Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

As it turns out, I was right - there really are consequences for putting homeschooled kids back into regular school

Back in late May, I wrote about some of the consequences of putting homeschooled kids back into regular school.  -a post that incidentally met a whole lot of hoopla and had charges thrown at me such as:

bunch of fallacies, lies, and half-truths
 scare tactics.

Charges that the original blogger decided to double down and "100% stand by" a few days later.

So a couple of weeks ago I was bemused to read this post by Simcha Fisher.  In this posting, Fisher is  going off on a pro-regular school vs. homeschool polemic in response to this post by Matt Walsh. I point all of that out just to document that in no way could Simcha Fisher's post be labeled a "pro-homeschool" blog post.  

Nonetheless, she backed up several points that I made about some of the consequences that one might face in putting homeschooled kids back into regular school.

In my post, I wrote:  

Mom and Dad will no longer control the curriculum.  Oh, there can be meetings with the teachers and principal and maybe there will be attempts to sway the school board from time to time if things get too out of hand, but for the most part, you won't know what's in the novels that are assigned (because for the most part, they won't be classics that you're familiar with!) and you won't know what's being presented in class that's NOT on the syllabus.

and Fisher's experience seems to bear that out:
 The key was, we did our research.  We got our information.  We met with the teachers, looked over the curricula, sat in on classes, talked to the principal, got to know the other kids our kids were spending time with, and kept a close eye on all of the above each time our kids joined a class.  When Common Core became a reality in our school, we met after school with the curriculum director and found out exactly what changes will be made, and why.  When the kids got up to units of study that we thought might be problematic (things like medieval history or environmental studies or health class), we made sure our kids knew the truth, and encouraged them to present it to the class if it wasn't being covered by the teacher.  In most cases, it turned out the teachers were not eager for controversy, and were respectful and accommodating.
So to unpack that a bit -  with regard to the curriculum, if you really want to still be a part of the process with the newly -schooled child, there will be meetings with teachers, principal and the school board.  Fisher met with teachers, the principal and curriculum director. They spent extra time going over the curricula, getting to know the other kids by "spending time" with them and then teaching units ahead of time so that they could handle misinformation in class.

Seems to me that if not having enough time to adequately homeschool is the problem, you might want to reconsider.  Homeschooling isn't as much work and  time intensive as trying to oversee the school curriculum and environment. 

 I also wrote:
No longer will the opinions of the parents and relationships with siblings be the most important part of the high school student's life.  Teachers will also get a say and have sway.  And so will peers.

and Fisher seems to bear that out as well.
 Another way would be to understand that your child's school experience will be affected by the way that child's  particular school is run.  In some schools, wild and damaged children will be allowed to bully and injure your children.  In other schools, discipline will be handled wisely and reasonably, so that both your child and her "attention starved peers," who are surely just as important as Matt Walsh's children, will be given what they need.
That is what most teachers and school administrators are there to do:  to try to give children what they need.  Sometimes  bureaucracy will make it harder for them to do this

Fisher seems to back up that point as well - the child's school experience will be affected by the teachers, administrators and other children in the school.  That's just a fact of sending a child to an institutional school. It is what it is, and Fisher's experience also bears that out. For a student trying to survive in the academic institutional setting, those relationships are crucial

My original post had been written to fill a need I saw at the time. A lot of people I personally know have put their children back into public and private schooling - some happily, and some not so much.  I had seen many articles and posts on the difficulties of pulling a kid out of school to homeschool them but I had never seen the reverse until I wrote a post about it  - based on my own experiential anecdotes, not fear, fallacy or an attempt to just blatantly lie to folks.  So I feel somewhat vindicated to see an article that inadvertently backs up a few of the points I was trying to make.

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