I used to love school. As a child, I was an avid reader and loved school. As a teen, I was much more interested in social activities, but still, I loved school and worked hard to do my best. I have always wanted my children to have a love of learning and for the most part, they do.
Now? I'm not so fond of school. It seems as though the extraordinary effort I have made to see that K gets a proper education has had a significant impact on my feelings about school. Negative impact. No longer am I the one excited for the kids to go back to school. I am the one wishing vacation lasted a little bit longer. I am the one with the countdown on my calendar, marking off day by day until school is out for summer.
On the list of "things I need to do better," is accepting that this will not change and therefore, I should not let it get to me.
We were on vacation last week. I love vacation! Everyone loves vacations, I know. However, I think a lot of stay-at-home parents are excited when the kids go back to school after a break. Sometimes, too much togetherness just gets to be, well, too much. I get that, too. I am guessing that I am in the minority. I don't like it when my kids have to go back to school. Why? Because I know that we have to go back to all that comes with it.
For S, she will have homework and projects, as usual. With her, I get tired of the drudgery of the routine. Sometimes, I just want to take a day off with her. Or take her to breakfast and show up to school when we are ready. Instead, I got a truancy letter from the school a couple of weeks ago. It seems that S has missed 12 days of school in the 2nd trimester. 90% attendance is required, so she can go to Saturday School to make up her absences. Except that all of her absences are excused and half of them are the result of her injury last Fall. Needless to say, a call to the Vice Principal assured us that they are simply required by law to send those out and they know that S is doing fine and her absences were excused, but as long as she doesn't miss any more school this year, she will be at the required 90% attendance. Great. Child of mine, you better not get sick and we'll just have to forget about taking that Friday off to go away for a weekend, even though your grades are excellent and missing a day isn't going to change any of that. *sigh*
With K, in particular, it is like a big, black cloud comes to hang over my head. I know we are going back to day after day of homework, academic challenges, and for me, worry, worry, worry. As I've expressed before, this year has been particularly difficult, especially when it became clear that the teacher isn't fully committed to K's success. I live for Friday, when I know we won't have any homework. On the other hand, I get frustrated when K is not given the long term projects that other kids do. I'd take some of that extra work because I know how enriching those bigger projects are and because I believe in her ability to learn. I know it seems like I am contradicting myself. I am just trying to see that K gets the same opportunities as other children. I have expressed my commitment to helping her outside of school so that she can have those same opportunities. The point of her IEP is not to eliminate assignments, it is to modify them when necessary.
See? I quickly get sucked into the multi-facted, complicated situation we call "school."
It isn't going to change. Not really. So I need to change. I need to accept that this is what school is for now. Accept the cards I've been dealt for this year and hope that the next deal results in a better hand.
Fine. I'll suck it up. Why? Because there are only 42 school days left until Summer! I wasn't kidding about that calendar countdown...