Powered by Blogger.

call me a slacker, but...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Call me uneducated in all things educational, but I think my kids deserve a break.

I sent Nick off to school today without reading a single book over his spring break.
Call me callous, but the only thing I'm feeling guilty about right now is that the teacher is going to keep him in from recess today.
I am SO SICK of the school district sticking their nose into our family time.
So incredibly tired of them thinking they have the right to make my son or daughter do things when it is their time off.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all FOR reading. I LOVE to read. I can spend whole weekends curled up with a book and think nothing of making my husband do all the cooking and cleaning (as if I could get away with that!)
I love nothing more than sitting down on the couch with a little one next to me and reading to them...or listening to them decipher the letters.
And I really do support the teachers in their efforts to educate my kids - more than most I believe. (At least that's what I've been told)
BUT I WILL NOT give in to the school district's demands of making them read when they're supposed to be on vacation!!!
Isn't it bad enough that we spend around two hours every day doing homework? About an hour for the papers...and another hour for reading. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. AFTER they just spent six hours stuck in a classroom doing THE. VERY. SAME. THING!
Call me uneducated in all things educational, but I think my kids deserve a break.
What happened to the days when kids were able to spend their afternoons (gasp) PLAYING after school because they had just spend six hours learning?
What happened to weekends where the toughest thing a kid had to do was figure out which game to play with their neighbor friends?
What happened to letting kids BE kids?
Good grief.
Thankfully, only one teacher will think I'm a total slacker today (because you know I'm all worked up about what these teachers think). Anya woke up early and being the hard-working, over-achiever she is, she read NINE books in one hour.
Crazy kid.
So she's going to get to play outside today.
But poor Nick will be sitting in for recess this morning.
Good thing for him, we're under a blizzard warning.* ;>)

*YES, they're still in school! Although truth be told right now the only thing blowing around are a couple of flakes. The 25 inches we were supposed to get hasn't showed up yet.

**ETA - Okay, now its snowing. Sideways. I'll post video later. Geez. What happened to spring?!

***ETA AGAIN - Well, the 25 inches didn't show up. In fact I don't think we got one! The good news is it will melt quickly, once it warms up. The bad news is we went through all of that for nothing. I mean, I went out and bought a TON of groceries getting prepared for this thing. Oh well...I guess at least I don't have to go back to the grocery store til next month! :)

20 salty messages:

jenn March 23, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

I agree. My first grader brings home at least eight books on Friday, and we NEVER read them. Luckily, she is not penalized for this, the teacher just makes her feel guilty, saying things like "you would have a higher number for books read if you read over the weekends". I am all for letting kids be kids on weekends and vacation.

Anonymous,  March 23, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

Amen Sister!! I flat out told R's teacher exactly this very thing at our meeting, but I'm sure he didn't listen. I seriously think schools have gone WAY too far with the homework. And reading? My kids LOVE to read - EXCEPT when it's homework!!
I brought this article with me to the meeting... of course Teacher didn't even glance at it... but I think the author is spot on and I really hope teachers/schools/parents will take what he says to heart.

Bethany March 23, 2009 at 11:35 AM  

We read as part of our bedtime routine (most of the time.) And since Levi still insists on a book (partly because he likes it, and partly as a delay tactic) A.J. reads every night, too. BUT, I agree. Why on earth are they assigning reading over a break? Isn't he only in 1st grade? Maybe when he's in middle school, but in elementary it's a little much. And, GO MOM!

kate March 23, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

What's your school's homework policy? Research shows that an appropriate amount is 10-15 minutes multiplied by the grade level. So, my second graders get 20-30 minutes each night. They usually do a research fact and/or read and write a couple sentences about what they read. Then, it's play time! I never give weekend or holiday assignments.

Stephanie March 23, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

I agree that kids need more time to be kids!

Don't you know that we don't get SPRING in Wyoming? It goes straight from WINTER to SUMMER and back to WINTER!! Snow can and does happen year round here! :(

DH is stuck in town due to the snow - I got him a room since the likelihood of him getting home is slim and then if he did get home the chances of him getting back to town to work tomorrow aren't too good!

Tina in CT March 23, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

Two hours of homework a night for elementary school sounds excessive IMO.

As for reading over vacation, I don't feel that it should be an assignment. What I would hope for as the mom is that my child would want to read each night before falling asleep. By making it an assignment, that almost defeats the purpose. Parents should get in the routine to do this each night and then the child grows up with it as part of their nighttime ritual.

I know you read to your kids and I don't mean you, Tami. I was just writing in general.

Debbie March 23, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

I wouldn't want to make my kids do homework on their breaks if they spent so many hours in the classroom each day. I do think that there is so much emphasis on making them into prim little children who sit quietly and work hard--no wiggles!--and who then come home and continue their studious behavior, shunning the outdoors or any physical movement whatsoever. I remember we had a lunch break and two recess breaks, but I think the schools here are moving toward only having the lunch break. I couldn't believe my ears. And one school nearby boasted about the longer hours they required for the children so that they would learn more and be ahead academically. At what cost to the child?? I don't think so. Not for my kids.

Anonymous,  March 23, 2009 at 4:56 PM  

I'm a teacher and I do agree with you. If a child LOVES to read, then let them read on vacation. If they don't love reading it just reinforces the "I hate to read" attitude. I read to my children or let them listen to a book on tape or CD then count those minutes/books/chapters. I've read the same story to both kids (at the same time)and counted it for both.
C.from Mpls.

Stacie March 23, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

Hi Tami.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I was drawn to your blog because of your adoption story. We adopted our daughter at birth and since that day our lives have never been the same. God is good and we feel blessed every single day to be the receipients of His love.

Small world that you used to live in Wichita. We are actually having pretty stormy weather right now. Listening to the weather report on tv as a tornado is on the ground in the county to the East of us. With that being said - I hope the weather you are experiencing in Wyoming is better.

Have a great day!

Tina in CT March 23, 2009 at 6:59 PM  

I just read what you'd written in italics at the bottom of your blog - 25 inches forecast! Yikes! If you get anything more than a few inches, I hope they plow your street. Let us know how much snow you ended up with.

MamaPoRuski March 23, 2009 at 10:18 PM  

Yes some where along the way schools stopped believing that living LIFE could be educational! That's why we had to enroll our teenage daughter in the on-line school to take her to Ukraine. Otherwise she would have missed "too many days" of classes and failed!
Praying you really get to see spring soon!

Jenni March 23, 2009 at 10:34 PM  

As a teacher, I completely agree with you! I've actually had parents complain that I don't give enough homework and don't assign projects over school holidays or weekends. *sigh* I know that personally, I HATE doing homework with my kids after a long day at school. However, I do realize that given as much curriculum as we are supposed to cram into a day, some things just don't get done and additional practice at home is needed. But kids don't need to do that practice over a school holiday - they'll get enough of that in high school and college.

adoptedthree March 24, 2009 at 6:46 AM  

Dont EVEN get me started with homework and taking away things need like recess, just because they didnt do another hour's of schooling after spending all day there!

My FAE/ADHD/PDD son doesnt need another hour of math problems he will never understand. Nope he needs an hour to run off all of that energy and too play outside with nature after school.

I hear ya loud and clear!

The snow sounds horrible! Keep it out west please it will be almost seventy today in ohio.

Tina in CT March 24, 2009 at 6:21 PM  

I just saw the CBS Evening News and they were showing the whiteout in WY. Did any of that hit your area? Hope not.

Annie March 24, 2009 at 7:17 PM  

The summer before my older son Aidan (an avid reader today as an adult) was to enter first grade, he asked for a pillow for his birthday. Of course I thought that was funny - "Why?" Well, he wanted a pillow so he could read in bed. By October he was as determined NOT to read as any child could be. All the "motivational tools" focused on HOW GREAT IT IS TO READ stressed him out to the point where he wanted to give it up rather than deal with it. SO - the next year I put him in Montessori school and he was able to attend through sixth grade. Praise God! He became (again) a boy who loved reading, was crazy about the world around him, and (despite my initial fears - NO MATH FACT TORTURE) was good at math, interested in history and geography and just about everything else. And, my favorite part of the Montessori philosophy? No homework. There are other things, besides schoolwork, to learn when one is at home. So true! My younger kids are presently in school and there is a REAL difference in the happiness and pleasure in our family life very much due to homework. It is so sad to me. Every night the pressure! No; we can't go to that musical performance, to the Penance Service, to the swimming pool or for a walk in the nature center since it is such a nice day. Anastasia can't help me make cookies, or learn to embroider. No! Just about every night is soured due to someone's stress-filled homework assignment. And if it isn't because we're wrestling painfully with it, it is because it is up to me to harass them to do it.

Tim March 25, 2009 at 9:00 AM  

I so totally agree. I dont even remember doing homework when I was little and I have two college degrees. I have always believed that i can teach my kids better anyway. My daughter was reading before she went to kindergarten.

Love and Prayers,


Anonymous,  March 25, 2009 at 11:57 AM  


We have a family homework policy. For us, that means that our children in elementary school do no more than 10 mins per grade of homework. So in K it's 10 mins and then by 5th it's 50 minutes. I state that once my children reach their time, I draw a line, initial, and that's it. Teacher is only to grade up to that line.

I have a letter I give to their teachers that states this in an oh-so-positive, educationalese way at the start of each year after homework begins to come home. So far, I've had no opposition. Maybe it helps that I used to teach in public school, that I am a positive presence in the classroom, that I volunteer, etc. I don't know...either way, I'm grateful that there has been no opposition to the policy. :)


Sweet Mummy March 25, 2009 at 12:37 PM  

I agree with you for sure! Our time at home with them to just be kiddos is very short anyway. Let them be off when they are off!!

It's snowing at our house AGAIN today too.... I'm so ready for summer. (I was saying "I'm so ready for spring" but it got here and is so schizophrenic that I think I'd rather just get to summer!)

OldWestMom March 25, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

Weathermen really and truly know absolutely nothing.

I'm with you on this letting kids be kids business. I've heard about some schools going to a year around program. This kinda bothers me, especially for the high school kids. How does a kid get a summer job if they're in school all year long? I think summer jobs are a big help in building character and giving some of these overindulged and spoiled kids some perspective! No wonder kids feel entitled to brand spanking new cars, designer clothes, and cell phones!


DhoyM March 25, 2009 at 7:53 PM  

Hi Tami, Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I appreciate it very much.

I also don't agree about reading on vacation as an assignment. TC :)

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

joy of adoption

Networked Blog Followers

  © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP