I don't know if you've noticed it or not, but I've been a bit quiet this week. Well okay, quieter than is normal for me. The fact is, we've had a very frustrating week here in Jenworld. In fact, I'm almost speechless with frustration.
(Except for when I called Melissa on Wednesday, got her husband on the phone instead, and VENTED to Rich. Poor bastard. He probably curled up in the fetal position after we ended the call. I wasn't so speechless then.)
What's bringing gloom into our sunny world?
In a word, homework.
Yes, people, third grade homework is raining on my parade. As in, there's too fucking much of it. Like, 1-2 hours each night. As in, two emails to the teacher this week alone. I think we've reached a compromise, but I'm not completely satisfied.
Studies -- many of them, in fact -- have shown that homework is of no benefit to elementary school students. It's a waste of their time, especially when kids should instead be using their down time to ride their bikes, climb the monkey bars, and just be kids.
On a related subject, let me lay out some Jenworld trivia that I don't believe I've ever mentioned before:
- I have a master's degree in EDUCATION
- My mother is a TEACHER
- My sister and her husband are TEACHERS
- My brother is on sabbatical from TEACHING while he's in grad school and his wife is a TEACHER
- My other brother TAUGHT last year, is now in a Ph.D. program, and could very well TEACH again when he's done.
So, if I bitch about homework and how the quantity and quality suck, I do so with the complete confidence that I know of which I speak and that there's an intelligent team of educators who have my back. Furthermore, other teachers at our school have told me that they think the homework situation in our third grade is ridiculous.
So, the homework thing? It's getting me down. Such as the three days this week that Graceful had almost no down time at all from the time she got home until she went to bed. Especially on Tuesday night when Graceful was still working at 9 p.m. and wasn't done. Yesterday, however, was much better. We went nowhere after school and instead relaxed and had a good time. It was so nice.
In spite of my ranting, I'm still very pleased with the teacher Graceful got this year. She's excellent and Graceful adores her. Our girls go to one of the best elementary schools in town and Graceful is thriving at this school. We have never before encountered this sort of difficulty.
Moving on from my rather lengthy diatribe, it's also been a busy week at work and included a financial crisis that I believe has been resolved, but it was a tense couple of days there.
And, Pete and I had to have a conference with Elegant's teacher on Wednesday to discuss our younger daughter's attention span and lack thereof. It was a positive meeting and we came up with some good strategies, but I'm wondering how long these new ideas will work and how long until we're back in the classroom at the little table, with our knees up to our chins, brainstorming new ideas.
Which leads to another stress in my life. We are very seriously considering sending Elegant to a Montessori school next year and I'm visiting it next month. Our school is wonderful, but it doesn't seem to be the right fit for her. Sending El to a private school that is more suited to her personality is great in theory, but paying for it is going to be another matter altogether. We can do it, but it's going to take most of my net pay and therefore means that we are suddenly dependent on the money I earn. Remember that financial crisis I mentioned earlier? What's to say it won't happen again and they won't be able to pay me?
(And, yes, I realize that I'm fortunate to even have such choices as private vs. public school.)
But it's Friday and I'm in a better mood. We have nothing but fun things planned for this weekend. No errands. No cleaning. No house projects. Nothing but good times ahead.
Have a good weekend everyone.