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Thread: Outside Class

  1. #1

    Default Outside Class

    My oldest (10) is doing an after-school computer programming class. It's at a school which is outside our district, but the organization it's under lets people sign up from anywhere (you pay $100+ for an 8 week session of classes).

    The teachers who run it seemed nice when we first met them. During the day they are 2nd grade teachers and the class starts right after they put their kids on the bus. Even though we homeschool, I have a lot of respect for teachers—including public school teachers (and this seems like a very nice school).

    When my son come out of class, he was upset. He said the teachers pointed out they never had seen him before and asked where he went to school. They did this in front of the class and didn't ask any of the other students where they went to school (I have a feeling they know the other kids like they said even though they are older than the ones they teach).

    He also was called out for talking. He's worried he's being singled out, because he doesn't attend the school. He's taken other programs before at elementary schools and this has not happened before—though we have had issues with kids camps every few years. I'm guessing these teachers could be stricter than other teachers he's had (often PE, Drama, or Art).

    I'm trying to encourage him to master his stories. He shouldn't be talking over the teacher, and the thing with the introduction may have not been at all malicious. The teacher may know the other students well in the class. Another issue is he felt the class was too easy (they were just doing programming on paper). It seems to me to be difficult to judge a first class like this—especially as the age range is broad (9-12). The kids in the class seemed very nice and he liked watching a video. I really liked the work he came home with.

    We agreed he should stick out the class for one or two more times before making a judgement.

    However, I'm a little anxious that my son could possibly be stigmatized as a homeschooler. Most of the interaction we've had with public/private school teachers has been very positive—even after they know my kids are homeschooled. We did run into one exception this summer where a teacher doing administration at an arts camp was super friendly with me until she found out DS was a homeschooled. Then she avoided me like the plague (not even saying hello back). Hoping that is completely not the case with these teachers.

    Should I say anything to either/both of them or is there anything I can do to get to know them better (or help them know us better) so I have a clearer picture of what is going on?

    I'm really hoping my gut instinct is correct, and the teachers are just stricter (especially as the kids they teach during the day are a bit younger). If so, I feel the potential of this being a good learning experience for my DS could be amazing—even (or especially) if they have different personalities than he's used to.
    Last edited by GloriousWeed; 09-25-2018 at 02:13 PM.

  2. T4L In Forum Dec18
  3. #2

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    You could.... fret about it, or see what’s up.
    Since he got called out for talking, you could start talking to the teacher about that, playing the “I want to make sure my kid is behaving well” angle. See if that conversation leads into anything that worries you, or comforts you.
    You could also sit in (in the background) for the next class, so you could give your perspective to a discussion afterwards.

    What you probably dont want, though, is for him to build up a narrative he tells you of relentless persecution and boredom - if its not a good reflection of reality.

    Good luck, I hope this was just a case of the teacher being curious about the new student, and being justifiably reminded to be quiet when chatting isnt appropriate.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  4. #3

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    Alexsmom - That is exactly what I was thinking. I did have him switch classes at an art camp this summer, but it was a combo of many things. Kiddo told me the teacher had the class draw stick figures over and over (we're talking 8 times—I'm an artist and can say that is excessive!), and that the teacher sarcastically corrected another child using their age ("you might be the youngest here but you shouldn't behave this way"). This was after I stopped by early to pick him up and heard this woman using a very unpleasant tone with her students. She wasn't quite yelling, but it was very uncomfortable hearing her voice. She sounded very grumpy and somewhat condescending. My biggest fear after moving him from that camp was he would see other adults who weren't super friendly as impossible to work with, but I know it was the right thing to do. I found out later from the husband of the art teacher who usually runs that camp that the counselor was a substitute, a good artist and not a bad instructor, but she had very limited experience with children. She did not get invited back.

    So far I don't get that vibe here with these teachers, but you never know with people. I think what I'm going to do is just reach out to the teacher involved and ask her about some of the programming the children are using. Then I'll inquire to see if they could use some parent volunteers. This would let me see how the class is handled (and how my DS is behaving) and do something to help the teachers out and give them a chance to get to know us better.
    Last edited by GloriousWeed; 09-25-2018 at 06:10 PM.

  5. #4

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    Success! The teachers have been super friendly with me since I emailed them, and my little guy is really enjoying class now. He was very happy when I picked him up the other day, and said the second class was completely different. I'm so glad. He's been a bit of a negative grump this year about trying new things since we had a terrible time with COOP the other year.

    We've homeschooled from the start, but after a couple of very negative COOP years it feels like we are going through the same kind of process that I've heard families go through when they pull their kids out of a toxic school environment.

  6. #5

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    So glad everything worked out!
    We took the summer off as I couldn’t get anything started w/o a regular routine in place. Doing 3rd grade now and so far so good.

  7. #6
    Junior Member Newbie nicoledg's Avatar
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    Great news! As a former public school teacher I would have hated to think that this teacher was being judgmental or prejudicial based on the fact that your son doesn't attend the school. I'm happy that he is having a positive experience so far despite the initial day being uncomfortable, but I clearly remember most first days being uncomfortable for myself (both as a student and a teacher). Great lesson learned by him. Thank you for sharing.

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