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Old 09-24-2015, 05:59 PM
 
Location: South Fulton
97 posts, read 200,105 times
Reputation: 56

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This is my children's first time in public school and I am really struggling with this. I know many people on these boards are big supporters of public school. I thought that I might end up pleasantly surprised, but that unfortunately is not my experience. The kids are both in elementary school.

It's not a nightmare experience; I just am extremely underwhelmed.

No textbooks. Hard to know what's being covered in class every day. Music class is a joke; my children can play instruments already and know how to read music, but I guess music in public school is just learning how to read notes and playing tambourines and cymbals. The learning day is basically about 4 hours and then it's over; where they were, they had about 5.5 and 6 hours of instruction. And the standards are so low (IMHO) in comparison with their previous private school; they are learning WAY less.

Please someone, help me to see what's supposed to be so great. And I'm not trying to be funny; I really do need help with this.

FYI, the private school they attended before was not one of those high-priced ones that cost more than my college education; it was very reasonably priced. I feel like I, and more importantly, my children, are actually losing out.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:45 PM
 
Location: n/a
1,189 posts, read 740,024 times
Reputation: 1334
Redux?
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,405 posts, read 4,242,504 times
Reputation: 839
Yeah, the no textbook thing drives me crazy as well.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:12 PM
 
1,966 posts, read 1,654,758 times
Reputation: 1216
Not surprising about the music stuff. Music classes in elementary school are largely aimed for children that have very little outside music enrichment--they may learn to play some songs on a recorder, and that's about it--don't expect for art classes to be aimed at great artists either. In some school districts (parts of APS) they teach instruments in the fourth and fifth grade. Even then, a lot of children pay for additional lessons outside of school to really learn an instrument.
Yeah, and I also hate the no textbook thing.
The teacher has to teach everybody, so if a school has a lot of the kids "start off behind" that is going to slow things down somewhat for the kids that have parents that are able and willing to make sure their kids are prepared for school. Try to get your kids in the gifted program (and still don't expect that much) and enrich where you can.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:28 PM
 
1,796 posts, read 6,091,083 times
Reputation: 1176
What?? No textbooks?
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:27 AM
 
Location: South Fulton
97 posts, read 200,105 times
Reputation: 56
Well, funny thing is that there ARE textbooks in the school and the teachers say that you can check them out. However, the teachers don't use or go by the books. Soooo??? What would be the point, is my question. Also, I can't tell if children are really learning grammar anymore. The reading and writing standards are so vague (i.e., Read grade-level appropriate texts with fluency and accuracy) that I don't know what the crap that means for me as a parent.

We are the kind of parents who want to support the school and the teachers and do what we can at home with our children to ensure that they are learning, but we just keep getting pointed to all these math game type of websites. Which is cute, but is that what and how you are teaching in class? I don't know.

The kids also seem to be making perfect or near-perfect scores on everything, which suggests to me that they aren't really being challenged. I want them to struggle at least a little bit. Oh, if I could just homeschool!
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:25 AM
 
1,856 posts, read 2,903,609 times
Reputation: 1160
I was surprised too when my son went to get textbooks and some he had to retrieve online. Im like HUH?
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:19 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,010 posts, read 16,223,979 times
Reputation: 9746
Its not unusable now to not get physical text books in schools, They have a classroom set(s), and copies that can be check out of the library for the semester.

All my Son's books were PDF's on the School's Portal he ( I ) could review/access them from there.

For student without online access, or just wanted the paper copy they had copies in the library that could be checked out for the length of the class, or for a "Normal" check-out of two weeks.

Part of the Drive to PDF copies is Cost, also it a "Health & Safety" thing so the student don't have to haul around 20+ pounds of book to/from school, in DayPacks, or the rolling suitcases some students were using.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:04 PM
 
Location: South Fulton
97 posts, read 200,105 times
Reputation: 56
So, does anyone have recommendations on how to supplement their education? I don't feel like they are going to get everything they need. What do people do to add to their learning?

Also, I'm a little surprised that I'm not hearing from the pro-public folks on the site. Usually, when people post questions about private school, they can't even get answers, because all the pro-public posters come out swinging in favor of public over private. Well, now that I'm in it, I was actually hoping to hear from them.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:38 PM
 
Location: ATL -> HOU
4,132 posts, read 3,247,750 times
Reputation: 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlias View Post
So, does anyone have recommendations on how to supplement their education? I don't feel like they are going to get everything they need. What do people do to add to their learning?

Also, I'm a little surprised that I'm not hearing from the pro-public folks on the site. Usually, when people post questions about private school, they can't even get answers, because all the pro-public posters come out swinging in favor of public over private. Well, now that I'm in it, I was actually hoping to hear from them.
Move to a different area. If you are in South Fulton you can do a lot better. Also elementary isn't going to be be challenging anywhere. If they are gifted, get them on the gifted track. Otherwise you won't have any sort of separation until high school.
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