Saturday, March 10, 2007

Little Shtetl on the Prairie

While chatting with folks during Purim, a 500 mile round trip journey, the non-question was: “of course your home schooling?” Even the clerks at the local grocery store state: “You are going to home school?” Again not so much a question but a statement of fact. The truth is no, we sent the Little Rebbetzin to public school. I went through the public school system and thought it was fine. Of course this was the New York City public school system and was at a time when good behavior was encouraged by Mrs. Silverman actually wacking you with the yardstick if you acted up in class.
I had failed to take into account that I now live in a state where 78% of the students fail to meet the no-child-left-behind standards and the response of the school system was to keep lowering the standards until more kids could pass them. And in this age of rampant PC hysteria the school won't disipline the students because that might "invalidate" them.
As a result we have not been pleased with the L.R.’s schooling experience. Her skill levels at reading, math, and writing have actually declined as the school year has progressed,as has her behavior. So when I read the following post put up by A Simple Jew,

"What Will The Neighbors Say?"
Please, please ignore your neighbors and societal pressure and l’maan Hashem do what is right for your child. I have seen far too many children sacrificed on the altar of "what will the neighbors say?" Keep your eye on doing what is right for your child. That’s all that really matters.
(Rabbi Yakov Horowitz)

and a few days later read this in a guest posting by Bob Miller,

The fact is that urban public school systems all over the country, the Midwest included, are failing in their mission to educate kids to become civilized, responsible citizens. Absenteeism, disinterest in learning, teaching of PC platitudes instead of real knowledge, bullying and other violence, drugs, sexual aggressiveness and other problems afflict these systems.

I said, OK, you don’t have to hit me in the head too many times before I get the point, so home schooling it’s gonna be. We just haven’t decided whether to pull her out starting with Pesach or allow her to continue till nearer the end of the school year.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Got that Covered

Hashem takes pity upon me, since I am crazed with pre-Pesach preparations, this month’s additions to my daily practices are already covered.

Step 13: Study from the books of Rabbi Nachman everyday. Already doing this one.

Step 14: Say Tehilim, say at least ten Psalms everyday. Again, already doing this, I recite the Tikkun HaKlali every morning after davening.

Since I don’t have to add anything new this month, with Hashem’s help, I can use the opportunity to fine tune those practices that I have already taken up.