Thursday, May 17, 2012

The science project that broke the camel's back.

We pulled our 11 year old son out of school today.

No, not really. It was about two and a half months ago. Early March 2012.

But I'm just getting around to writing about it today.

Jack is/was in the sixth grade. The science project assignment was his third in three years. In the fourth grade I helped Jack. Fifth grade, mom did it all. This year I asked his teacher to excuse Jack from the project all together.

Email: Dear teacher, please excuse Jack from the science project. Thanks, Jack's dad.

A BIG meeting with mom, dad, teacher and principle ensued and resulted in: "Jack's teacher will help Jack do the science project." [Quick comment: No adult ever said, "Jack should do it all himself." I wonder about that. (Not really.)]

Anyway, Jack did minimal science project work at home. He and his teacher reported back to us that, indeed, teacher was helping Jack in the classroom. Jack turned in the project when it was due. What could go wrong? We were done.

A message from Jack's teacher showed up in mom's email the next day. [Point of information: Jack's finished work was a five minute video.] In the email was this message from his teacher: Hi, how are you? Everything is fine in the classroom. Jack is doing great. (My comment: Candy should be so sweet! But then...) And, oh, by the way, Jack has to be a person in his science project video. Could you just have him re-film the science project again? With himself in it?

That was in early March, this year. It was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I'll speak of earlier straws, other camels and related happenings in future blogs. But for now...

Do you want to listen in on a conversation between Jack's mom and dad that took place in mid-March, just a few days later?
OK, here's the setting: Jack is showing signs of life, and even happiness. You can hear him in the background.

Let's listen:
Jack's dad speaking to Jack's mom: "You know what?"
Jack's mom, answering:  "Yes. We should have pulled him out even sooner."

Homeschooling, unschooling... the early days.

To be continued...

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