Nobody ever said parenting would be easy. Every child is completely different emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Each of us has a brain that works like no one else's. You and I learn in our own unique way, even if both of us are labeled “auditory,” “visual,” or “hands-on learners.” This means that whatever method is successful for one person isn't necessarily the best approach for the next. This is true for parenting, but the bigger truth comes out when we shove all those unique, one-of-a-kind individuals into a classroom and expect the same product from each of them. For many kids, “one size fits all education” doesn't work!
And then you the parent gets called into school to be told your child is different and doesn't do everything the way they are “supposed” to. Your first gut level response can be, “duh”! But, that probably won't get you anywhere productive. Your real and legitimate response, however, can be, “I understand, he/she doesn't sit still, or stares out the window day dreaming, or doodles on her paper, or won't speak up, or talks too much, or doesn't know all the letters yet, or doesn't read yet, but he/she is awesome, because...” And then, go onto list all of the unique qualities that make your child brilliant. Yes, all kids are bright, smart, gifted geniuses. You can then discuss options on ways you can work together to help your child succeed, and you can say “no” to anything that doesn't feel comfortable to you or your child. I want to reiterate that: you can say, “NO”!
To be able to advocate for our kids, first we need to understand that we as parents and guardians know our kids better than anyone, even professional educators, and the Supreme Court agrees in several decisions (Meyers and Pierce). The High Court has repeatedly said that parents possess the “fundamental right" to “direct the upbringing and education of their children.”
Among other things, we can say “no” to behavior modification drugs, to repeating grades, and to state-mandated testing. We can say we want to home school our children without being discouraged or intimidated. It is our right, obligation, and privilege to make sure our kids are getting what they need to learn.
If you feel like you and your child are not being heard, Deep Root Center is an educational option in the North Country that will listen to your concerns. The Center will work with you and your child to design a unique educational plan that suits the needs of both of you. At DRC, we listen to and work tirelessly for each individual child. There is no agenda around testing, teacher/state directed curriculum, or state aid. We are here simply to help you and your child create a unique education that feels comfortable, exciting, challenging, and engaging.
An info session is scheduled Thursday, October 16th from 12-2pm, if you would like to learn more. If you cannot make it, please call or email to make an appointment.