Public School Disappointments

I recently reviewed the ‘score card’ for my daughters elementary school. Surprisingly enough it was not given to me, I had to find a copy from the school. I later realized why they didn’t broadcast their scores to all parents – the scores were a massive disappointment.

My daughter attends a public elementary school in Texas, and unfortunately Texas is not known for having a good public school system. In fact, the state is one of the lowest in the country for education. Knowing that my daughter is already at a disadvantage due to that, I certainly am less than thrilled to see her particular school scoring lower than the district average in every single subject. (Note: District only refers to a certain portion of the city) The most horrifying was seeing her school score 20% lower than the district average in science. I’m very bothered by all of this.

My first instinct was to call up the principal and ask what is being done to improve scores in science. Shortly after I asked myself… why should I make my daughter remain in a school while they ‘fix’ their scores and meanwhile have a substandard education. Perhaps choosing a different school would be better. Education is one of the most important things to me, and I will not compromise on the education my children get. So, since the laws here require her to go to a certain school based on residence (if she goes to public school) I started looking around at private schools.

Some of them have curriculums that are much more like what I want for her. Required languages starting in the early years, learning musical instruments early on (in public school she wouldn’t be able to do that until middle school, around the 6th grade), science courses and experiments, history lessons, etc.. At this point, most of what she knows of science and history have come from what I’ve taught her, not from the school. Similarly with mathematics, of which they don’t seem to teach hardly anything of.

I’m very likely going to place her in a private school next year (I don’t want to make her move schools in the middle of a year), and if that does not accomplish what I’m after, I may simply homeschool her and provide the education I expected. Starting in the coming weeks, I’ve decided to supplement her studies from school at home more. A different subject each day.

The problem is that she will be -very- bored at school this year because she went to kindergarten last year, and this year in 1st grade is nearly a complete repeat of last year. She’s also -extremely- smart and aced through everything she needed to learn last year, and is bored to death with her studies so far this year. So, if I don’t want her to have completely wasted a year with remaining in this pitiful excuse for a school, I have to teach her myself more. I plan to begin tutoring her in Latin, mathematics, science, and history on a regular scheduled basis, not just periodically. I intend to start her in music lessons and have her choose which instrument she’d like to learn, and I’ve asked my mother (quite the artsy woman) to give her actual lessons in real art and crafts.

Yet, while I’m planning all of this, it comes across to me exactly how much I’ll be doing in comparison to what the school provides, and is beginning to feel like I’m preparing to homeschool her and just letting her attend school for the socialization training. I’m not entirely sure what to do, whether to homeschool her or place her in private school. I suppose I’ll see what happens, but this whole matter has me quite distressed over the state of our education here. The school she attends now used to be a National Blue Ribbon school (meaning it was one of the highest scoring) and now… well, apparently times have changed.

~Nicole

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