Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Gun and Homeschooling

It has been a long time since I wrote last. Sometimes life is too intense to glibly write about it. When life feels this way, I am hard pressed to think of something "interesting" to write about- all I can do is wrestle with the issues at hand. Some bloggers are able to write a post every day, and I wonder- do they just find something benign to share while hiding their true reality? Or do they just not have thoughts like me? I know that I tend toward melancholy anyway, but I think others must have times that all they can think about is crisis and depression, and sadness. I wonder.

Anyway, I am coming out of the fog and feeling like tackling life again. I think I have shared before how I have struggled with the school situation that my eldest daughter is in. Her teacher is great, and all the people seem well-intentioned and kind. They always sought to address any issues I had, but how can they solve problems like underfunding, overcrowding, poverty, and ignorance in the school? They can't, but I applaud them for trying to make a difference with the children that must be in these situations. We live in a poor rural area, and although these problems plague public schools everywhere, it was very close to home this week.

A boy that rides her bus brought a gun to school. It had an empty clip in it, and no one was hurt, but the thoughts of what might have happened terrified me. School shootings were not something I dealt with when I went to public school, and knowing how easy it is for a student to do this made me remember the risk we were taking to have her in this environment. I heard statistics lately about what kind of children are most likely to become shooters, and it turns out that white boys in the middle class that have absent fathers or bad relationships with their fathers, are the ones. This is not what one would stereotype as a shooter, the kind of people my daughter goes to school with would be that, so it is not that I think she is more like to get shot because we live in a poor, rural environment, but he DID bring a gun to school.

Many people do not have an option about where to send their child to school, or what quality of education they can have, but I do. I know that I can provide an excellent education for our children that far surpasses anything that their schools could offer. We wanted to try public school because it is so much easier- not to mention cheaper! But the reasons for keeping her there pale in comparison to the benefits of schooling her at home. I started to think of a pro-con list, but then I realized how ridiculous this would be. Imagine (cons- drugs, sex, guns, poverty, few resources available to teachers, high child/teacher ratio, bad peer influence, etc... [public school] cons- tired parent, not enough free time for parent, parent must be disciplined, expensive, etc...[homeschool]. Wonder which one is worse?

I can tell by the way this post came out, that anyone that does not know personally how smart, witty, educated, and awesome I am, would doubt that I could teach very well. But I can guarantee that the time and resources that I can devote to her education make up for my shortcomings.

I am excited to have her home and look forward to all that we will learn together. She is so delightful and I am so proud to have her. I know this post was a little off, but I have managed to finally get one done amidst a busy Saturday afternoon full of distractions. Love ya!


Luke W Riddle said...

hey hermana,
a very interesting post. i was shocked to hear about the gun. what kid in primary deams a fire arm necessary? all i can think is it must be a television influence. i remember my research focus while at skool centered around television influences. it scared me that the number of hours a day that constituted an influencing level was the same or less then the national average. now you take absentee parents and the lack of money for a nanny; now the television becomes the sitter/teacher/parent/window to the world. it is a scary, aweful thought. what would orwell think? in college i professed to be a ludite. perhaps a bit of an over reaction, but i think i may rethink and return.
good to hear you are writing and teaching again. i love you.

owlhaven said...

Good for you! we love homeschooling, and really you don't have to be all THAT disciplined!!


bosom buddy said...

This is not so bad my dearest friend. No longer lurking, I noticed you hadn't written in a while, and thought I'd say hello in this round about way. hello.