Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day / Zly Dzien

October 31, 2007

My kids started school about three months ago.  Georgia starts school
early in August probably trying to catch up since they have one of the
worst school systems in the nation.

When Samuel and Isaiah came home after the first day they said that it
was the worst day of their lives and Samuel asked me if I would be
willing to home school them.

My kids leave home at about 7:45 am and they return at 3:45pm.  That's
a full eight hours away from home.  There is no recess except for 15
minutes of playing after lunch.  Most of the time the class doesn't
even get the 15 minutes, because someone in the class misbehaves, so
the whole class looses "recess".

When third grade goes to recess, there are about 125 kids outside.
They give them 2 balls and 3 Frisbees to play with!  There are no
soccer goals and no basketball court.  There is one very small
playground but some of the kids aren't allowed to use it, so just in
case, my kids don't.  When I asked Samuel what he does during the
brief period of time that he is allowed outside after lunch, he said
that he sits on the dirt.  On the grass? I asked.  No, on the dirt.
Still, going outside is a privilege because most of the time it is too
hot to go outside and there is nowhere to play inside.  There is no
indoor recess. So most days the kids are allowed to sit at their desks
and read during break...but wait a minute, sitting at their desk is
what they do the rest of the day, so how is that a break?

The classrooms are very small with mostly bare walls.  There aren't
neat centers like in Des Moines where the kids could learn at their
own speed and visit with their friends.  There isn't a reading nook
with bean bags and a carpet and a bookshelf full of books.  Instead
there is a small plastic bin with about 20 books on the teacher's
 In the US there are both wonderful and dreadful public schools. We
just moved from Iowa where my kids attended public school. The schools
in Iowa are the second best in the country and I would never home
school in that state. I loved the school in Des Moines and my kids
loved it too. A lot of their learning was done in a Montessori type
way. There were centers all around the room. The kids had a certain
amount of work to finish in a week. They could do a lot of it at their
own level. If they were better at math or reading they would do things
in their centers that were harder. They could quietly talk to their
friends while working. They had 3 recesses, wonderful art and music
classes, and lots and lots of school parties. They loved learning and
going to school everyday. I felt that the school was doing a much
better job than I ever could at home.

Now we've moved to Georgia which has the second worst school system in
the country. And it really is dreadful. My kids hate going to school.
They don't have art and they hardly ever get to go to recess. They are
expected to be quiet and sit at their desk for nearly 7 hours! I can't
even do that! And I'm a chubby lazy adult lady. How can a school
expect energetic little boys to do that? So my kids hate school, but
they deal with it.   In addition to all of this, my kids have about 1
hour of homework every night.  So after sitting around at school they
have to sit around at home.  In Iowa they didn't get homework…

Isaiah has pretty bad handwriting so I started teaching him cursive.
Well, when the teacher saw him writing in cursive she called me and
told me that Isaiah is not allowed to write in cursive at school. When
I disagreed, she got the principal on the phone to tell Josh that it's
not allowed until third grade, so Isaiah is not allowed because right
now he writes too slow!

We may just be here one year, and if that's the case I will let my
kids suffer it out. After all, one day they may have a job that they
hate and I don't want them to learn the idea that it's ok to quit just
because you hate your job or school. Next year if we are still here I
may home school them...

There is actually a public school here online.  The school buys you a
computer and a printer and gives you some money toward the internet.
It takes about 3 hours per day to finish all of the work.  I met a
lady here who has 4 kids and she just loves that program.  If we are
here next year, I think I will keep Samuel at home.  He is suffering
the most at this school.  His math and science teacher is mean and
crabby to him.  Samuel always keeps all of the rules so he rarely has
any opportunity to talk to anyone.  Talking is not allowed.  Isaiah
finds a way to talk and make friends, so he is happy.  Samuel just
"escapes" by secretly reading books all through class.  He reads about
300 pages a day.  He is becoming a speed reader like Joshua's brother
Dan.  Out of necessity to ward off the boredom in school, he started
reading real fast.

A couple of weeks ago Josh started reading Tom Sawyer to the kids.  It
sparked Samuel's interest, so one Sunday afternoon he picked up the
book and read it in just a few hours.  How do you read Tom Sawyer in a
few hours?  That's a pretty complicated book.  Last parent teacher
conference I asked Samuel's teacher what he could improve on.  She
told me that he has a real hard time writing summaries.  She told me
that he remembers every detail that he reads, so when he is asked to
summarize, he just recalls every single detail.  That's not a summary,
she said.

I think I'm starting to realize what some of the Georgia public school
problems are.  One big one is sitting still for 7 hours and boredom.
I think that from the beginning children in Georgia start hating
school so they don't want anything to do with it.  Another one is the
fact that you can not take your child to a different public school
even if there is room and you are willing to drive them.  You have to
stay in your assigned school or pay 1000 dollars per month for private
school.  And who can afford that?  Luckily our school is not violence
and drug infested, like most of the school in the area.  What are the
parents in those schools supposed to do?  It is terrible not to have a
choice to go elsewhere.

November 6 2007 the people in Utah are voting for school vouchers.  I
hear there is a big debate in Utah right now about vouchers for
private school.  My brother in law Brandon is working hard campaigning
for it.  I sure hope it passes.  I think parents have to have more
choices and the money to make those choices of where to send their
kids to school.  There is nothing sadder than sending your kid to a
place where he is not happy everyday.  Just ask my son Samuel.

If you vote in Utah and are interested in helping my brother in law
Brandon in passing the vouchers, email him at or at
least go to the polls this Tuesday November 6 and vote.

I'm sending some pictures from going to the duck pond.  Notice that
Nephi chases a duck in one picture and then he is being chased by some
geese in another.  When the excitement of feeding ducks wore off, it
was time to explore and get in…


31 Pazdziernik 2007

3 miesiace temu moje dzieci zaczely szkole tu w stanie Georgia.  Tu
szkoly sa makabryczne.  Drugie najgorsze w Stanach Zjednoczonych.  My
sie tu przeprowadzilismy ze stanu Iowa gdzie szkoly sa wysmienite.
Moje dzieci bardzo lubily chodzic do szkoly.  Codziennie sie cieszyly
jak wychodzily i jak wracali ze szkoly.  W Iowa szkoly sa kolorowe i
dzieci maja 3 dlugie pszerwy.  Tez maja wiele zabaw w szkole. Dziedzi
lubia chodzic do szloky i sie uczyc.  Klasy w Iowa sa interesujaca
zorganizowane.  Klasy sa duze i na srodu sa lawki.  Bo bokach klasy sa
rozne miejsca do nauki.  W jednym kacie sa regaly z ksiazkami i
miekkie fotele do siedzenia i czytania.  W innym kacie sa komputery, a
w nastepnym kacie sa klocki i linijki i inne zeczy do nauki
matematyki.  W ostatnim kacie sa eksperymenty naukowe.  Naprzyklad
jakies rosnace fasole albo nawet motyle.  Na caly tydzien dzieci  maja
zadane pewne zeczy do nauki i do wypelnienia.  Dzieci chodzo dookola
kasy i sie ucza na ich wlasnym poziomie i nauczycielka im pomaga.  To
jest bardzo fajny system, bo bardzo zdonle dzieci maga czytac
trudniejsze ksiazki lub uczyc sie trudniejszych zeczy na komputerze i
tak dalej.  Tak to jest w Iowa.

Niestety tu w Gerogia jest zupelnie inny system.  Dzieci nie maja tu
zadnych pszerw.  Tylko zeby zjesc obiad i nieraz po obiedzie maga
wysci na dwor na 15 minut.  Ale najczesciej jest za goraco wiec nie
wychodza.  Tez jesli jakikolwiek student rozrabia, co cala klasa nie
ma prawy wysc na dwor.  Moje dzieci mowia ze prawie nigdy ich klasa na
dwor nie wychodzi.  Na te 15 minut pszerwy najczesciej musza siedziec
w lawce i czytac.  Ale oni przeciez caly dzien siedza przy lawce, wiec
to nie jest prawdziwa pszerwa.

Moje dzieci wychodza do szkoly o 7:45 i wracaja do domu o 15:45.  To
znaczy ze ich nie ma w domu cale 8 godzin!  W szkole  nie ucza sie
malowac, nie wolno im rozmawiac, i musza siedziec przy lawce caly
dzien.  Ja nie moge siedziec w jednym miejscu caly dzien, a ja jestem
starsza leniwa pania.  A moje dzieci to mlodzi energityczni chlopcy.
Jak oni moga tak siedziec?

Samuel zawsze przestrzega regul wiec on bardzo cierpi w tej szkole.
Isaiah i tak i tak gada z kolegami wiec on jest bardziej wesoly.
Samuel bierze ksiazki do szkoly i jak nauczyciekla nie patrzy to on
bardzo szybko te ksiazki czyta.  On czyta 300 stron na dzien, duzo
szybciej niz ja lub Josh.  Tak tez on przezywa w tej szkole.

Ja zaczynam rozumiec dlaczego ten system tu w Georgia jest taki zly.
Jeden problem jest ze szkola jest bardzo dluga i nudna wiec dzieciom
nie chce sie uczyc i nienawidza szkoly on bardzo wczesnego wieku.  Tez
tu jest niedobry system bo jak bys chiala zawozic swoje dziecko do
innej publicznej szkoly to nie mozesz.  W innych stanach wolno jest
wybrac szkole jesli sama bedziesz dziecko tam wozic i jesli jest
miejsce na dziecko.  Tu niestey nie wolno.  Przynajmniej w naszej
szkole nie ma narkotykow i dzieci sie codziennie nie bija.  W innych
szkolach do okola nas tak tez jest.  A co maja ci rodzice zrobic?
Gdzie maja ich dzieci pojsc do szkoly jak prawo nie pozwala im szkoly

Tylko mogli by zapisac dziecko do szkoly prywatnej.  Ale szkola
prywatna kosztuje 1000 dolarow na miesiac za jedno dziecko.  Nie stac
prawie nikogo na to.  Niektorzy po prostu ucza swoje dzieci samemu w
domu i jesli tu bedziemy mieszkac dluzej niz rok to ja chyba bede
Samuela uczyc w domu, bo on jest bardzo w szkole nie szczesliwy.
Jesli jednak bedziemy tu tylko jeden rok to pozostana moje dzieci w
tej okropnej szkole.  Bo moze sie tego naucza, ze nawet jak w
przyszlosci nie lubia swojej pracy to tak i tak musza pracowac.

W stanie Utah teraz ludzie probuja zmienic prawo aby ludzie mogli
uzywac czesc swojego podatku ktore placa na szkoly, aby wyslac swoje
dzieci do prywatnej szkoly.  To bardzo dobry pomysl i Kingi maz
Brandon bardzo ciezko pracuje nad tym zeby ludzie glosowali na ta
zmiane.  Za dwa dni 6 Listopada bedzie glosowanie.  Mam nadzieje ze im
sie uda.  To jest bardzo wazne miec wybor gdzie posylac dzieci do

Przesylam pare zdjeci z malej wyprawki nad jeziora gdzie dzieci
karmily kaczki i gesi.  Na jednym zjeciu Nefi goni kaczke a na innym
gesi go gonia.  Po karmieniu kaczek dzieci same weszly do wody…


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