Dear Dr. Laura,
I want to thank you for talking with my 9-year-old daughter, Ellie, and encouraging her in school. She was beaming for the rest of the day! (She particularly liked the part about being the 'Caller of the Decade.') She also told us how much better she felt about our decision to homeschool her, which my husband and I implemented last spring. She's been feeling a little blue, since all her friends went back to public school this week. I believe she knows in her head that homeschool is the best option for her, at this point, but her heart lags a bit behind. (She is only nine!) We found the public school to be a lot of style over substance. For example, they pride themselves on how much of their instruction is done electronically, but I'm not convinced the kids are actually learning anything, especially the fundamentals. There is also an absurd amount of unnecessary politics and drama, between staff, parents, and students, alike. We are happy to sidestep all this, for a few years, at least.
You are right, Ellie is special. It's a shame that public school can't grasp that every child is special. Like any bureaucracy, it is bogged down under its own weight. What can one really expect from a system that has to accommodate absolutely everybody? I'm blessed that we are able to guide Ellie at home for the balance of elementary school. It has the added benefit that we can listen to you while we are out and around town, doing errands, hitting the library, or going to her activities. She may just be the youngest card-carrying member of the Dr. Laura fan club!
Thank you for your time and care with a little girl who, because she spoke with you, no longer feels that she has a big dilemma.
Mom in Maryland
PS - By the way, Ellie forgot to tell you that her father is the president of the local school board! Isn't life ironic?