Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The letter I'd write if I hadn't grown tact

Dear Principal,
This letter is to inform you that our daughter Madeleine will not be attending your school either in the recommended two-year Young Fives program or regular kindergarten. The reasons are as follows, in no particular order:

1. Madeleine's father and I disagree with your district's practice of using an outdated and subjective "assessment" to place a child for the duration of her academic career. If there was the potential to reassess in later grades and place her with her chronological peers, we might be more willing to consider this option.
2. We disagree with a "solution" that has questionable and possibly negative consequences. Research has not borne out that two-year kindergarten programs result in greater success for those students, even in the early elementary grades, and may result in higher dropout rates when students reach high school.
3. We question the recommendation that a child turning five in September and assessed at four and three quarters in early May be too young for kindergarten. Exactly how old does a child need to assess?
4. The consistent misspelling of her name on all paperwork indicates an indifference to the individual child at best or gross incompetence on the part of your staff at worst. Even after I mentioned it at the parents' orientation on Tuesday, April 25 it remained incorrect. That is inexcusable, in my opinion.
5. Any school that continues to photocopy and use a form that goes home to parents with a misspelling on it deserves to have its merits questioned. The Gesell evaluation form has two spellings of "spatial"--one of them correct.

We recognize school resources are limited and we did not begin this process to waste time or effort, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience to you. Please dispose of all applicable paperwork appropriately; to reiterate, Madeleine will not be attending your school in the fall of 2006.


Yeah. That's what I'd say. So now what do we do?


At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Maria said...

Heather, email me about this and I can offer my two cents worth having had two in Kindi. and teaching young fives for twelve years. Are you going to be at the cottage during Memorial Day? Oh, and happy mothers day!!

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Heather said...

You were one I wanted to ask about this whole process, Mer. And I only posted it this evening!

Yes, the plan is to be up at the cottage for Memorial Day.

And a happy Mother's Day to you, too!

At 10:52 AM, Blogger The Mom said...

Brian and I sent our children to public school and private school. It seemed the "normal" thing to do. We then watched the nation's schools as the "normal" thing became higher drop out rates, American schools falling behind nearly all advanced nations; causing our children to fall behind in relation to the world.

I saw children fighting in the halls, using weapons such as knives and pencils for bullying and protection. I saw shootings across the nation and metal detectors rising in my sons' school district. I saw parents crying with their children over homework. I became one of those parents.

I pushed the boys to get it done even as I was exhausted from a hard day at work and they were exhausted from a hard day at school. Our lives became about the school schedule. We barely saw our boys but for a few hours after school before they went to bed. By the time homework was finished (Our arguements were finished..) it was time for dinner and bed!

My husband and I attended EVERY parent meeting hoping that if we became involved that we would be able to help our children. Some meetings were to discuss the horrid financial issues in our schools in efforts to find a solution. We became sad and worried about our children’s' future. We felt a great burden to find a safe, comfortable learning environment for our children.

We prayed.

We then realized that God had provided the space for our children to learn, grow and thrive from the very beginning but we had been too blinded by what was "normal" to see what was right for our family. We began using the space God had provided to us. Our home was the answer.

Our children LIKE to learn now. They excel in sports and have found many close friends in our church, homeschooling community and neighborhood. Our home is the place where the neighborhood kids come to play after school. My husband and I no longer play the tug of war with school officials who try to push their opinions and/or agenda at our children and thus our family. Our 14-year-old son will begin entry-level math and computer classes at the local college this January. We so enjoy watching our children thrive without stress.

We took our direction from a higher power...and THAT, my friend, has made all the difference! :-)

Shelly M.
Mom to 5 beautiful boys

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that letter had plenty of tact :).

My munchkin embarks on preschool soon, and I pray I won't end up with that kind of a situation.



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