I have always been a vocal proponent of public schooling.
My wife and I view public school as part of the social contract that binds our country together. We actively participate in our kids’ education and I am currently the PTA president and in the past I have been VP and treasurer.
While I think the teachers and administration at my children’s school are fantastic, at the moment, I feel like throwing my hands up in the air and, in a sense, waving them like I just don’t care.
They are involved and care about the students, but the regulations, Common Core and testing along with the constant scrutiny that they are under tie their hands. Those things trickle down to the children. And I see it in the faces of the students and those that work in the school.
My second grader is in school from 7:50 a.m. until 2:10 p.m. and my fourth grader attends from 7:50 a.m. until 4:10 or 4:45 p.m., depending on the day. When they come home, I oversee their lengthy homework assignments while trying to cook supper and hold back the little brother who just wants to play with the older siblings he hasn’t seen all day. I also need to squeeze in after-school activities, sports, and what’s that one thing that I can’t remember … oh yeah, playtime. I am at the point where I just don’t care about their homework anymore. If they haven’t grasped something during the 40 hours they sit in a classroom each week, then they should try again another day.
With all of the homework and testing, I’m throwing in the towel. I give up.
Everyone is under too much pressure, including our children. The joy of learning has been replaced by the fear of failing – failing a standardized test. The first two-thirds of the year is dictated by the stress of the upcoming tests, and the last one-third is spent dreading the test results. It wasn’t always like this.
This is why more and more parents flee public schools and send their students to private schools or try homeschooling. My wife and I are seriously considering homeschooling our children because we are so frustrated with how teachers in public schools are being forced to educate children. If we do leave public school, it will be with heavy hearts. Because of public school, my kids have learned so much that we couldn’t teach them (about other cultures, religions, how to interact and learn from people unlike themselves) and we have been engaged in our community in a very unique way.
I’m not sure yet what we are doing, but I wanted to vent a little about my public school frustration and see if there are other parents that share my sentiments.