What Went Down At School The Other Day

Well if you have been reading here for some time you will know that we have sent our boys back to school – only for the time being! Our son Nicholas is loving High School, as well as Army Cadets. Cameron is in grade 5 and Kyle is in Grade 2.

What I Did Not See Coming

I dropped off Kyle to his new teacher on Tuesday (female teacher) and walked on over to Cameron classroom (he has a male teacher!). Then dashed back to Kyle. He had forgotten his jumper, so I reassured him I was going back to our Motorhome to get it. When we meet his teacher I explained that he was not used to School and had been Homeschooled for the last year and a bit. I explained that he is not used to sitting at a table/chair situation.

And left.

What Went Down!

That afternoon I knew something was up. I could tell by the look on the teachers face that she had something to say. David and I walked over to Kyle and gave him a hug. It was the first time we had spent a day apart in a very long time so it was fantastic when I saw his smiling face!

Yet she had to let me know (in front of Kyle) that she was so concerned and blown away with what he did not know. I then asked her about what? She then told me he had no idea what a “Lead Pencil” was when it was time to do writing.

** I need to explain – that Kyle will write when he wants to, and he will colour-in when he wants to. He is much happier playing with sticks in the sand, and that is where most of his writing is done! Then she asked to have a Meeting the next day to find out if Kyle knows anything. **

I said sure, what time.

So a time was set, and I was left wondering “What the Heck has knowing what a Lead Pencil got to do with school work?” (actually its is probably best I not write here what I said to Dave!)

The Next Morning

The next day (being Wednesday) I was in a huge panic because I was running a bit behind time, yet I so wanted to make that 8.10 am appointment. I think we got there about 8.16am to find the classroom locked up.

I waited, and about 8.45 am she arrived. Something had come up and she couldn’t make it on time (Sorry was said, and I say that was fine, totally understands etc)

Then she sits me down.

In the classroom.

In front of the kids – lucky for us the kids are really loud and could not hear what we were saying.

First thing she says to me is that Kyle does not seem to know much, about anything. And that reading is really important, and that she is so concerned about Kyle lack of anything! She has only had him for one day.


You Cant Tell Me That He Is NOT Smart 🙂

First thing that I say is that I am not concerned in one little bit. And that he is our last of five boys.

She then says “Oh That now makes all the sense and now I can understand what is going on” (or something to that effect!)

I then explain that I too believe in reading as its vital to living but I have been through it all with our oldest son, who didn’t want to read at all, and then even our fourth boy who wasnt reading until the last 12 months. He even had learning support teachers trying to help him, but it wasnt until he picked up a book that he wanted to read, and no-one was there to read it to him, that he started to read. And now Cameron can read really thick books (over 300 page books) in less than a day!

I then explained that our older son never ever wanted to do any school work, unless he had to. And now he is in the Navy and was dux for his course.

I then went onto to explain that I have never ever made Kyle do any homeschool work, only gave him the choice of what he would “Like” to do as they learn more when they want to.

The teacher then shared a story about her son (many years ago) with counting pegs – they were trying to get him to count and he didnt want to until he found some of his grandparents pegs and started to count them. Then he also discovered a huge slide and counted the steps on the ladder.

That story backed up what I was saying…..


Kids will learn by playing, exploring and by wanting to.

Then she went on to ask why he didn’t know what a Lead Pencil was. I was so tempted to share the joke (thanks Hubby and facebook friends!) that there is no lead in pencils but I wanted to keep on topic, be nice and be firm with my answer. Even if I was laughing inside 🙂

I explained that we used the term “Pencils” in our bus because that is what Kyle uses to work with. I then said that we don’t believe that boys will need to read until the age of 10 (mind you Zachery was reading from the moment he could!) because they can’t actually get the concept of putting words together. So we are not concerned.

She was shocked but she didn’t say anything.

The whole time our conversation was going on, I was watching the kids in the Classroom around us, moving, loudly and playing.

Kyle was sitting and quietly taking turns playing a game of “O” and “X” on the carpet. It was a big floor mat game. He was doing so well and won a few of the games.  I was smiling because all I could thing of was all of the times we have played “O” and “X” as part of his homeschooling day.

I then told her that the only reason Kyle was so keen to get back to school was to make new friends and play.

Her eyebrows went sky high but all she said was “Most kids love to play”

I had an answer for every one of her questions.

I am not concerned about Kyle – even with her questions about Maths – I said that he and his Dad play Maths games all of the time….just not on paper with a “Lead” Pencil.

See Kyle is fun-loving, outgoing, and so kind. He plays, and he learns. Sometimes the things that he says blows me away!

I was determined to stand up for Kyle. It’s the first time I have ever been able to do that EVER. Normally I don’t like confrontations and I will hide – actually I will do anything to get out of having to face someone over a conversation that makes me feel uneasy. I like to be the peaceful one, the one that is quiet and not make trouble.

At the School The other Day

Because I do not believe that Kyle belongs in a box of doing x,y,z and nothing outside of that box.

So what if he can’t read books by himself.

He loves listening to them – David loves reading to him big books that I would never think could hold his attention.

I love reading to him – even Zachery loves reading to him.

So what if he can’t write with a pencil on paper. Who has ever heard of a grown up not writing something, anything! He sure can create the best looking sandcastle/forts/bridges that I have ever seen.

So what if he can’t do maths on paper! See him with his Dad bouncing off numbers together 🙂

So what if he doesn’t know the full ABC song – He sure can sing! His all time favorite song is “I See You Baby”  – mind you I hope he doesn’t sing that song to his teacher!

So what if he is not used to sitting at a desk/chair. Bet you one day that he will have a successful career..

HOW do I know all of that? Because he has been homeschooling, and he is smart. Also because I have been here before with my boys, and I know deep within that nothing that teacher says will determine the rest of his life.

He is only six years old. He has a lifetime ahead of him of learning what he wants to know. What he needs to take on board to live in the real world.

Here is a video back in 2009 of Nicholas and Cameron with Kyle, building as part of their homeschooling! :-


And at the end of the day – do we really use what we learnt in primary school? Yes reading is so important. We are huge readers in our family, and will always be. He sees Zachery read over 500 pages easily in one day. He sees Nicholas and Kyle fighting over the same book because they both “MUST” read it that very moment. He has over five different people willing to read books to him.

The teacher can not sit there and make a judgement. She has only had him for one day. We have had him in our life for six years, and I can see how much he has learnt, and is learning every day.

He will make sure his brothers have some of his treats if he his out and about, and is getting something for being good. He always thinks of others.

He will share the shirt off his back if he had to …

I am not sure how he got to be so cute, loving and caring. But I do know one thing – HE will be OK and he will succeed with what ever his heart desires because he is determined to.

And I believe in teaching what he wants to learn. I believe in him, and I will be standing up for him forever.

Has It Affected Kyle?

Yes it has – not sure what is being said in the classroom. Within his ears, but he has said to us that he is “Dumb and Stupid for not knowing what a lead pencil is”.

But we have all (even his big brother got on the phone and assured him that he is the smartest six-year-old he has ever meet!) voiced together and shared how many “Smart” stories we have about what he can do, what he shares and what he knows.

I will never ever let anyone call him “Stupid”.

or Dumb.

The minute he tells me that he no longer wants to go to school, I am so pulling him out and making a run for it….back to homeschooling – where he can build confidence to learn with his own passion!

What his teacher thinks

For now he is happy to go back and play, and make new friends.

To me that is all that is important – his happiness. He is important and I will always be strong enough to say what I must for him.

I think that we are in for some interesting times ahead with his teacher – the next day I get told that he can’t go to the toilet in class time, not when ever he wants to. He must go before lining up to go back into class and at lunch times only! Yeah she is so old school 🙂

So that Is What Down At School The Other Day!

What Do You Think About Homeschooling?



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18 thoughts on “What Went Down At School The Other Day

  • May 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for reminding me why I’m glad I homeschool my child. Good grief.
    Talon recently posted..Monday photo

    • May 19, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Hi Talon,

      Yeah if he wasnt so happy with going to school, I so would be pulling him out! But for the time being he is doing ok, and we will take each day as it comes.

      When we move on we wont be looking at putting him into any more schools 🙂


  • May 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I had the opportunity to homeschool two of my children 5 years ago when we were living in Tassie. They had both been in the local Catholic school,(with no sporting facilities……not even a football to play with!!!)for a full year before the decision was made for me to homeschool. It was the best year of learning experiences and my elder two fondly recall the many expeditions/experiments we did/had. WE would have continued longer if we had not moved back to Qld and my husband had not gotten ill. I applaud any parent who has the patience and good sense to home school. It is a very concentrated and varied way of learning. And for the record, My Grandfather was a well respected, teaching Headmaster/Principal for most of his teaching life(late 50’s through to 80’s), and most of his classes were taught outside, under the shade of trees,tending to flower and vege gardens and concentrating mainly on math/science/nature/english…And a teacher I very much admire, once told me, school isn’t for everyone! It is very much an institution! Anyway, Good on you for sticking up for son….Hope he continues to learn….

    • May 19, 2012 at 1:38 am

      Hi Deb,

      I love hearing how you homeschooled for a year, and it was your childrens best memories of learning!

      I reckon your Grandfather is one-in-a-million and sure knows how to really teach! I love his style – being outside is what Kyle loves the most…its where he is happy, and where most of his learning happens.

      Thanking you for your kind support. As soon as we move on we wont be looking for schools again.


  • May 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Poor little fella, hope you can rebuild his confidence after hearing what he supposedly “can’t do” . Tell him I think he is wonderful and very smart. I bet he can do a lot of things that other 6yr olds can’t do. As for not being allowed to go to the toilet when he needs to, that is so stupid for kids his age. They did that to one of my girls in yr 3 and she was so scared to ask to go that she wet her pants in the classroom. I am pretty sure teachers aren’t allowed to stop kids from going to the toilet.
    Jackie Stenhouse recently posted..Heart Cookie Cutters

    • May 19, 2012 at 1:34 am

      Hi Jackie,

      I told Kyle what you said tonight and he had a big grin on his face from ear to ear! Thanking you for helping him to boost his confidnece back up.

      I am not sure what the rules are regards toilet breaks, but I am going to have find out because Kyle is now not drinking enough water (ending up with headaches from it) because he is too scared about asking to go in the classroom…that is crazy!

      Did you end up having to speak to your daughters teacher when she was back in year 3 about the issue? If so what did you work out/say etc?


      • May 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

        I certainly did talk to the teacher. She explained to me it was because the disruptive kids were asking to go as soon as they got back into the class so she went mad and said they go in the break because they no longer were allowed to go in classtime. Arielle was too svared to ask.

        • May 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm

          That still does not seem right! I am not happy – Kyle has ended up with a headache twice because he is now too scared to drink his water 🙁 Will have to see what happens this week.

          So feel for your little sweet girl (even though it was years ago!) Teachers just dont think about their actions sometimes.

  • May 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Just makes me so happy I home school! There seems to be no respect for differences in what is important in life and that is what I have the biggest problem with school on. When you have a large mass of children together it just makes it near impossible for their to be diversity at all.

    Funny, my son tried school at one point (lasted a week) and eh was most upset by the fact that he had to ask to use the bathroom. he felt they didn’t trust him and that it was completely unfair:) I love that his life is so full of trust and love!
    Mary recently posted..Orangutans of Bukit Merah, Malaysia

    • May 19, 2012 at 1:29 am

      Hi Mary,

      I too love homeschooling! But Cameron and Kyle so wanted to go back to school and I only want them to be happy. We will never look at putting them into school again once we move on!

      I too dont think that all kids should be doing the same thing even though they are the same age – as kids develop differently.

      We still have issues with the bathroom – now he is not drinking enough water because he is too scared to ask to go to the toilet! Will have to speak with his teacher about letting him go so that he can feel comfortable. Love that your son tried school – but only lasted a week…smart kid you have there!


  • May 19, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Hi Lisa,

    I deeply respect and admire you for your choices. It’s wonderful the way you stand up for your child! It was also a smart way, well done!
    In the school of my son is the same, they cannot go to the toilet when they like to and they cannot even drink from the water fountain. If they finish the water they brought with them, they cannot drink it. It’s a matter of controlling a group. Actually, we had him before in a Montessori school. Even if he likes his school, he felt more respected in the Montessori environment. However, the student body in this new school is much more diverse and he has now many more friends. There is never perfect solution… but if they are happy and we are loving them it’s already a great thing! You are really a wonderful mother!
    alberta recently posted..Violin of Hope- first American stop: Charlotte

    • June 14, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      Hi Alberta,

      It sure is a juggling act – sending them back to school so that they can be happy but also wanting what is best for them.

      I still dont get why they cant have water whenever they want, and why cant they go to the toilet when they need to?

      Thanking you for your fantastic supportive words.


  • May 22, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Wow. Good for you for standing up for your very smart boy. Some people just don’t get it do they? A good reminder for me of why I homeschool!
    Amy @WorldschoolAdventures recently posted..Making Plans

    • May 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Hi Amy,

      Yeah it was a first for me (saying what I believed in!) and staying calm. I will always believe that homeschooling is best, as our boys can learn when they are ready, not because they have to!


  • July 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    What I teach my kids is that it doesn’t matter what other people think of them or their work. They need to be happy within themselves. I have tried to have “star of the week” removed from our school but it seems they do not see that it is based on reward and punishment. Loved the boat your boys made….can’t tell me there is not science, maths, physics and language lessons involved with all that. Oh and FUN. How many schools lack just that one thing….FUN. No wonder kids want to be disruptive and go to the toilet a lot…they are telling us they don’t like what is going on in the classroom but the solution by teachers….not allowed. Our kids are allowed water bottles in the classroom but I doubt they are encouraged to use them for “water breaks”. My youngest has gotten the odd headache too and he knows it is about drinking more water. Also, my youngest is left handed so always comes home with work that is not complete but if you have a look at his coloring and hand writing, he is doing very well.

    Well done Lisa. I am pleased to read your work so I can now make my own changes for my youngest whose educational needs are different to my other two children.

    I also raised my kids using Dr Louise Porter’s approach “Children are people too” and it shows.
    Eileen recently posted..BPA Free Water Bottles

    • July 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Eileen,

      Some kids thrive in the school system and some kids thrive with homeschooling. Its a matter of listening and knowing whats going to work for each childs need. We have a 13 year old who is in grade 8 of highschool and he loves it!
      We also have a 10 year old in Grade 5 who loves his Teacher but doesnt like the school bullies/school work. He is doing well – getting A’s on every subject and loves learning. But if it wasnt for his male teacher I dont think he would like school all that much!
      Then we have Kyle who at 7 years of age, is our youngest. He can not stand to sit still, he cant stand the bullies and is not happy with the school system at all. So now he is homeschooling.

      Its a matter of working out what each child’s needs are, and what will make them happy!


  • January 11, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Hi Lisa. In full agreement
    Some of the lessons from Albert Einstein
    Follow Your Curiosity
    “I have no special talent. I’m only passionately curious ”
    “imagination is everything .it is the preview of life’s coming attractions”
    Imagination is more important than knowledge.
    Strife not to be a success , but rather to be of value
    “Information is not knowledge” The only source of knowledge is experience. Best wishes Johanna

  • January 15, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Hi Johanna,

    Thanking you for your kind, magical words and your wonderful wisdom xxx


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