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What Happens When You Send Your Kids to Public School

What happens in public school?

Ten years ago, when I was pregnant with Tucker, I had the flu. The flu as in, all-out Influenza. You know, the epidemic that killed so many in 1918? Yeah, that.  When you’ve lived through the flu (I’ve had the real deal, diagnosed by a doctor, twice) you get offended by phrases like “touch of the flu”. This was a knockdown, high fever, aching, vomiting, every body part hurts sickness that lasted over a week. Anyway, Iris was only 8 or 9 at the time, so my mom was coming over to take care of the kids while I tried not to die. I could literally barely move off of the couch to go to the bathroom…

One day, as I lay in my semiconscious state, I heard my mom say to the kids (all eight and under), Do you know what sex means?

Now, I love my mom. I am so thankful she was helping with the kids. But what-the-heck? I lifted my fever-addled heavy head and turned to see where she stood next to our larger-than-life dry-erase board. I hadn’t yet found my voice, when she repeated herself. Do you know what sex means? Like if an animal is male or female?

Ah. That’s what she meant. The conversation continued and I continued to try not to die.

Recently Jubilee, who has just started junior high, said to me, Mom, what is codeine? 

I responded, as I usually do to questions like this with, “where did you hear that word?”

At school. We’re going to be trying it in STEM class“. 

It took me about six seconds to realize STEM = science, technology, engineering, and math. It took me another 2.3 seconds to realize the codeine they were planning to try in class was actually coding. It was a long 8.3 seconds, let me tell you.

{And if you want to see what she made…with coding, not codeine, you can check it out here.} 

Another thing that happens in public school? Speech therapy!

Yesterday, for the very first time, I heard Apollo make the “f” sound. I can’t believe the fast progress…especially since it has been just over two weeks since I signed the paperwork giving the school permission to work with him. This is especially exciting since, in an ironic twist of fate, his teacher’s name is Pfeffer…which requires not one but two “f” sounds. He’s been saying “sesser” the whole year so far and yesterday I heard him say  “feffer”!

Yipee for school!



  1. Candice Rodgers

    Thank you for this! After homeschooling our boys for seven years, putting our them in school was a really tough choice. It’s was particularly a struggle for me giving up my homeschooling dreams and ideals. However, the instant I realized that yes public school can actually be a part of God’s plan for my kids… It was a no brainer. Still, I totally get what you’re saying in this post. I’ve also been shocked, yet not surprised, by the judgements I’ve gotten by putting my boys in school. I believe your blog was the very first I ever read on homeschooling, when I first started out. I’ve appreciated your perspectives then, and now. Thank you. 🙂

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      If you’ve been reading that long, then you well know the struggle I had with putting my kids in school. I don’t regret it for a bit, but coming to that decision and they actually doing it was excruciatingly difficult. I am glad to hear that all is going well for you and your family. I can tell you it never crossed my mind that Apollo needed speech therapy and none of his many doctors mentioned he might need it.

  2. bemis

    That’s so interesting about Apollo’s difficulty with the “f” sound. Our daughter, born three months premature and now 3, until very recently couldn’t say the “f” sound at the beginning of words–she substituted “s” as well. She speaks incredibly well, but couldn’t do the “f” and also doesn’t do “r” or “l.” She uses “f” at the beginning of words about half the time now…ironically it hasn’t seemed to be an issue in the middle of words. She’s young enough that I suspect all the sounds will come in time, since the “f” has. She doesn’t have a feeding tube and never has, but also has had trouble growing, and some relatively serious feeding issues (she never learned to nurse and didn’t learn to drink properly from a bottle until 8-9 months old, and I don’t know if she could use a sippy cup even now. She also didn’t figure out a straw until very recently). Her issues have never been as serious as Apollo’s, but I wonder if you’re right about your connection between not learning to eat properly and not having/knowing how to use the muscles properly to form certain sounds.

  3. Melpub

    Awww . . . but the kid’s still in Kindergarten, right? My children–bilingual, so maybe this has something to do with their delayed ability to pronounce–could not pronounce many letters at that age. My oldest used to wind up like a baseball pitcher to say his name, and instead of the “L” sound with which it begins, whistled, “Shee . . . .” and meanwhile, his brother, then three, called him “Poi-Po.” Which doesn’t exactly tell you what his name was. I do recall, vividly, the feeling that my eldest would never, ever manage either a correct “W” or a correct “R” or a correct “Th” (the sound does not exist in German). When the German kids sang “Happy Birthday,” he would sing the way they did: “Heppy Burss-day toe yow . . . .”
    But all that changed. I think it changed because I read out loud to him constantly, and got a babysitter to do same when I went back to work.

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