Our story
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Thread: Our story

  1. #1
    SavannasMom is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Jul 2007
    Canton, Oklahoma

    Default Our story

    My daughter (Savanna, 11) has never had a positive experience in school. When we enrolled her in California's public school system it was one that filled me with dread but she seemed to love it. She wasn't ready for it however which opened her up to the frustration of a teacher who should have retired.

    I believe that a lot of the problems our children face in public schools who are dealing with teachers who got into teaching for the right reasons but through underpay or burn out are bitter and take this out on any child (or all children) who makes things a bit harder on them. Please don't misunderstand me, im sure there are WONDERFUL teachers out there who continued to stay wonderful through the entirety of there career but our experience has been very different.

    I was picking my daughter up from kindergarten and was standing at the fence (it was a closed campus so we couldn't just walk right up) I could see the front of her classroom from where I was standing and happened to be a tiny bit early. All the children came piling out and my daughter was busy with the distractions of everything around her. Which is her way.

    The teacher was busy wrangling other students when I saw her grab my daughter, rip her around and scream in her face. Needless to say I had seen enough and promptly went to the principles office with my complaint. My daughter didn't want to return to her class. With the overcrowding of the school system, there was no room for her to go to another classroom so we made the decision to pull her from kindergarten that year.

    The next year while there was no abuse I could see. I found myself in all sorts of parent teacher conferences telling me my daughter wasn't paying attention. Wasn't working to her full ability. All complaints, never anything positive. I found it hard to believe that my daughter was SO bad. I hadn't noticed these behaviors at home. Needless to say she finally finished kindergarten. 1st grade wasn't any better. She didn't get complaints but I'm convinced her teacher slept through class! We never heard ANYTHING. Nothing positive. Nothing negative. Her teacher was almost 78 and they had no projects, no field trips. Nothing was said.

    By the time we got to the 2nd grade, we had moved to a more prominent part of California. Which you would expect to be better. But it wasn't. The politics of wealth in school were prominent. Then we had to deal with a lot of kids thinking they were better than other kids. Kids whom should have been punished for certain things going unnoticed simply because of the child's parents involvement (or financial involvement) in the school. There were more flyers home from that school for luxury car auctions and such than anything about my daughter education. When a family emergency forced me to pull my daughter from school for 2 weeks for a trip to Texas, I got a letter from the school talking about they thought keeping her back would be a good idea.

    When I finally had the meeting with the principle. The reasons were not academic. Savanna was doing fine academically. They felt she wasn't ready to move on socially. We made the decision at the end of that year to move to Oklahoma to be closer to my family. I ignored their recommendation to keep her back and put her directly into the 3rd grade. Being that we moved into a tiny tiny town where class sizes were about 10 and entire school enrollment was about 200. I felt this would leave time for teachers to take more time in my daughter. At the end of the school year, with about 2 months until summer I got a letter stating they were not going to pass my daughter. When I went in to find out why, they said they had just received my packet from the school in California stating they were intending to hold her back. When questioned about Savannas academic ability they couldn't tell me she was doing badly, only that they didn't feel she was "Socially up to snuff" which were the exact words spoken.

    Apr a month later, my nephew was killed with an accidental gun shot wound to the head while my daughter was at school. He was 4 and she was devastated. Before she could even get home from school, being that we live in a small town the news had already reached her. She was 10. Instead of the truth there were horrible lies told to her by the children. The following months she was numb and couldn't focus. On top of that the town was divided about support or turning there back on my family. My sisters other children were taken by the state and given to us. Savannas friends mothers no longer allowed them to play with savanna. She was alone, and had lost her best friend.

    When the hard grieving was over. When the funeral was over and the police and investigators were gone things seemed to settle down a bit. But not for my daughter. She developed a sort of panic about the way the children and teachers would treat her when she went back to school. I had a meeting with the principle prior to enrolling my daughter in school. When asked how she would protect my daughter from the comments and problems with her cousins death. She said "I think it would be better if you found an alternative method for your daughter'

    We irrevocably decided on home school as there was no other choice. My daughter was excited. She SLAMMED through her courses with no problem. None of the problems teachers had explained to me over the years. We had decided to do home school until we could get to a place where I felt comfortable with putting her back into a private school. This year, her second year at home schooling. Myself and my husband have decided to home school her exclusively. I think its better for my daughters mental health in the long run. Now school isn't scary. It doesn't hold the same issues that it did before with her. Its a part of her day and it doesn't hold any psychological holdups like before.

    This is our story. And were glad we were somewhat forced into this life. Its better for our daughter which is the MOST important thing to both of us.

    Last year we tried Oak Meadow which was confusing and had far to little structure for us. This is a much better foundation for us. We are a technical family, I am an artist / webdesigner / graphic designer. My daughter can draw amazing pictures on the computer and is an artist herself. A computer has been part of her life for almost the entirety of it. I knew as soon as we read a little bit about this that it was the choice for us.

    Hello to you all!


  2. #2
    MamaMary's Avatar
    MamaMary is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Blog Entries

    Default Oh Rebecca...,

    I am so sorry your family had to go through so much and I am just so pained at the loss of your precious nephew

    I pray that this is just the beginning of many wonderful years!

    In HIS Love,
    Mary, Child of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ! Wife to best friend and Mama to her four boys 91, 96, 00, 02, Homeschooling since 1998! Come visit us on our blog! http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/MamaMary/

  3. #3
    Mommydynee is offline Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    coastal, NC


    Hi Rebecca,
    I've been anxious to respond since the day you posted. First, I had to sign up in the forum and for some reason it wouldn't work. Anyway, now it is.

    The beginning of your story sounded so much like ours. Our dd (biologically grand daughter, adopted) is a delightful person and special beyond words. She is not really shy, but is very compliant and just doesn't make problems. However, in the private Christian school she attended from k-3, she was labeled as fidgety and distracted. Her 2nd grade teacher made an effort to assist her in reading which she struggled with, but the school did not support her efforts. Finally, in 3rd grade she was tested and labeled as ADD. She is extremely quick in math and though she is currently at 8th grade, she is capable of upper high school math and algebra. However, she still struggles with reading and spelling.
    At 4th grade, the Christian school teacher was not a good Christian if at all. I accidentally caught her belittling the children in her classroom in a very harsh manner. My dd began exhibiting signs of low self esteem. When we realized the verbal abuse from the teacher was frequently referred to her we pulled her out.

    Having no idea what else to do we enrolled her in public school. My husband and I run a business together and we found a school close to the business. It had a great administrative staff. The prinicple was a Christian as well as most of the teachers. In the beginning we thought this was the answer. She could also get special help for her ADD.

    To make this not so long...we soon learned the school was basically made up of kids that came from much different homes than ours and even in her 4th grade room, there were gangs. She was bulled by the gang of girls...first because she behaved in class (the children were always out of control)...then because she wouldn't do their homework for them. She was locked in bathroom stalls, her glasses taken from her, her lunches stolen as well as most of her school supplies. It turned into being stabbed with pencils, hair pulling, and pushing her down.

    Everyday she was afraid to go to school and I was afraid for her to go. She would not let me go to the administration because she feared this gang would kill her.

    They were finally exposed by another 'bad' kid in the class and actioins were taken against them, but not before I promised her we would never do that again.

    We have now been homeschooling since 5th grade. We did 2 years of a private online school. First year was wonderful; 2nd was a nigthmare. Last year was a hodge podge of several curriculums. Now we're going to try this and supplement with a couple of other programs.

    Since I work full time (actually two jobs) it's not always easy to say the least. But we will stay at it. I have found her to be a very quick and independent learner. I have a teaching background which I guess helps but she really does not require much help, just that I keep her on schedule.

    Your story sounds much sadder but I'm glad you seem to be in happier learning times.

    Learning should be happy and fun.

    I'm new, too, but welcome to T4L!

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