Ben would have made a great pirate, but he was too busy on the school's robotics team. He programmed up a storm to make the robot accomplish missions, which they took to competition last week. I can't tell you how great it was to see Ben competing with his brain instead of his body.
The competition has a different theme each year, and this year's was biomedical engineering. Each of the robot's missions had something to do with a technological solution to a physiological problem. The team also had to do a presentation based on research of a specific medical challenge of their choosing. Ben's team did awesome, especially for a first-year team of fifth-graders. They also came home with the team spirit award. No big surprise! :-)
When I quit teaching to stay home with my kids, there were several people who were surprised that I didn't choose to homeschool them. But I was a public school teacher, and we always knew that public school would be our first option for our kids, as long as it turned out to be a good fit. While we intentionally live within the boundaries of a good school district, we didn't choose our house by first hand-picking the school we wanted. We just bought the house we wanted, and went with our neighborhood school.
Our school has talented, articulate, committed teachers who go so far above and beyond to give our kids great opportunities that it truly humbles me. It grieves me when I hear people complain about "how terrible the public schools have gotten". Sure, there are tired out teachers, and some schools and districts that have gotten into trouble. Horror stories sell well in the news. And yes, everyone needs to know their children and choose the option that is the best fit for each of them. But I would love to give a tour to anyone who thinks that public schools on the whole are bad. They would stand in AWE.
I thank God for public school teachers all over our country who are doing a totally incredible job of pouring their hearts and lives into our kids, each and every day! They are shaping the foundation of our society's future. Pray for them!