I don't think it will be terribly surprising to anyone that I dislike the public school system. I'm not referring at all to the teachers- there will always be a few great teachers, a few terrible ones and plenty that are adequate. I think the system as a whole is broken, with the results of standardized testing being held more important than actual learning. I watch year after year as both of my kids- kids with very different learning styles and personalities- sink into boredom and frustration the third quarter as learning is replaced by test preparation, and then testing and then more testing.
At work and at home I believe strongly that if I am going to complain about a problem, I better at least be actively trying to come up with a solution. I can certainly accept help from others, but as a responsible adult I should never just expect others to solve my problems. Some issues are much harder than others, but if I'm having an issue with the tigers, I come home and email other zoo people who work with tigers. I post questions and google and try to find answers. I don't whine to my boss and expect her to do all of my work and solve the problem. Likewise with the kids, I go to other parents or even the internet for advice, but I don't just dump the problem on Gene and expect him to deal with it. (Unless the problem is new baseball cleats for Logan- he can deal with that.)
School drives me completely nuts because I feel like I'm in completely over my head. How can I possibly address issues that are driven by the federal and state government??? How can I complain when I feel like I can't do anything? How can I possibly make time to do anything when I'm already too involved in too many other things? I know I would be a terrible homeschooler. I don't have a lot of choices in private schools and really have equal issues with them. I feel stuck and like I'm being a bad parent- but really, how bad can I be if pretty much everyone else is doing the same thing? I can't be the only parent in Peoria who feels this way, but what can be done?
Certainly not what I have been doing! Or I suppose I should say what I have NOT been doing. This year by the second semester I became so frustrated I pretty much stopped caring. I literally never looked at Logan's homework folder and never once saw any paper that Kaylin brought home. I warned both kids that if they had something like a permission slip or needed money for something they BETTER let me know or they were going to miss the field trip or fun and I'd never know about it. I completely forgot about lunch money, was never sent any notices and the kids were never pestered at school. They used to only get cheese sandwiches if they owed more than $10. Well, I went online the night before the last full day of school and each kid owed over $100. Uhhhh..... Yeah, I have no excuse for that! Whoopsies. Fortunately, both kids are good students and good learners. I don't need to look at every worksheet and as long as I know they understand everything, I don't care about letter grades. I mean, Kaylin's straight As in gym do not reflect ANYTHING in reality! Let's just say that she is most likely not going to grow up and be an athlete. I am not proud of her accomplishment, though I am proud that she apparently participates enough and is good enough in class to avoid being noticed. A for Acceptable :)
Right now, I'm just glad the year is over. I'm glad Logan is done with primary school. I will start the new school year in the fall with a much better attitude. I always do. But... How do I keep a good attitude when second semester starts and all fun ends and the drilling and drilling for tests begins? Do I fall into silent acceptance? Do I start a revolution? Do I block it out to the point I forget to pay lunch money for a really (REALLY) long time? I don't know.