Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Piquant Post

This is my life in random, disconnected snippets of rage. I apologize in advance for the ranting post. A blogger I often disagree with but highly respect says that blogging is like howling at the moon only quieter. Very true . . .

Another parent survey. Another innocent volunteer with seared eyeballs because I was completely honest. I got an email from the school district asking parents to fill out an anonymous online survey regarding homework.

My response on the survey:

“I understand the purpose of homework but my first grader has been up to his eyeballs in homework since kindergarten when he had a teacher who demanded hours of homework that half the time were useless busy work.

At least this year the homework is a review of concepts taught at school. However, I feel that there is too much homework. My child is not involved in extra curricular activities because we don't have time after homework. My child almost never has time for flash card math facts, which are highly encouraged by his teacher.

I feel the strict curriculum requirements in this state are age inappropriate for the students. Homework being the icing on that unnecessary cake.”

I will try to keep my language in check as I type this post! But I have never wanted to move out of this state more than when it comes to matters of school. I have never before been so barraged by extreme liberal perspectives all over the news. Never before have I known parents to coddle their children's every move and hover over them the way parents here do. Never before have I felt like an outcast for wanting to be a mother. Parents around here have one or two kids and the first chance they get they enroll them into preschool followed by three or more extra curricular activities. This frees parents up to micromanage each child individually.

The definition of a soccer mom is driving one’s children all over kingdom come to participate in this, that, and the other. Kids don’t get a chance to be kids anymore. Around here, they don’t even get five years to be a kid. It’s more like 18 months. This state is so full of soccer moms living vicariously through their children it’s disgusting.

Parents around here mask a fear of raising their own children by believing their children are well rounded and education is the most important thing in their family. Sending a child to kindergarten for three hours and expecting 1.5 hours of homework afterwards is ludicrous. Now I have a first grader who attends school for 6.5 hours and spends 2-3 hours on homework every night. There is no time for flash cards or any of the extras his teachers would like every student to do.

I will admit he does not spend the entire 2-3 hours steadily working. So the homework is not too difficult. It’s just annoying that he has to do it. He doesn’t want to do it. I don’t blame him.

We heard about the Science Fair 3 weeks to the day before the actual Science Fair date. Being so busy with other work has caused us to forget all about “this highly encouraged activity.”

Children these days are so overscheduled and so overworked and stressed out trying to please the adults in their lives it is no wonder there is so much childhood obesity. Fast food is easy when you only have five minutes in the car between piano practice, dance class, and a soccer game. It is no wonder Type 1 diabetes is on the rise as well. Oh yeah. I just said that and I mean it.

I read an article several months ago where a Type 1 author pointed out how curious it was that children in well to do neighborhoods are contracting Type 1 diabetes like some epidemic. His opinion was that Americans have never been hungry. Our bodies bring it on. Hogwash! Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder meaning the body attacks the hormones it produces. This is brought on by illness or stress. Stress. Do you think today’s American children are stressed? I think so.

He described a neighborhood where in the course of about a year, eight children were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Eight! That’s a lot for one neighborhood. My guess is the parents wanted the best for their kids and enrolled them in many activities. What a price to pay for over scheduling but I think we are.

A city in California, I wish I could remember the name of it, is trying to ban toys in kids meals. Why? Because America is fat and how dare we hook kids on junk food with enticing toys! I say How dare parents be so stupid they forget to say no! Who’s in charge here? What idiot goes to McDonald’s for the crappy toy? They go there because it’s easy. Because they sired offspring and society tells us education is important so let’s teach kindergarteners a second grade curriculum to keep up. In addition to the valuable importance of an age inappropriate education, it’s also necessary to have your child involved in everything, paying hundreds of dollars to do it. No wonder Americans face the social problems we do!

Rather than berate schools for shoddy PE programs, if they have one at all, or mandating how many minutes a week students should move, how about we slow down on academic expectations and let kids do what comes naturally? It just seems that when kids are born we try so hard to get them to walk and talk as soon as possible only to tell them to sit down and shut up as soon as they get to school.

This post doesn’t even make sense. I am just so over so many things! The anonymous parent survey about homework tipped me over the edge. I apologize. I will back to nice and happy later.

1 thoughts:

Amy said...

You go girl!! I agree with you about the overscheduling! Let kids be kids! I wish I was a kid again, it was awesome!