that doesn't know it is a government funded program that gives help to 'disadvantaged' children in both public and private schools. I never received a phone call or an email or a request for a meeting with the teacher about my daughter's reading ability. I never received test scores or information about how much the teacher had worked with her on her reading. I never received paperwork about any request for her to be enrolled in this program. Nothing. Only the paperwork stating she was enrolled and some random generic reason why they thought she needed this. I was pretty much in shock and then I got upset for reasons written above. I work for a school that tests kids, measures their ability in whatever way they do, and refer and give names to the public school system to enroll the children in government programs for disadvantaged kids (even if these kids really aren't that disadvantaged). After talking with my husband I sent and email to her teacher about my issue with me not knowing anything about this until I got this paper and that I am not completely AGAINST my daughter being in the program, but me and her mother and as an educator I would like to be given the chance to work with her on her reading and reach some goals set by her teacher and myself to bring her skill up and maintain it... IF that doesn't work then I would be fine with her being enrolled. I did talk with her teacher at a mutal meeting we had at school and she was somewhat receptive to my email, however she told me when she tested my daughter she scored an 'A' which is kindergarten level and that she would like to see kids "at this point" at more a 'B' or 'C'.... which confuses me. My daughter has been with her for less than a month - shouldn't she still sort of be at a kindergarten level (or did you not let me know you wanted her higher when I asked you at the end of the year?) and also, how much time has she spent with my child in a reading environment to see where she is really at or did she just go right into testing and labeling my child? My husband and I will be having a meeting with her in the near future about this issue.
So it gave me the one last push I needed to homeschool. My amazing neighbor homeschools and her children are so well-rounded and her youngest is close in age with my oldest. There is a good number of homeschooled children in my small community - there are about 100. I know I would have a good support system and social community for myself and my children. My husband is 100% on board and will help teach the kids while I am at work (yes I will continue to teach at least for this year and the next). I think that this last thing with my daughter and her reading and how the school that I thought was something is turning out to be unfortunately, just like any school system. My honest opinion is that they are passing the kids off to someone else instead of taking the time to teach the children like they are supposed to. I am not a fan or referral unless every other option has been exhausted and it is an obvious program that will help the child reach his or her goals.
I am looking into actually pulling my daughter out of school after Christmas break as this will give me time to prepare for her to be homeschooled and allow me the time to figure out how this will all be with me pulling my child from the school in which I teach. Homeschooling has more to do with it than this isolated (but important) event of her reading. We had been thinking about it for sometime and allows us to save the money that went to her tuition, gives us more time together as a family (my husband has a crazy schedule) and keeps my kiddos with me and learning from me as both their mother and a professional educator. I just am unsure how to break the news to the school without it looking negative as I teach there, but am pulling my child in the middle of the year to be homeschooled. I believe in the school, I think it is an amazing place for children to learn, afterall I teach there, but being at home is what is best for my kids.
I would love to read and comments/opinions and would love some sites to look at to help me as a prepare to do this!