This week my friend Julie posted an article about charter schools. We had a bit of a discussion on how charter schools impact public schools- are they viable option for parents who feel their children are getting a "lesser" education or are they drains on the public schools, pulling the good kids out?
Here's my general thought-- until they figure out how to fix public schools, I like that I have an option. My kids are both currently enrolled in public school. They have, however, rezoned our school. What a difference it has made. And not for the better.
It has, however, confirmed my suspicions about the "problem" with public schools.
It ain't the schools. It's the parents.
Holy freaking crap.
Our school has no U-turn signs posted every where. You guessed it, the morning is full of people making u-turns, barely missing kids riding their bikes and crossing the street. Today, a woman sat underneath a sign in the flower bed which read "Please do not walk in the flower beds" WHILE HER DOG PISSED ALL OVER.
How on earth is the school supposed to fix this?
And people want schools to be the primary care givers. Students eat breakfast and lunch at school. Now our school offers before school reading assistance and after school math assistance.
I understand that parents are busy. People work. I work. I also know that I can fit 15-30 minutes out of my day to work with my kids on their school work. Maybe not every day, but most days. We read before bed. My son is an early riser, so we started doing his homework in the morning. I had to set my alarm a little earlier, but that's what worked for him. My daughter works best right after school. We read. When the teacher said make cards to practice sight words, I did.
Apparently, the other parents don't. I've heard the words "I don't have time to do this homework."
When I volunteer in the classroom (and I appreciate that not every parent has the ability to do this), I am always stunned when I ask kids if their parents have given them tips on their spelling tests-- silly me.
And it's not like these parents are showing up, exhausted after school, heading to their second jobs. They are swearing at their kids, telling them to hurry up while they text on their phones- it's disgusting. It's like no one told them that once they had children they had to grow up and be a parent-- you know, a role model.
I have fun with my kids. If you read my blog, you know this. My son has recently started to tell me what a good mom I am. I'm not sure what brought it on-- I'm going to bottle it for later. But, yes, we have fun. And they make their beds. And do their homework. And they go to bed early. And they don't eat sugary cereals. And sometimes I say "No." Because that's what moms do. I had fun in my youth and now it's time to pay the bills and be responsible. You know what? It's not so bad.
I'm not sure when being a grown-up became uncool, but apparently, it has. So many people seem intent on acting like teenagers. They want to be cool.
Life isn't junior high.
I want my children to respect and love me. When they are adults, we will be buddies. For now, sometimes I can be mean. And sometimes, like today, when my son had to "sign the calendar" in his class (a bit like a written warning), and was almost in tears, I hugged him and said "You know what, kid? This is only the second time in 4 years you've ever had a problem. It happens. Don't worry." He was running in the hall. He knew better. I didn't trash the teacher. She was right. But he's a good kid. My daughter, however, the Queen of the Red Cards, that's a different story. She gets an early bed time for the same thing. Regularly. Sigh.
But that's part of being a parent.
People are putting so much responsibility on public schools, but no one is even discussing the absence of parenting.
Their kids are fat from school lunches. Of course, they could pack lunches. And kids eat way more meals at home-- 5 bad meals a week for 9 months don't cause childhood obesity.
Their kids can't read because of the poor teachers. The others kids somehow managed. And how on earth did the parents not know their child couldn't read? It should come up before 3rd grade.
Teachers are so overwhelmed with new standards, behavioral issues and red tape.
Here's a thought- why not just throw cots into the gym so the teachers can completely raise your child?
And here's another thought- Parents, grow up. Life isn't supposed to be fun every single day. Sometimes being a parent is difficult. And sometimes you have to put your child first.