Thursday, May 22, 2008

Last Day of School

My wife and I have two boys. They are wonderful kids. I probably have learned more by watching and listening to them over the past 10 years. Today was their last day of school and they are very excited. I am very jealous. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could all take three months off in the summer?

My eldest son just completed 5th grade and had a very good 4th quarter report card; one B in math and the rest were A’s. His brother finished 2nd grade with his fourth consecutive quarters of straight A’s! I hope they both can get scholarships so I can retire early!

We have been sending our boys to a private school for the past five years. My wife and I had many discussions about how to educate our children before that first bus ride. We both agreed that home schooling would not work for us. We knew several people that home schooled and the time and energy required was not possible as we both worked outside the home. We had to choose between public or private education. We did not think we could afford the cost of a private education so to avoid the financial strain on our marriage, we chose to send our oldest son to a government school for Kindergarten. We were not aware of any problems until a week or two before the end of the school year. We were called into a parent – teacher conference with our son’s teacher, a school counselor and a school administrator. We were told that our son displayed signs of ADD and they wanted us to see a doctor about prescribing medication before our son started first grade.

We were grateful for a number of reasons; first our pediatrician was not one to prescribe medication without good cause; we also knew a special needs educator that also taught children’s Sunday school at our church. She flat out told us that she worked with kids that had legitimate ADD/ADHD and our son was not like them at all. While we took comfort in this, my wife and I were very angry at a school that seemed so anxious to medicate at such an early age. We wondered if this has anything to do with financial aid the school gets for dispensing medication. Of course we will never know for sure and the thought is not a pleasant one. One can only wonder if some of the social ills are due to a generation of children being medicated . . for of all reasons . . because they are kids . .

Well, we pay a lot of tax dollars for an expensive public school district in South St Louis County that we do not use. We would like the financial relief vouchers would bring. I hope someday there will be an educational revolution in this country. If people want to see real educational reform, simply introduce competition. If we really do not want to leave any kids behind, let all parents have access to the private education that is available to the rich and middle class.
Until then we learn something that the church has taught for 2000 years . . . namely, without sacrifice there can be no blessing. We have sacrificed and now we have received the blessing!

1 comment:

bobofbobsville said...

This is a dilemma that I sympathise with, and one that I myself will be having in a few years. As we both currently have different views about state and private education the debate and resolution we have on this should be interesting