Charter Schools - pros and cons

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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    We've moved to a crummy little community (see "Your Money," about folks who are losing their homes) with a crummy big school system.á I knew the schools weren't great, but I had asked around extensively before moving, and was told that once you get out of Newton, Wellesley, etc. and if you stay out of the larger cities, the schools are just about even statewide.áSo due to financial issues (like, keeping a roof over our heads), we are here, and I am terribly unhappy with the schools.á While the MCAS scores are average (compared to other communities), I feel my child has lost an entire school year - I don't think she's learning anything there except by rote.á There is no critical and creative thinking involved in the pedagogy.áI am entering the lottery for the fall, for the local charter school.á I'd like to hear pros and cons.á Typically, I wouldn't consider a charter school - but back then I had the luxury of a well-heeled school system.á If we had the money (which we don't), I would apply to a non-sectarian private school.á We don't even have the funds to make up for scholarship (if, say, we won a 50 percent tuition scholarship).áI am particularly interested in world language and arts curricula.á What kind of questions do I ask the headmaster?á How do I locate parents to query them?áHow will if I know if the school is being run military-style or not?á I am particularly wary of uniforms as an indicator - I feel children (elementary age) should be children, not tiny soldiers.áHow is bullying handled in charter schools?á We went from a school where children just didn't bully (no, they didn't, actually), to an elementary school where it's the norm, in spite of the principal's best efforts.á Fortunately, the guidance counselor - who is spread throughout 5 schools (we had 1 on-site, FT, plus an intern) is on top of things.á He hasn't exactly been preventing bullying, but he is there for the children and their private conversations with them, creating a safe environment where the children are free to speak without classmates; teachers; even parents knowing (I like that my child has this confidentiality option, even when she doesn't want to come to me).Oh, would that property taxes not be tied to education!á We were sheltered, and fortunate.á A family financial crisis took us to the location where we have resettled, and there doesn't seem to be an out for this for at least 2 - 3 years, as I rebuild credit and return to work (ex-husband left me with a credit rating in the toilet, and he burned through our savings).á (I am working on education and humanities Masters degrees, to have flexibility to teach either in secondary or higher education. I don't have an education degree at present.)Our present school system is so bad, there's an armed guard - IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.Parental involvement - the principal allows none.á The PTO is useless.á Parents are not welcome in the school except for emergencies.á One librarian for 600-plus students.á Volunteer possibilities are minimal.Unfortunately, I can't afford to home school.á I need to get my degrees and get out, start working FT again, rebuild credit - and get out of this town.A child's fatigue - the local charter school is a 7:30 amá - 5 pm school day.á Then, of course, homework.á A question:á when do children get time to play, to be children?á Also, we don't have a car (can't afford one right now), and the charter school is in a "can't get there form here" part of the town.á We'd have to make a couple of bus connections, making waking up time even earlier (of course,á I would accompany child on both ends of the day).á I don't want my child to be too tired to do homework and play upon arriving home.á Is it worth it?Even with this town's limited resources, I am very disappointed with what is not being done with them.á For example, the class size is outrageous.á I don't understand why, with a couple of good education-program colleges within spitting distance, they can't take in student teachers, or classroom aides.We are new here, I am sure no one will listen to me (like, School Committee) on such matters as student teachers.á Classroom teachers are all senior teachers - they'd be qualified to mentor a teacher-in-training.Help, please! My child has lost a year of school, and the school year isn't even completed!áá

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    TarheelChief, I have to agree. Homeschool catalogues contain so many bright and creative ideas that are never used in public schools, largely because they are unworkable in such large class sizes.My child went from from a classroom of 16 students; 1 lead teacher; 1 FT aide; 1 PT grad education grad student - to a classroom of 24 students, no aide, no grad student, and the fourth grade teacher cannot teach 4th grade math (I thought the break up of subject areas did not come for teachers until grade 5).It is a poor, disenfranchised community that cannot afford to hire classroom aides - but I don't understand why they can't bring in the grad students.á That would be for veteran teachers (who would be the mentors) - but it's free, so why not do it?á The only answer I received about that from admin was "We don't do that here," as if it's a crime to have a cooperative with a local college.I know you're not promoting homeschool, but you are promoting alternative "out of the box" education.I agree.I have been fascinated by history all my life, and, for the life of me, I cannot understand how the public schools that I attended managed to make history SOOOOO BOOOOORING. I was always getting yelled at for staring out the window in class, but this was my only relief. I think I would have gone insane without this outlet.I had entirely different experience.á Once past the 4th grad, all my history/social studies teachers were intriguing; they were on constant continuing education, spending summers and school vacations doing one internship or another in their field (for example, on an archaeology dig, or interning in a museum - these were veteran lead teachers, BTW).Why do schools make learning boring? I think it's because public school teachers must "teach to the middle" while trying to pull the slower kids along, and usually failing at both tasks. Also, it's because of textbooks that have to be approved by committees of little homemakers from Texas. Yes, most U.S. textbooks come out of Texas.I wish they'd move away from the textbook model, which does nothing for critical and creative thinking.One caution! Parents should check textbooks first. There is rabid anti-Catholicism in many "Christian" textbooks on the market.Here is where you and I seem to split, alas.á I don't want religion coming into the public school classroom, except contextually.á Our current school fundaiser is for chocolates - Easter chocolates, advertised for Easter.á Like there's no plurality in the system.á Why not "spring chocolates"?

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Thank you for replying, TarheelChief.á Much appreciated.Many parents are terribly unhappy with their schools,and outraged at the taxes imposed by the government to keep these schools functioning.There is no equitable system.á Why do some communities get teachers with degrees in their academic field with teacher licensure as an add-on, rather than the other way around?á My child's fourth grade teacher knows how to teach - but she doesn't know two of the subjects for which she is responsible.á She has no control of the cl###room.á Bullying is rampant.á One principal, no vice-principal, 613 students.á No creativity amongst the PTO members.á Parents unwelcome as participants.Property taxes must somehow cease to be the basis for a safe school day, for an education.I doubt if there is a remedy within the school system. Most of the work will have to be done at home. You have removed one cause of conflict,your husband.Thus, you can begin to speak to your children about the positive impact of studying on their own.Thank you.á In fact, my child has been speaking to her therapist about her father's pushiness.á I've working with her, too.á It may be some projection on his part, as he is not the "education parent."á He disliked school very much himself, and that came back to bite him on the #### some years later.á So he may be compensating by pushing her.Funds are tight at present, but we have retained our museum memberships (Science Museum; Museum of Fine Arts) for the enhancements they give her education.á For example, in prior school, art cl###es were tied into curriculum (when they studied Ghana in social studies, in art they'd learn to make pots and textiles in the Ghanian model).á In her present art cl###, they sit there and draw for an hour.á Not that there's anything wrong with that per se, but they aren't being taught art, or art history.á So, MFA membership gets her a reduced-cost art cl### one afternoon a week - the children tour the galleries; come back and have a snack/beverage and story-time related to what they saw; then they do a project.á One afternoon they learned about masks from world culture; then they made masks.á That is the kind of thing that will continue if I home school.Arts, science, social studies, literatures - those I can teach.á But I will be at a loss in Math, as I am l/d in that subject.The other question is, how will I "pay" for home schooling?á That will mean I cannot work.After making my O/P, I looked at the local charter school.á It's run like a military academy.á Not for her, not yet.Give them the guidance you feel is necessary for your own reading history might help them overcome a distaste for readingácreated by the present readingárequirements within elementary and secondary schools.She is cl###ic dyslexic.á She loves stories, she can't read them.Yet, she had a cl###mate once whose mother is dyslexic, and the mother went on to graduate from medical school.á I will have to learn what is being used as coping and make-up skills.á I agree with you that parents can positively influence their children.Another reason I want to pull her out is that the principal has no handleon the bullying - none.á She is an absent person (as in, unmindful), and thinks all is hunkey-dorey because it's her school. She is in denial about the bullying - and I am fearful for my child's safety.á I can't pull her out now - I don't have a homeschool plan in place, so in addition to repeating the grade by pulling her out, I'd also be charged with truancy and my child would be sent right back to the school.Remember schoolá history and English reading lists must p### through the filter of modernápolitical life.Vocabulary levels,political remediation,religious,gender,racial,and national sensitivities are paramount the producers of textbooks and readings used in schools.I taught fifth grade in a fundamentalist academy, and it was very hard to balance the educational needs of the children with the belief systems of the parents.á One child had to miss an entire section on Native American Studies, because I used Island of the Blue Dolphins as the literary text.á The parents of this student wanted no literary text, period.á (The book has non-Christian references, even though the protagonist ends up undergoing conversion.)Was it this hard being an educator a couple of generations ago?á it may have been when I was growing up (late 60s - 70s).á I learned no grammar, because we were taught creative writing.á To this day, I have trouble with ancient languages, because I never learned the grammar of my own.áStyle,plot lines,character development are secondary.Teaching your child to outline a plot,or attempting to describe a character,or possibly create a screenplay or documentary out of a story or a historical event might stimulate them to think about creativity.I really like those ideas, thank you for presenting them.á Mine likes puppet shows, and she taught herself to sew.á I could have her write, create, perform puppetry (with a literary basis).

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Valuable thoughts, Antigone (I love your nic - and one of my favorite plays!), and I will go over to the board you recommended.I do believe in the Bible as literature, but agree with you that religious studies belong outside of school (unless in a parochial school).� In fact, for years I have wanted to take this course called exactly that, The Bible as Literature.� Time and money has prevented it thus far.� If I go to the homeschool route, I'll probably somehow incorporate the Bible without forcing belief on her.Now bunnies:� Our PT0 �is entirely unimaginative, and go with the pre-set fundraisers instead of thinking up its own.� The fall wrapping-paper fundraiser I felt was fine, because the gift-papers offered came secular, as well as from four (that I counted) winter religions.� The question is, do we do none, or all?� And when does the question begin to get over the top?Also, the majority of the school is Catholic, so I guess the PTO wanted to appeal to its base.In any case, we bought some bunnies; we love chocolate here, and I will, as "the education parent" of the two of us, use the bunnies to further teach her about the many religious rites of spring, worldwide.� I do love folk, myth and religion - I just don't like it crammed down anyone's throat, including mine.I loved Absalom, Absalom!� I wish it was taught more in courses about the literatures of tragedy - Sutpen is one of the grandiose, bellicose tragic anti-heroes.Good to see your post, I learned from it.

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    People send their kids to school because they want free babysitting?� Actually, I think people overwhelmingly want their kids to benefit from a good education.And I am a product and a big believer in Catholic schools, but they do NOT turn around problem students.� If a student has learning or behavioural problems, Catholic school is not the place for them because they do not have the resources to deal with it.� One of the reasons Catholic schools perform well is because they do not deal with special needs - they are able to concentrate on what they do best - and that is educating kids who fall into the mainstream.The public schools do not have the luxuryt of turning away those who require more resources.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkshellabella. Show pinkshellabella's posts

    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    I transferred my child from a Catholic to a Charter School in 3rd grade when they first began around 1997. I first did it for fnancial reasons, like you I was going through a divorce. Since the schools in the city I live in were far from impressive I felt the Charter school was my only out. Although the Charter did go from K-12, he strongly felt he did not want to attend the Charter for High School. His choices were back to Catholic School, or a Technical School that I had researched. He decided on the Technical school, and when he took the entrance exam he ended up being placed in all AP classes. I have attended all of the Parent/Teacher nights, and have always received the same comments year after year, that my son is bright and extremely respectful. Even my son had mentioned to me at one time (out of the blue) that he thought the Charter school really did teach him quite a bit.

    His days were long - on the bus by 7am and not getting off the bus until almost 4pm. Only Christmas and March vacation, and only 6 weeks off in the summer. It is tough when they are small, but it does get easier as they are older. Think about all the extra education he received in those 5 years.

    Uniforms have both pros and cons. Yes, they almost look militant however, you do not have to worry about your child wanting that designer outfit that someone else has and you can not afford. Go by any school these days, and not just the high schools, I mean middle schools as well, and look at these kids. They are wearing Tiffanys jewelry, Juicy Coture outfits, and carrying Coach handbags. That is not an issue in a Charter school. They are there to learn.

    My child was taught Spanish from 3rd to 7th grade. Although he did not take it in high school what he learned in those years has given him the ability to be able to understand a conversation. If he had continued there, I am sure he would have been fluent by 10th grade.

    Would I recommend a Charter school. The one he went to, absolutely. However, like any school, it is only as good at the adminstration and teachers, so you have to reasearch each one with a fine tooth comb.

    Do I wish my son stayed at the school, yes I do. But, I do believe it is equally important for a child to feel comfotable and be happy in order to thrive.

    Good luck in your search. Don't give up.

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.� You took some time, and laid out your views.� I'm grateful.�It may be picayune, but I don't like the uniforms thing.� Children and adults alike should be free to express through fashion, hair.� I notice at some Catholic schools the teen girls compensate for the ugly plaids and unattractive blouses by hemming their skirts a little too inappropriately; wear tons of make-up and jewelry.�We are an artistic family.� Sometimes we truly are what we wear, depending on mood.�I feel uniforms are not the panacea to school discipline.

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Aye di me!� Just having paid my tax bill, I had to take a hard look at my finances (single parent, child support almost non-existent).� If I home-school in 2008 - 2009, I won't be able to pay my bills in 2010.� I am off this summer while child is in day-camp, I will use that time to figure out a home-based business that will at least keep us afloat.� (Child is too young to stay home alone to work even mother's hours.)The bullying at child's school is out of control.� I'm ready to play hardball with the principal. She addresses it case by case, incident by incident, with a five-minute detention for the bullies.� No plan. No long-term.I am weary and am falling far behind on my own work, the thing that will get us out of hell-town.� I sleep too much and cannot afford to do so.� Next week I can sleep.�

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Catholic schools do not provide special ed?� I didn't know that. Once of the Orthodox Jewish schools in Brookline does not, either. The Town of Brookline picks that up.Surprisingly (to me), I am pleased with the quality of SPED here in hell-town; it's the general education that suffers.

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    My own daughter, diagnosed as language delayed, received public school services part of the day, even though she was homeschooled. �This is good to know. Thank you. I will keep it in mind.Also, if we can go the home-school route, I will have to trade off humanities and social sciences for a math home-school parent. I can't do math to save my life, am stuck on the 2nd grade level (l/d myself in math).

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Why?� Did you attend one?� (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    �transferred my child from a Catholic to a Charter School in 3rd grade when they first began around 1997. I first did it for fnancial reasons, like you I was going through a divorce. Since the schools in the city I live in were far from impressive I felt the Charter school was my only out. Although the Charter did go from K-12, he strongly felt he did not want to attend the Charter for High School. His choices were back to Catholic School, or a Technical School that I had researched. He decided on the Technical school, and when he took the entrance exam he ended up being placed in all AP classes. I have attended all of the Parent/Teacher nights, and have always received the same comments year after year, that my son is bright and extremely respectful. Even my son had mentioned to me at one time (out of the blue) that he thought the Charter school really did teach him quite a bit.I am also concerned about class size.� Hell-town does not take advantage of local education majors at local colleges. No student teachers.� Hell-town can't afford teachers' aides.� Mine's class size is 25 students, one teacher, no assistant. Teacher, child reports, is frequently frazzled.Teacher praises my child's academic successes; never-missed homework, etc., but does not like mine as a person.� Can't wait for promotion day.� Hard to see one's baby disliked by own teacher.� It happens, I know.His days were long - on the bus by 7am and not getting off the bus until almost 4pm. Only Christmas and March vacation, and only 6 weeks off in the summer. It is tough when they are small, but it does get easier as they are older. Think about all the extra education he received in those 5 years. I think that's great, and I would support public education from Sept. - July.� As we don't have wheels (and can't afford them), Charter Schooling would require 5 am wake-ups, to take bus there.� When is there time for play for these children?� Are they exhausted by the time they return home?� Play is so important for children.Uniforms have both pros and cons. Yes, they almost look militant however, you do not have to worry about your child wanting that designer outfit that someone else has and you can not afford. Go by any school these days, and not just the high schools, I mean middle schools as well, and look at these kids. They are wearing Tiffanys jewelry, Juicy Coture outfits, and carrying Coach handbags. That is not an issue in a Charter school. They are there to learn.I was thinking tie-dye t-shirts (down to hips, above bust-line) and jeans (not too tight, not too loose), for example.My child was taught Spanish from 3rd to 7th grade. Although he did not take it in high school what he learned in those years has given him the ability to be able to understand a conversation. If he had continued there, I am sure he would have been fluent by 10th grade.We don''t have an elementary world-language program here in hell-town.� :(Previously, child was in the Mandarin program, with an option for Spanish in grades 7 - 8 (our former school system was�K - 8, 9 -12).� Now I have to take my baby to private lessons.Would I recommend a Charter school. The one he went to, absolutely. However, like any school, it is only as good at the adminstration and teachers, so you have to reasearch each one with a fine tooth comb.Ours here in hell-town is minority-oriented. I don't even know if she'd be accepted, save for our Latino-sounding last name.Do I wish my son stayed at the school, yes I do. But, I do believe it is equally important for a child to feel comfotable and be happy in order to thrive.Good luck in your search. Don't give up.Thanks. I won't, as tired as I am, because she comes first.Now off to research/write my own final three papers, all due Monday. (When I get an education degree, perhaps I can get placed in a town that accepts tuition students, children of its employees. Two years down the road.)

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    His class size was about 23 however, for main subjects they were broken into groups and taught by level. At the time, they were about 10-12 in the groups. That was definately a plus. Yes, I understand how hard it is with when the teacher doesn't like the student. They are human too, but it can make a parent insane. That was actually one of the reasons I let my son leave the Charter School, only it was the Principle. I was lucky enough that the rest of the administration thought quite highly of my son, and they would stand their ground when a few issues came about.

    Because their days were long, it did not appear as though they received a lot of homework. My son was able to finish his in less than a half hour, and he sis also play sports outside of the school, and it did seem pretty balanced. When he first started in the school, he was exhauseted when he got home. It is also tough to go to school in the dark and come home in the dark in winter, but like anything, they tend to get used to it.

    I know in order to get my son in, he was on a waiting list. I was advised the day before school started that he got in. I had Catholic School uniforms ready to go, and had to buy new uniforms and loose my tuition deposit. According to the school it was a "lottery" Mine was lucky enough to get it.

    Good luck with you reasearch and your own papers.

    I know that BBN (Buckinham Brown and Nicols) takes students of employees....at least they used to.

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Our community has no money to teach anything beyond the rote in textbooks and workbooks. She comes home with worksheets, every day.� Nothing new from the teacher, just worksheets copied out of books.�That is not teaching.�Also, I think a fourth-grader should have more than 30 minutes of homework a night.� Except for math (which I can't do), I supplement this.� I send her to a math tutor once a week - she doesn't need it, but it provides a boost and a new perspective.�Her SPED teachers aren't failing her; her homeroom teacher is.�I am a committed-to-education parent.� My father was a (yes) math teacher at Boston Latin School.� Give me a break. (rolls eyes)

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    His class size was about 23 however, for main subjects they were broken into groups and taught by level. At the time, they were about 10-12 in the groups. That was definately a plus. Yes, I understand how hard it is with when the teacher doesn't like the student. They are human too, but it can make a parent insane. That was actually one of the reasons I let my son leave the Charter School, only it was the Principle. I was lucky enough that the rest of the administration thought quite highly of my son, and they would stand their ground when a few issues came about. I'm sorry that happened. I think once a teacher decides s/he doesn't like a student, that's it.� The child is in their sights. In my daughter's case, it is because she is highly-sensitive, and the teacher cannot handle that.� Teacher moved from grades 3 to 4 with her class, and she has her favorites, and does not see when said favorites bully mine.Because their days were long, it did not appear as though they received a lot of homework. My son was able to finish his in less than a half hour, and he sis also play sports outside of the school, and it did seem pretty balanced. When he first started in the school, he was exhauseted when he got home. It is also tough to go to school in the dark and come home in the dark in winter, but like anything, they tend to get used to it.OK then, I see.� Longer day, less homework. Makes sense.I know in order to get my son in, he was on a waiting list. I was advised the day before school started that he got in. I had Catholic School uniforms ready to go, and had to buy new uniforms and loose my tuition deposit. According to the school it was a "lottery" Mine was lucky enough to get it.Sometimes it really is timing, isn't it? ~smiles~ I'm glad it worked out for your family.Good luck with you reasearch and your own papers.Thanks.� I'm a little panicky right now, but I plan to put in a good 12 hours, save for a walk with her and making her dinner.I know that BBN (Buckinham Brown and Nicols) takes students of employees....at least they used to.Thanks for that tip!I'm also taking a typing class and will take an adult ed computer class or two, should I find it easier to land a job as an admin asst's than a teacher/I wanted to go for a PhD in a humanities.� Now I think that dream is too extravagant, because of my daughter's needs. I need to get out of school as quickly as possible, to take her out of this school system as quickly as possible.� The PhD can wait, fornow.

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    I'm not sure if you really meant to reply to my post. I did not make any excuses for my child.

    Maybe some parents do make excuses for their children. That however, would be another discussion entirely.

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Pay him no mind.� As his name indicates, he's busy making plans to blow up Parliament.

     
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    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    Posted by�Antigone07�on�May-19 1:24 PMI will never forget the day that I came to pick up my daughter from elementary school and saw three boys throwing rocks at her and yelling "dummy!" That's terrible!� Did you consider suing the parents and the school-system?What immediately struck me was that I was the only adult present. Not a teacher in sight. Not an aide in sight. Granted, this was not the school's main door, but it was the door used� by many, many kids.Someone should be near all doors.� School budgets be damned,I went to the school office and, in vain, tried to find someone who was the least bit interested.My point is that this violence is accepted in our public schools to too great a degree. When I complained, I was told that playground cruelty "builds character."I have heard that, too.� I think it effects self-esteem.� It makes me wonder what is going on in the bullies' homes.I am not a fan of public schools for many reasons, and this is one of them.We were spoiled.� Bullying rarely happened in our old community.� When it did, it was addressed immediately, and not by some 5 - 10 minute detention.� These children were placed in anti-bullying seminars, where they were required to role-play.The boy who was the most cruel to me in elementary school - he attended those seminars.� When they let him "out," he came out kind, and, in fact, one of my defenders.� He is now a producer with PBS, and seems to have a fine life.He wasn't sent to detention.� He was given a series of classes.Hell-town (where I live) either can't afford it, or doesn't have the will for it.� The parents refuse to be empowered. Three of my daughter's classmates this academic year alone have been sent to live with relatives in neighboring towns, to escape the bullying.� I wish I had that option (one brother, in Miami).Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. Your library is full of books that are far superior to "dumbed down" textbooks. It probably has many texts on homeschooling and on goals and objectives (what kids should learn in a certain grade). Keep ALL records and kid's work in case anyone challenges you.Good tips.� Thanks!

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from reindeergirl. Show reindeergirl's posts

    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    No, no, you do not have to give up at 2nd grade math just because you had lousy teachers back then.Get a good homeschool textbook series (which has a teacher's edition which gives the answers).You are a gift, Antigone.� How can I express my gratitude to you?I relied heavily on math programs which used manipulatives (base ten blocks and, my favorite, Cuisenaire rods. Math-U-See is another good program, which was designed for kids who are slow in math, but will give a good solid background to any elementary kid. Pay no attention to "purists" who claim that manipulatives are a "crutch." These folks are brain damaged from multiplying 256 times 4,692 too often.lolMake your own manipulatives. Have a plastic bag of 100 beans. Make hundreds of bags of ten beans. Use individual beans for units. This will teach the concept of "carrying over" . Make a bag of 1,000 beans if you have the patience. This allows kids to visualize these abstract concepts.My friend did this with rice, to take the math portion of the GRE.Use lined paper turned sideways if your kid has a problem keeping columns straight.Good for this Mom, too!Make wall decorations using tiles showing the square roots of letters up to 10. Your kid will never forget square roots again. Make a big chalk drawing on the driveway-squares with numbers in them. Have you kid jump 3,6,9,12, etc. Do this with all the numbers up to ten.You are terrific!You will have plenty of time for humanities and social studies.You have to realize how much of students' time is wasted in public schools.Typical example:Little Sally doesn't understand a math problem and has her hand up for the teacher to help her. The teacher is busy with the 28 other students. Sally's arm is raised so long it starts to ache. Sally gives up and never gets the help she needs.Mrs. Orange, an elementary school teacher, is making the class line up in the hall. Little Johnny keeps poking little Joey. Mrs. Orange says " we are going to STAND HERE until Johnny behaves." After prolonged standing, Mrs. Orange finally marches Johnny to the principal's office. The rest of the class continues to stand, doing nothing.I know. This is ridiculous, to take valuable time away from the other children.Concentrated, one-on-one tutoring doesn't waste any time. Remember, the worst homeschooler is better than a highly trained teacher with 30 other studentsI like the way you think.So, I have this big, fat capital gains tax to pay, and a million bills on top of it (sold the place to avoid being almost homeless; want to start fresh with the bills); once I figure out how much is left, if anything, I'll be able to know when I can start this homeschool.If you don't mind, I am going to print out your tips, and keep them in a folder.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from charterschooladmin. Show charterschooladmin's posts

    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    In response to: "I am particularly interested in world language and arts..."
    Almost all charter school in MA are called public charter schools. That means that they are independent of the local school system. However, they are public schools. The lottery is blind, so they are pulling from  a group that is not very different from the sending district.
    So, it is unlikely the school has a headmaster, which is a feature of a private school. It will have principals.
    And, as a public school, everything they do is open to your inquiry. So,  call and ask to see their curricululm. It must be based on the same Massachusetts Frameworks that all public school must use - which are not, by the way, at all bad. In fact, they are very good, because they insure that strong, meaningful content is in place for ALL students, not just the ones who get the best teachers.


    In response to: "How will if I know if the school is being run military-style ..."
    You might want to rethink the uniform attitude. It has nothing to do with military style. It protects your students' learning from parents who are so thoughtless that they allow their children to attend school dressed like prisoners (jailing pants) or prostitutes (bellies bare). They allow the school to keep the focus on learning, which is what you are so concerned about. That is why many charter school have uniform, or dress code, policies. We focus on the little things and the big things (violence, out of control classrooms) do not occur. Again to find out, just ask the school. You could even ask if you can visit (you can), and you can see if it is "military" or not.

    Regarding: "How is bullying handled in charter schools?�"
    Why would it not be handled? It is managed as a civil rights issue (hopefully) in all schools. Charter schools participate in bully proof programs just like all other schools. However, because many of them have uniform or dress codes, students cannot be picked on because they can't afford those $150 sneakers.

    If you would like to give your children the resources to avoid the same financial stress you are experiencing, you want them to have a college education (at the very least). You own your education. You can lose your car, you can lose your house, you can lose your job...but you will always have your education. That gives you a leg up in every economy.
    So, enter the lottery. Don't assume that you will get in. Most charter schools have very long waiting lists. Ask the school to help you find someone else from the school that commutes from your area, and make a deal where you help pay for gas money and your child gets a ride to and from school. And embrace that longer day. That means the school is making sure your student is getting the kind of education that a student in India or China receives. After all, your children will be competing with the kids from those countries for the best jobs. And those countries take education seriously. We have become way too worried about "kids need time to play" and not nearly worried enough about making sure they will have a job. Express that concern to the school, by all means, and listen to what they say. For all you know, they have addressed that concern by building in experiences and time regular public schools don't offer- such as regular PE classes, regular arts and music classes, extra recess time, etc.


     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from EnglshTchr. Show EnglshTchr's posts

    Charter Schools - pros and cons

    [Quote]

    What are the CONS to Charter School ?

    �I have twelve years' teaching experience--eleven in regular public schools and one in a charter.  The charter was pure hell.  It was run like a boot camp for students and teachers alike.  Because there was no teachers' union, there was no limit on what the school could demand from us--endlessly long school day, come in on weekends for no additional pay, oh, and we've decided to extend the school year by ten days.  Teachers got fired for standing up to administration even when it was CLEARLY in the kids' best interests.  The turnover rate was HUGE, maybe 50% per year, and the school was staffed overwhelmingly with first- and second-year teachers.  All charters are different, of course, but I'd have a bunch of questions if I were considering one for my child.  How much experience, on average, do the teachers have?  How much control do teachers have over the curriculum, including decisions about when to modify the curriculum for certain kids?  What's the school's retention rate for teachers?  How much emphasis is there on MCAS prep?  What steps does the school take to work with kids who don't "fit the mold" before they're referred for special ed testing?  What is the average class size, and is there a cap on class sizes?  What reading program do they use? (Avoid something scripted, like Open Court or Success for All).

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