Today my blog won’t be about sexuality, relationships or religion. I am now ready to move on and discuss something more important to me- my children. As some of you know, my oldest son Kaleb has experienced many challenges since he’s been attending the city school system. I would love to go into greater detail about the misadventures we’ve endured while dealing with the students, teachers, and administration over the last several years. That entire situation deserves its own blog post… (or series.) Today, I’ll keep it simple.
Currently our misadventures in public schooling have resulted in my firstborn son attending classes at Tuscaloosa City’s STARS program. Most of us know this program as “alternative school.” He was “sentenced” to the alternative school program after a major allegation surfaced about my child. That allegation, along with other reprimands he had received was more than enough to earn him a ticket straight to the educational system’s equivalent to “kiddie jail.”
I know you’re probably thinking: “Wow, her son must be bad as hell!” Allow me to say this, my son is a bright, respectful, and well liked young man (outside of school.) He has been brought up in a multi-generational home and has been showered with love. He attends church every Sunday and can talk to adults on a number of different levels about numerous subjects. As one of his elementary school teachers put it: “He has a beautiful set of experiences that most kids in his peer group know nothing about.” With all that I’ve said, it’s a little hard to believe that he has had any behavioral issues. I promise, the explanation is coming. First, allow me to explain some things I’ve learned along the way.
A child with an extremely large vocabulary must learn quickly to tame his words to avoid others from sensing that he’s constantly being passive-aggressive. A child who scores high in verbal/communication portions of certified I.Q. tests will probably be more apt to understand, and more quickly to respond to feeling as if he is being treated unfairly. A black boy from a (mostly) single-parent home will almost always possess a different set of behavioral traits, and a different attitude than most boys who come from two-parent homes. I can safely say that I firmly believe that little black boys, from single parent families need more nurturance than any other demographic of children. (Though girls (and non-blacks) from single parent homes need a different degree of nurturance, I feel that a woman can teach a girl to be a woman, but a woman can only teach a boy to be a man in the way she feels a man should be. A woman simply can’t model male behavior with the same sincerity and complexity as a man.)
With that being said, my wonderful, talented, child would have benefitted from more attention and nurturance than any of his teachers could have given him. I’m sure it may sound as if I’m making excuses for my child’s behavior, and that could be true. What parent would blame me? He’s my child, and yes I’m a little biased. More realistically though, I know my child’s behavior- his smart aleck comebacks, his curiosity (often perceived as defiance), and his pouty attitude- is a bit much to handle. I also realize that one adult with a classroom full of O.P.P.s (other people’s prodigies) probably doesn’t have the time or interest to pay special attention to one child. Thus, my bright, respectful, and well-liked child tallied up a lot of negative points in the school system.
After this last year of school, which landed me in the principal’s office at least six times this semester, I’ve made a conscious, well thought-out, decision to homeschool my child. I’ve been called bourgeois, dumb, inadequate, and unrealistic when I’ve explained my plans to various people. I have considered both homeschool and private school a lot over the last three to four years. I’ll be honest, I simply cant afford nine thousand dollars a year in tuition, or else, I probably would have tried that first. But after years of taking off work to attend parent-teacher conferences and meetings with school administrators, psychometrists, counselors, psychiatrists, and therapists- I have decided to just get over my own thoughts of inadequacy and fear and do what may be best for my son.
So, after my son is done serving his forty day “sentence” in alternative school, I’m going to withdraw my child from public school and begin the journey of teaching my child the way I want, perhaps, the way it should be. Sure, I’ll no longer have my Monday through Friday time alone, but for me, it was much more of a hassle doing school drop-off and pick-up anyway. There may be a steep learning curve as me and my child learn to adapt to being home and setting goals and a schedule that will work for us (ie Mommy is NOT a morning person.) However, I’m up for the challenge.
I have no idea how this will work, but I’ve learned a lot of things so far along this journey which have led me to my decision. I may fail miserably- but I have faith and I’m willing to try! Overall, If I never have to enter another principal’s office, homeschool will have served us well. Besides, if my child gets out of hand, I feel as if I’m better equipped to deal with his unique moods, and behaviors. Am I a little bit nervous? YES! But if there is any chance that home schooling will make a dramatic difference in my child’s life, I’m crazy enough to try it. Who am I to be so brave? IAmKineski, and this fall I will become a homeschooling mom!