Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seeing the Light

To say that my sons first 3 years of school were painful for us is a bit of an understatement. If he had wanted to be homeschooled, I would have pulled him out faster than rice crispies out of the pot after the marshmallows have melted. But he didn’t. He enjoyed gym so much that he powered on being “tortured” with the daily curriculum.

You may ask, “Well why didn’t you do something about it if it was so bad for your kid.”

Two words: We tried. Every year. Every parent conference. Every meeting we requested.

If there’s one thing school personnel does not like to be told it’s that your child dislikes school. Of course he used the word “hates” when describing it with a few others:

Waste of my time
Same stuff over and over

And the question that got me every time:
“When am I going to learn?”

I’m not talking about a 10 year old either. He started saying these things at the age of 4 in preschool.

These same sentiments continued until this year. He’s 8.

It had been clear to me from the beginning that the curriculum track that my district was on was not going to work for him.

During one of the meetings we had with a handful of people last year, I always ask the same sort of question.

“How can we better utilize the curriculum for him? How can it be stretched and how far? How much is the school willing to do for bright kids?”

Surely, I am NOT the only parent with a child in this position. I am not in belief that my child is some sort of prodigy. He is bright. Really bright. He’s not the brightest they have dealt with, I’m sure.

So there must be something. Right?

At one meeting we were basically told that their hands were tied with the curriculum and they were trying to sell us on it being sufficient.

You know what? I don’t do well with trying to be blinded with sheep skin.
I responded with

“Listen, this district’s curriculum is NOT the best in the area, or this state, or the country, so stop trying to tell me that it is”

Their response?

“It’s what we have to work with”

And that is true.

Let’s fast forward to this year shall we?

Keep in mind, that meeting above happened in May of last year.

Not even six months later it comes on my radar about the new national Common Core Curriculum standards.

If you’re not familiar with it, and you child attends public schools, get informed.
What does that mean for our district?

It means that our Superintendent has said publically that OUR OWN curriculum is estimated to be about A YEAR behind the new standards.

A year people.

Think of that really bright student sitting in class who may be 2 years ahead in curriculum trying to learn with a curriculum that is one year behind. Any enrichment he was receiving was only bringing him up to the new standards.

And this is where I start to get really pissed off people. I’m not going to lie.

I was told by my own principal that I shouldn’t really be concerned that my kid hates school and I should take those thoughts with “a grain of salt”

You know what she should have said?

“I’m sorry. I know that these past few years have probably been rough for your child. The good news is that our curriculum is getting an overhaul and that should help. You are right to be concerned with your child’s feelings toward school. Those feelings need to be dealt with because your son has many years of education ahead of him. “

Why didn’t they just fess up and know that they were dealing with something substandard?

The new curriculum is set to be in place in year 14-15.

I’ll be waiting.

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