We recently received the following email from a mother in North Carolina.
I am the mother of three children, ages 15, 12 and 9. We started homeschooling our oldest daughter from the outset with the intention of home educating all of our children through high school. Through a series of events, we ended up moving with a newborn. A year later, we experienced economic hardship that continued for over 9 months.
I took on a part-time job and continued homeschooling, but after a year, I was drowning under the pressure with no support and a husband telling me that I couldn’t do it all so we should just put them in school. We put them in private school that fall, but after a semester of paying the high tuition price while not being able to find a full-time job in spite of a Bachelors of Science in Accounting, we were in serious debt. The next obvious step was to put them in the public school and trust them in God’s hands. After all, my husband argued, we could not continue what we were doing. I conceded, to my dismay and shame.
We encountered a lot of good, Christian teachers along the way, and I thank God for those teachers; however, we experienced just as many bad teachers. On top of the bad teachers we encountered, the good teachers were fighting the system so there was little to no freedom for those teachers to share their faith and encourage my children in their faith. They also were dealing with the trial implementation of the CCSS by the Wake County Public School System.
By that time, I had a full-time job, but the pay was not what I was expecting so it took a long time to get out of debt. Dealing with CCSS while working full-time was a nightmare to say the least. I was told by the principal of my 4th grade son that the teachers were implementing learning centers instead of teaching, the kids were supposed to learn from each other and apply their knowledge to real-life scenarios. My only question for the principal was, “How is the child supposed to apply knowledge he or she has not acquired?” to which she replied, “That’s a good question. I’ve never thought of it that way.”
During that same conversation with the principal, I also gave her some information about other issues we had been having particularly one issue with my youngest who was in second grade. I would regularly stop in the classroom on Friday after I got off work since I got off at noon, go to lunch with the class, come back to the classroom and help some of the students read, do projects or work on new concepts they were learning. This one particular day came after we found out we were moving out of the community. I showed up during lunch because I left work a little late. When lunch was over, the teacher’s assistant came in the cafeteria, walked over to me and said, “Oh, so you decided to come eat lunch with Maura?” I responded with, “Yes, I had some time this afternoon since I don’t have any other errands to run, so I thought I’d come hang out with her and help you all out.”
Imagine my shock when she said, “Well, I don’t think you’ll be able to stay this afternoon,” and walked off. I walked back to the classroom with my daughter, and the kids all went inside. The teacher said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to stay.” I gave her a confused look, and she continued, “When parents come into the classroom, it really disrupts the kids, especially this close to winter break.” I continued to have a confused look and she went on to say, “The other second grade teachers and I sat down together, and we have a new policy that we’re not going to be allowing parents to come in for the rest of the year. The kids have to start to gain their independence, and we feel this is the best time to start helping them do that.”
What this teacher didn’t know was that another student told me while we waited in the cafeteria to go back to the classroom that her Mom had been there the day before and spent a couple of hours in the classroom. I was obviously upset and hurt by what the teacher had said, but even more than that, I was angry. This teacher had told a blatant lie to my face without flinching. It scared me to know that my daughter was in her class, and I began wondering what other character flaws this teacher had that would influence my little girl. When I shared this information with the principal, she was upset and told me that they do not have any such policy and that they welcome parents in their classrooms.
The next month, in January 2012, we moved to Burlington, NC, for my husband’s job. The Alamance-Burlington School System had not started implementing CCSS, and the quality of the schools was a little better than WCPSS. We relaxed for four months, but I noticed the beginning signs of CCSS, with early release for staff and teacher development. By that August when they returned to school, CCSS was in full-swing.
My youngest child was highly intelligent but regularly came home with behavior marks indicating she had not been on target. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening and started praying fervently for insight into the problem and a solution. It took until January to figure out she was bored. I sent supplemental work for her to complete, and her behavior issues seemed to be remedied, but we occasionally dealt with the issue.
Throughout the spring of 2013, I was increasingly frustrated with my son’s lack of understanding the material he was studying. When I tried to help him, I could not make any sense out of the assignments he was bringing home. I asked him questions about what the teacher had taught them that day, and he could not explain anything about the lesson. I continued to pray about my frustrations, asking God what we needed to do about their education. I clearly heard God tell me to homeschool the two youngest children. Within two weeks of hearing God’s voice, my son and youngest daughter asked me to homeschool them.
I experienced opposition from my husband and oldest daughter who was fully indoctrinated about the public school system. Fortunately she is a strong Christian, but she was in high school, had her group of friends and was not going to come home easily. Interestingly, God had already warned me that this would be the case, so I just kept praying for her. I told my husband that I was going to the homeschool conference in May “just to see what kind of curricula is available”. By the end of May when I went to the conference, we bought all of our curriculum because he was on-board and wondering how long it would take our oldest to decide she wanted to come home, too.
I’m pleased to say that one week before school started last fall, she came to me and stated emphatically, “Mama, I think God wants me to homeschool in the spring.” She stayed at the public school through the fall semester to give me time to sort out the education of her younger brother and sister. My youngest was so indoctrinated that we spent last fall working on character and respect, especially of us as her parents. She still fights us a little bit, but now it has normalized into what I call normal testing of the waters rather than complete outright defiance due to the undermining of our authority that was happening in the public schools.
I discovered on June 10, 2013 exactly how bad that undermining of our authority had become. The same teacher who acted like she was working with me to remedy the behavior issues had been silently undermining me all spring semester. Remember that supplemental work I sent to school with my youngest? I pulled that workbook out after we got home from withdrawing her on the last day of school, and not one page was completed. Not one page! I was furious, confused, hurt, completely beside myself. I asked her why nothing was done in the book, and her answer opened my eyes to the serious indoctrination happening in our schools.
The answer was simple: she became a free miniature teacher’s assistant. She would complete her work and be expected to help the students who were struggling, or she would be sent on errands, or she would be asked to read to the class while the teacher and her assistant were on their computers. Never before had I been so sure of a decision than I was at that moment. It was time to educate them at home, and whatever it takes, we will continue to do so until graduation.
Thank you for your project that lays out the entire history of public education and confirms my growing suspicions and knowledge of the indoctrination my own children were subjected to. Thankfully they were only in the system five years, so the damage is still reversible with God’s help. He has been faithful and is really working in the hearts of all three of my children. Sadly, there are many more parents who are unaware of the dangers they send their children into every day.