One thing I have found surprising in our public elementary school is how little time is spent on music, art, and PE. At our school, they rotate these subjects + computers every 3 weeks, 4x per week. So they get to do one of these subjects every 3 months. My daughter is finishing the music section and the teacher told them they would do a talent show so I got to go watch. Only 3 out of close to 30 kids volunteered to participate and then when it was time, the teacher told them that they didn't have to do it, so one of the kids dropped out. I was sitting there thinking, "why don't you encourage the kids to do something? They need opportunities to perform in front of others! They can do it." So it was just my daughter and one other girl. My daughter wanted to play her ukulele and when the other girl saw that, she didn't want to perform anymore because she didn't have an instrument, but I encouraged her, and my daughter was having a hard time tuning her instrument, so she went ahead. I finally tuned the thing although I'm really bad at tuning ukuleles, I fianlly got it. Anyway, the other girls sang some pop song, she did just fine. I was glad that she had the courage to do it. Then my daughter played and sang This Land is Your Land. I was so proud of her. It sounded really good, and I think the kids liked it. It really is not difficult to play, there are only 3 chords in the song. I wish all the kids could have the opportunity to do something like that. They have been learning the guitar because the teacher said they were less expensive than the ukuleles, but they don't stay tuned, and there just really isn't enough time and the kids can't take the guitars home to practice. They also learned some self esteem song about how good they are to rock music. It wasn't bad, but it did make me feel a lot better about the music education we've done at home. I also will take my calling as primary chorister even more seriously-- it may be all the decent music some of these kids get at this age.
When my son had music, they learned the recorder. He really liked it. But wow, I think we as homeschoolers sometimes think they are doing so much at school and we may feel like we are failing because we can't do it all too. The reality is that with 30 kids in a class and time limitations, they can't do a whole lot. They spent at least 5 minutes getting everyone to be quiet and listen. We have to do that too in homeschool too, but then we can spend more time with the kids and give them one on one instruction. Anyway, this experience has been good for me too, to see what they are actually able to do in school. It is worse than I thought in a lot of ways. I wish the standards of excellence were higher. But really, this just may be the best that can be done under this system. Maybe we should be glad they get any music, art and PE.