So much for Free Education

I'm not saying anything that no one else knows...but I guess I need to get it off my chest. Does it bother anyone else how much we pay for our 'free' schools? And where low income starts?

Back when we were a very young family and had 7 children under the age of 10, we didn't have to pay any school fees and they qualified for free lunches. (boy was that nice!) Now that we only have four left in school, although we still have two older ones living at home, one of which is basically doing NOTHING, we barely qualify for reduced lunch, and they have fees out the wazoo.

And, if you don't pay the fees, it affects their grades and graduation. There are the standard fees, and then there are class fees ontop of that! One of my sons is taking engineering and has a $10 fee that was giving him an F until he paid it. What is with that? I realize that if we were to send our kids to a private school it would be much more costly, but we pay out of our taxes, and we still have to pay fees. And yet, if we don't send our kids to school - well, there are many that homeschool and do an excellent job. I wouldn't be one of them...

Anyway, I'm totally frustrated. It seems like we are being fee'd to death. We are barely scraping by with things and they keep taking their little bite. Being in that middle income area is really the pits.

Another thing that surprises me -- I'm not quite sure how I feel about it -- is preschool. I work in the preschool environment (sort of) in the special ed part. My department finds those kids or are referred to kids that have some kind of learning or behavioral dissability. Having a son myself that was in this program, I think it's wonderful and I know it helps them a great deal. But a kid that is normal, what is up with that? I am totally amazed at the amount of women trying to put their kids in preschool and they're only 2 years old! What happened to teaching them at home?

I remember when we took our oldest son to school for kindergarden and they asked if he'd been to preschool (he knew all his ABC's and stuff and this was before it was a common thing). We said no - he watched a lot of sesame street. How many of your kids grew up with sesame street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, you reading to them, coloring with them and teaching them their colors, numbers and alphabet? By the time my youngest was going into kindergarten, they were expecting them to KNOW all of that before they went in! I couldn't believe it. I thought that was where they were supposed to start learning all of it, and reading. My son ended up in the special ed by second grade, but that's a side issue. What amazed me then, and still amazes me now, is the amount of kids that were being taught out of the home.

And many of these families cannot afford the cost! At least there was no way we could have!

Not only the financial or emotional aspect of it, but I think it begins to put too much pressure on the child. By the time they are in junior high, they are being taught stuff that we learned in high school! And by the time they are in high school, they are encouraging them to take college classes and graduate both high school and with an associates degree! What happened to absorbing knowledge and not just memorizing it? How much fun are these kids having during this time of their lives?

What are their expectations when they get out of school? The workers are getting younger and younger in the marketplace with master degrees...those used to be reserved for those in their 40's, and I just met one of the preschool teachers that looks like she's in high school, and just got her masters!

I realize part of my feelings stem from my age and how things are changing. I'm just not sure it's always changing for the good. Yes, I happen to like technology. I realize that our world is getting faster and growing because of the information we are able to teach at a younger age. But, I think other things are getting left behind in the dust.

I didn't mean to get on a soap box with this, so I apologize if I've offended anyone. But these are things that I feel strongly about. I still have kids in school, and I will eventually have grandchildren out there and I'm worried what they will be facing.

Morality and patriotism are not taught in schools, they are taught at home, and that is lessening all the time.

Anyway...those are my thoughts this Wednesday morning, and I've got to get the youngest going. Have a good one!


One of the hardest things about the system teaching harder things in earlier grades, is it makes it harder for me to help with the homework. When my ninth grader struggles with math and I try to help her, only to find it is something I struggled with in grade 11, we are both sunk.

And the fees drive me crazy too. Here in Alberta, the fees are $130 for each of my high school students. Of course other fees show up during the year, but September becomes almost as bad as Christmas by the time we buy school supplies, a few school clothes, and pay the fees.

Good things to think about anyway. How much are we really teaching our children at home?
Shellie said…
Probably more kids are in preschool because it beats daycare in front of a TV. I just read a blog about imaginative play. The post was about an article that was on how the loss of imaginative play, not considered important, and therefore, all but lost to schools and out of school time for many, is so important and helps the development of executive function. (It can only help because I grew up on this kind of play and my executive functioning is still not functioning just right) I have to add not to mention the social skills kids are missing out on. A good program encourages a love of learning and real learning and useful preparation. Not a bunch of busy work. My daughter is in a class this year that combines disciplines and has lots of hands on activities and projects and field trips. It has been the best thing that has ever happened to her , well educationally. EVER. I might add it's almost the first good thing that's happened educationally at school. I'm so thrilled I can't express it.

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