Last month, an education columnist in Mississippi responded to a letter from the mother of a first grade student who wasn’t happy with a classroom event. The columnist told the mother that she would just have to, in the parlance of the long-ago Edwardians, ‘close her eyes and think of England.’
- Jackson Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi, 19 December 2005, Teachers making up storm days after school (Google cache, and headline concerns columns’ main report)
Q: I am not happy with something that happened in my first-grader’s classroom. I would really like my daughter moved out of there. I’ve talked to the principal, who said he talked to the teacher. I also talked to the superintendent. But they refuse to move my daughter. What is my recourse?
A: There really isn’t a lot you can do after talking to the principal and the superintendent. The next step is to talk to local school board members. See what you have to do to get on the agenda for the next board meeting.
This week, a Clarion Ledger reader asked why the columnist didn’t recommend that the mother either sue the school, or remove her daughter from school and homeschool her. The reply?
- Jackson Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi, 2 January 2006, Lawsuit, home school options for irate parent
A: I was trying to give her options within the system. But, yes, these are other options, albeit a little more drastic.
Drastic. Homeschooling is a drastic option. That reminds me of a grad-school thesis I recently came across in a Google search ‘for something else’ (I find so much stuff that way): Home-schooling as an extreme form of parental involvement. In skimming the thesis, neither I, nor another member of the list where I posted the link, could find any "extremism" in the findings of the paper, yet the author still chose that title.
It seems that the general opinion concerning the center point of parental involvement in the lives of their children has moved from the responsible center of the parenting continuum, between the true extremes of abandonment and smothering. For some in today’s world, even the idea of a parent taking natural adult responsibility concerning his or her children, and nurturing and guiding those children, is "drastic" and "extreme." What a shame.
I like the conclusion of another list-member who took the "extreme" conclusion, and spun it so that homeschooling is X-treme schooling. That fits with my experience of homeschooling as a Grand Adventure.
Parents, start your engines.