Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tough guys don't do math. Tough guys fry chicken for a living.

Contrary to what you might think, we send our children to (heathen) public elementary school.

We've actually dabbled with a Christian private school, but found it a less appealing option for a variety of reasons. So far, we've had very few complaints and have been blessed with great teachers and principals.

Yet, I do have a complaint. What's up with my kids having homework and repeatedly having to cover stuff like how to get out of our house during a fire or how to identify hazards in our home, etc.?

Apparently, per my wife, they also teach bicycle safety and how to brush your teeth.

Teach them academic stuff, for crying out loud. I can teach my kids stop, drop, and roll.

Am I wrong or overreacting here?


At 25 September, 2008 16:27, Blogger etoc said...

Amen my man! Basic life skills, such as the ones you note, are the domain of the parental unit. Without them, my kid wouldn't have survived to be in school. My question is: what prompted them to start teaching this stuff in the first place? Did they really have kids coming to school unable to recognize normal dangers? I don't get the emphasis on this either. Otherwise, I'd also amen your positive words regarding public schools.

At 25 September, 2008 16:51, Blogger Rev. said...

That's what happens when you live in a nation where the majority expects Big Brother to take care of them from the cradle to the grave...

At 25 September, 2008 17:08, Blogger Cody said...

Wait...if your house is on fire you want to find the nearest exit, not stop, drop, and roll. I thought that was if you're on fire. At least that is what I was taught in public school. :)

May I ask for a reason or two why Christian private school is less appealing?

At 25 September, 2008 18:33, Blogger Lance said...

That reminds me . . . I've got to change that exit sign bulb over our front door.

At 25 September, 2008 22:01, Blogger Kasey said...

Unfortunately, some children live in homes with parents who never discuss fire safety and don't teach them the importance of brushing their teeth. I've taught many of those students.

At 25 September, 2008 23:28, Blogger GUNNY said...

Cody, we'll chat offline, since much of what I would say is situational, but I don't necessarily want to give the impression we are/were bitter with that school in particular.

Kasey, that is pretty tragic, I must say.

etoc wrote: "My question is: what prompted them to start teaching this stuff in the first place?"

That's a good question. How does the subject of toothbrushing even come up in elementary school? Does a teach say, "Kid, your mouthwash ain't making it" and then a trend is noticed.

How many kids have to have stank breath before the whole ISD curriculum is changed to teach oral hygiene instead of math one day of the year?

But I can see the progression from teaching kids about how to take care of their mouths to how to take care of their "naughty bits," as Lance calls them.

Rev, I can certainly see how many would expect school to be their one-stop shop.

What I wonder, on second thought, is whether or not they teach these things in private school as well.

Any one have any knowledge in these areas? I know a teacher at a prominent Christian school in the area. Perhaps she will stop by and weigh in? (hint ... hint)

At 26 September, 2008 10:48, Blogger Oilcan said...


Along the lines of "your mouthwash ain't making it", let me just say, I wish they would have taught kids how to brush teeth back when you went to public school.

I appreciate schools, public or private, supporting parents and reinforcing good knowledge of fire safety/prevention and good health and hygiene. I know there is plenty of time waste going on schools, so there is ample time in the public school day to use a segment or two for such truly beneficial matters, without infringing on sufficient academic time.

The problem with public schools nowadays is that they generally don't seem to have proper education priorities and consequently out of proportion allotment of time for such subjects. Plus, they also typically don't respect the line where things should be left to the parents, particularly sex education and religion. I think we agree these are over the line. However, my line allows for teeth brushing, and yours does not.

I forget Gunny, how many years did you go to school in England? Clearly they do not stress dental hygiene over there, and perhaps this has biased you against it.

At 26 September, 2008 13:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have had our child in private school since 1st grade - for a number of reasons! Living in Texas and in one of the largest school districts in the nation - I continue to be shocked by what is taught (and not taught) in the school system. The classes are HUGE and they teach to the lowest common demoninator. I would live under a freeway and work 10 jobs if that what it took - I'd do it over again in a heartbeat.

I have the deepest sympathy for the frustrations that the teachers in our public school systems have - it's ridiculous. I have several friends who teach in public schools are are actually more frustrated with the parents than the administration and/or kids.

When our son was starting high school, we gave him the option of "public school". He spent the day with a 9th grade student - going to all his classes with him - seeing what the day would be like! Our son came home and said, "No thanks!". He said that the kids were rude to the teacher, talked through the entire classtime, the teachers had very little control of the classroom. This could be the very reason that there is so much homework - the teachers cannot get the kids attention long enough to teach the lessons - so they are sent home with the kids. After talking to several kids who attend public school - they all agreed...that's exactly why they have so much homework.

Gunny, I do not know your situation - but, private Christian school has been a very positive experience for us! But, let me just say - there are alot of people who think that when they send their kids to private school their kids will not encounter the same problems they have in "public school". This is false. The difference is that the same issues are in both schools - but, in a smaller school - they are caught quicker and dealt with in a God honoring way - with parental involvement (not writing the kid a ticket for not brining a note from home for missing class).

I will get off my soap box now! :0

At 29 September, 2008 13:30, Blogger Reepicheep said...

To Your question:

"Am I wrong or overreacting here?"

Yep. And undereacting to the world view training they're getting.

:)...kind of

At 29 September, 2008 13:58, Blogger GUNNY said...

Great comments and most appreciated.

Some good, honest thoughts on the distinctions between public & private schools.

Lance, don't you have deacons for that?!

I got a fresh container of mouthwash and hope to open the seal soon, Oil.

On a personal note, we've talked at great length about re-evaluating when it comes to middle school.

At this age, I can see them influenced by church and parents, so that they identify and rebuke slooginess they see at school.

However, when peep pressure becomes more intense and peers become more ... sloogey, well ... this is our concern, dude.

Good quote from Rachel in children's church per one of our elders: "Kids, what do we say when someone says there are many ways to get to heaven?"
Rachel: "Mock them."

At 29 September, 2008 20:09, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What I wonder, on second thought, is whether or not they teach these things in private school as well.

Any one have any knowledge in these areas? I know a teacher at a prominent Christian school in the area. Perhaps she will stop by and weigh in? (hint ... hint)"

Sorry it has taken me so long to chime in. To my knowledge, things like teeth brushing are included in our curriculum at the PreKindergarten level. They do a community/home/family unit that covers safety, hygiene, etc, but it's not very in-depth. It definitely wouldn't suffice for a child's whole knowledge of these things. It's supplementary.

Public schools teach those concepts we generally think of as the parent's responsibility because parents aren't doing it. For instance, my sister in law is a public school PreK teacher and she actually has teeth brushing time twice a day with her kids. They brush in the morning and then in the afternoon. This is probably the only time some of the kids brush their teeth. Seriously. She also has to teach them how to use forks, how to tie shoes, bathroom etiquette, and so forth. Sad, but true.

~Michelle K

At 29 September, 2008 22:03, Anonymous steph said...

Overreacting. I'm going to pull a Gunny right now and blog-pimp myself with regards to other things they should be teaching in school.

Safe Sex & Nutrition

At 30 September, 2008 02:09, Blogger GUNNY said...

Steph, it's hard out there for a pimp.

Thanks for weighing in, Michelle K.


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