Thursday, October 25, 2007

I registered a child for school today


For legal reasons, I needed to register our foster child for school. I had mixed feelings about this. There is a school within sight of our house. It is not a high performing school, but it is convenient. If I were every going to put my kids into school, it would NOT have been my neighborhood school. If she were my child, I would drive the twenty minutes each way to the better school.

Well, as it worked out, my neighborhood school is "full" so the child needed to go to another school anyway. Unfortunately, all the really good school were also "full." So, I will end up driving her to another average school anyway. I now wish there was a space at my neighborhood school. To take the time to drive her to an average school seems like wasted effort. I could request that they bus her to the other school, but I think that would be more traumatic for the child.

I must say that the school office staff were very nice and helpful. However, I felt like I was incognito. I thought to myself, "I wonder if they would act so nice if they knew we homeschool our own children."

While I was in the school office, I could hear and see into a nearby classroom. It was easy to see that the teacher was extremely talented. I thought to myself, "Even with teachers like that at this school, I wouldn't be willing to put up with the garbage (bureaucracy, badly brought of children, stupid laws, amoral rules, union interference) for my children to get to her. However, I'm glad that she and teachers like her are there for children like our foster child, who don't have any other options.

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6 comments:

Phil said...

I homeschool my son, while my daughter is in first grade at the local school. But many people we've met through my son's soccer teams only know that we're homeschoolers. So, we were at the school tonight enjoying their "ice cream social" when a couple of the soccer moms gave me very strange looks across the room, like "What the heck are the homeschoolers doing here?!"

Next year my daughter will join us at home and we'll be done with the public school system.

Eric Holcombe said...

Janine,

It it a legal requirement that foster children attend public school in CA, or just in this case?

Janine Cate said...

I'm not exactly sure. It's what the social worker requested. Also, the parents still get to make decision about their children when they are in foster care.

The social worker is looking into a local charter school that have a program for "school at home students" which technically isn't homeschooling but an independent study program.

The public charter school may meet the requirements for the mandatory attendance laws and have enough supervision to satisfy the social workers.

Because so many of the children who come into foster care are habitually truant, social services is nervous about homeschooling. Too many of the parents they deal with try to hide behind homeschooling laws to cover abuse and neglect.

Christine said...

Could you have chosen a Charter School? The children are considered public school while you get to teach them. The charter we use in San Diego, just gives a copy of the CA Dept of Education requirements and we have to teach that throughout the year. We answer to our "Educational Facilitator" once a month and the Charter's offer classes too.

Good luck with the school.
Christine

Anonymous said...

I know plenty of teachers and office staff.
I know many teachers are just as supportive of home schoolers.

It's like they realize that HS can have parents more dedicated to kids than those who just expect the schools to teach the kid everything.
I've even had a teacher ship me some learning activities and books.

I am starting out new down the home school path but I don't think that anyone at the school hates me for thinking I can give my kids one on one attention. With 30 kids in a classroom I bet they might understand my desires for my kids?

I did get flack from the PTA board member for putting my kids before all the kids in the school I could be helping by volunteering more in my kids class rooms if I wanted to help my kids more. (I have a 2 and can not volunteer in a class room.)


So, I think the flack is from other parents.

Fawn

Anonymous said...

Fawn,

I think you are right. My biggest supporters in my homeschooling journey are current and former public school teachers.

Liz