This was the first year in all the years I’ve thrown children into the education system that I wasn’t dying to drop kick them out the door to school. Summer ended far too quickly this year, and I didn’t want to send J to 4th grade today. I wasn’t ready. I’ve always been ready, some years I was ready ten minutes after the final bell in June. Not this year. I think I may be mellowing in my old age.
Or I just don’t want to return to crazy schedules. I’ve had my fill of crazy and would love to share with others. Sharing is caring, you know.
I’m a little more concerned about this year than others. This is the year I want and need to get more on top of homeschooling. A is in 7th grade now and I must have more of a plan going forward. High school will be here before I blink (dear god), and I’d prefer not getting caught with my homeschooling pants down.
J is in 4th grade, and I’ve heard that this particular 4th grade team believes they need to harden the kids up to prepare them for the rigors of 5th grade. I was gobsmacked when I heard that the other day, as we were told (when A was in the 5th grade classroom for a few months) that 5th grade was for toughening them up for middle school. Forewarned is forearmed, I suppose.
Why do we need to toughen kids up? Like an itch you just can’t quite get rid of, I keep poking at this but can’t figure out why it bothers me so much. The other night I was listening to a neighbor talk about her high school daughter, who will begin her days at 6 am with a daily prayer group, and with homework and various activities end her days after 11 pm. This is not an uncommon schedule for kids in this area. I was a high-achieving kid and even I think that is a bit much.
I think toughening kids up for eight or more years of study/test/brain dump stifles their love of learning. I know I didn’t finally enjoy learning until I got out of grad school. I didn’t have time to learn, I was too busy studying.
The school sent out a letter about the before school supervision times and stated, “Learning begins at 8:15 am.” No, school begins at 8:15 am, or formal instruction or class; I believe that learning is eternal, with no start or stop time. Semantics, yes, but words matter.
Soon J will be home and I’ll be able to get a read on his day. If he has homework tonight I’ll scream. I’m in favor of rigor and hard work and achievement, but when it’s 90 degrees out…and it’s a nine year old boy who loves learning…I’m not ready for back to school.