Sunday, 11 September 2011

Private school

I never thought I might be looking into private school for any of my kids, but that's just what I've been looking up this evening. We haven't made the decision yet, because a big part of that will be if we can actually afford it without taking out a second mortgage.

I'm just so frustrated for Colin. Once again, we've started another school year and once again he feels little more than apathy toward it. He is never any trouble, and will do the work handed to him, but I think he just doesn't see the point of it. From what I can tell, in the current system, he would coast along well at a C average, never really enjoying himself or the schooling.

The following picture is what propelled me to look into an alternative for him:

This is a picture Colin drew and labelled during his quiet time the other day, while I took a short nap. We have not been discussing the body or its makeup, nor have we been working on writing and reading in specific exercises. This literally "came out of nowhere," or, in other words, was simply something he found fascinating and decided to explore on his own. On the left is a picture of your body from the outside, on the right is from the inside. Colin drew and labelled the bones, blood, and heart. The writing in black reads "Be careful with your body." The writing in red at the bottom is the legend (heart, blood, bone.)

At school, the only thing we have heard from teachers is that Colin displays little interest in the activities, including reading, writing, art, gym, and science. Last year the teacher said she Colin only reluctantly finished any work, and showed no interest in it at all. Colin's responses at home to us, when queried about school, is that he understands the work and does his best to do it, but there has been absolutely nothing, not one thing, that piqued his interest at all. And knowing his teacher last year (fabulous - hands on, lots of involvement and activities) and his teacher for this year and next, and also the teacher for grades 3-4, (sitting at tables, lots of workbook stuff) I just don't see things getting any better.

How can a child with so many questions at home, who takes initiative, who pursues learning with an unquenchable thirst, be floundering at school? It absolutely breaks my heart to see him so apathetic toward learning, especially when I'm so passionate about it.

And so, perhaps private school, just for him, and just for now. I'm hoping that he can test into the gifted program by grade 4, so really we just have to get through the next 3 years. But I really abhor the idea that a "better education" (or at least a different type of education) can only be accessed by those with the money to pay for it. Really, it outrages me, and I can hardly believe I'm looking into it. But there has got to be an answer out there for us.


Anonymous said...

What an awesome picture!

I find that the children seem to thrive with extended, unscheduled time like that... so often I have stumbled upon something remarkable they have created after a soliatary rest time in the afternoon.

Kids are making the amazing connections all the time... sometimes schedules get in the way of that processing and creativity ;)


Terri-Ann said...

Thanks Bon! And on realizing that I would need a second mortgage to afford private school, a good friend suggested maybe a nanny would be more affordable - someone to keep Benjamin occupied for an hour or two so I could homeschool Colin. Benjamin has always been the biggest factor preventing me from homeschooling, since he has never been willing to occupy himself or let me have a moment alone with the other boys. So there is hope yet!

Anonymous said...


I think that's a great perspective to take... you're already doing such an excellent job of creating a good learning environment at home - he clearly thrives under your tutelage... if you need to "buy" some time, whether it be paying someone to do your housecleaning, or looking after the younger boys a bit, that's the place to put your money.

As always, I'll look forward to seeing where your journey leads to next!


Heather said...

Private school is such an amazing experience if you can afford it. I lived/worked at Pickering College, a day/boarding school in Newmarket as an EA in the primary division. It is a fabulous school. The Milones have always sung The Maples praises, but I know some EA's who work at the school who constantly say the teachers are lazy and overpaid for the program they deliver. I do like that they seem to shy away from standardized testing (no EQAO) and have a more relaxed approached. Huge decisions for you and your family. Good Luck!