Monday, January 30, 2012
Mara's Driving!.. and more...
ok, if you read my blog, you know I am not fond of public school. I won't go into my opinions on the matter but will just say I am witnessing first hand the dumbing down of American kids through this system. Mara is dual enrolled in classes that she enjoys (drawing and ceramics) and one she has to take... Driver's Education ;)
In Utah it is mandatory to take Drivers Ed. Josh and Aspen took it through SLCC one summer and it was a 2 week long course and cost about $200 per kid. When Mara wanted to go to school this fall, we signed her up for drivers ed for a couple of reasons. One, she was going to school anyway and two, it was only $140. Big mistake. This class is the worst by far...it is on par with the horrible joke of a History class she was in for 2 months last term.
I had a sudden memory flash last night (while helping Mara with her homework) of reading the Utah Homeschool List and someone saying to never put your teen in the public school drivers education course. That it was a semester of busy work and a total joke. I wish I had remembered that!
Mara has only had 5 classes. We were told numerous times that she needed to pay in full for the class and get her driver's permit before the start of class. So, that is what we did. In fact, I paid for her class back in August and she got her permit the week before class started. Which meant going to the DMV at the break of dawn, waiting in line forever and paying $15.
Here is where it gets frustrating! Mara goes to school for the first class and over half the kids did not have a permit. So what did the teacher do? He gave them the test (less questions) and with an open book!!! Mara was furious! Yeah, I really want to be on the road with these slackers that can't even study for the test and go take it at the DMV. Not to mention, who are the parents of these kids? I am sure they were given the same information as we were and so why wasn't your child prepared for class?
Last night I spent 3 hours helping my child answer 87, yes 87 questions from the drivers handbook. The same book that she had to study to take the permit test. The test that she has already passed. She basically had to copy the freaking book! And to top it all off, the teacher didn't even ask for the papers. It was total busy work...so frustrating and completely meaningless. I would like those 3 hours of our lives back please....
Now, I could totally see if you were taking this class to prepare for the permit test needing to study the manual with a magnifying glass but she is taking the class to learn to drive. Apparently, she will get to drive 6 times in this class. And the 6th is a test to see if you are ready for the "actual" test. 6 times in 5 months! No wonder there are so many wrecks.
What is this doing to our kids? No one is being taught accountability or responsibility. Mara gets so overwhelmed in school with all the useless busy work. The sad thing is, the reason her friends don't is because they just don't care anymore. They are so burned out and disillusioned that they just don't do the work. I can only imagine what 10 years of busy work has done to their minds. Already this year 5 kids in Salt Lake have committed suicide from the pressure of public school And it is all for nothing!! It is so sad and heartbreaking.
So, why is Mara even bothering with public school. Well, we gave up on the homeschooling community here in Utah long ago when it comes to teens. Especially unschooling teens. Friends are important and when it came down to it our only option was public school. Thank god she can dual enroll :)
She went driving today in class. She had fun. I guess that is all that matters in the end. I will get off my rant and go back to my happy life of unschooling :)
- I am a mom to 5 amazing kids and married to my best friend and love of my life. We co-habitate with 1 cat, Asha, 2 dogs, Maggie May and Juniper Wren, a Chinchilla names Ozwald, and a Hamster named Fat Panda. We have lived in Salt Lake City for 13 years by way of Tennessee and Oregon. I love to be with my kids, knit, run, craft, sew, paint,travel, hike and play :) I love our crazy life!