Imagine a society where you’re only allowed to hang out with people your own age. (OK, so my only friends were born in 1964…or possibly late 1963, if they didn’t reach the cutoff date.) You have to spend 7 hours a day with them, in a room where you’re not allowed to talk unless you raise your hand. You’re not allowed to use the bathroom, unless it’s the right time of day.
You all go to lunch at the same time, and you’re only allowed to talk to the peers sitting at your table. (This is after walking through the halls silently, in a line.) If you turn around to talk to the people behind you (or if you shout out to a friend who happens to walk into the room), you get pulled out to sit at the “silent” table.
If the lunch room (or restaurant/cafeteria) gets too loud, someone walks up front and shouts over you. If it’s really bad, the lights go out and you’re on “silent lunch.”
If you don’t finish your work, you don’t get to go on break. If someone else doesn’t finish their work, you all lose your break privileges.
You’re given 2-3 hours worth of work to bring home. Your boss spends most of his or her day dealing with disciplinary issues.
Before I make enemies (I do love my friends with kids in public/private school, and I don’t want to alienate anybody), this was just OUR experience. I know that there are wonderful schools out there (with amazing teachers). This is still about finding out what’s right for YOUR child… And not giving in to what society (or anyone else) expects…
These are the experiences that shaped who my child was, in her early years. Can I really blame her for not wanting to continue in this kind of atmosphere?
It’s no wonder that she had meltdowns in fourth grade. She was a loving, smart, well-adjusted child. Her teachers loved her (and she loved them). She had friends. She didn’t struggle with schoolwork. She never complained of bullying.
It took me all these years (remember, I’m a slow learner) to figure out that this wasn’t the right atmosphere for her. Her spirit was slowly being extinguished.