Monday, August 26, 2013
I used to think people were just so dramatic with all their "I hate Monday" whining.
Then my kids started school.
I hate Monday.
Monday is the day that my kids come home from school absolutely exhausted... and promptly melt down. And that's before homework.
Monday is the day that I start off skipping around in a field of daisies, singing about how magical the week will be. And then I run face first into a tree.
Tuesday... now Tuesdays, I pick myself up and resolve to make the week a good week, instead of expecting fairies and butterflies to spit happiness all over me. On Tuesday, I go back to a reasonable positive attitude.
But I have to do Monday before I get to Tuesday. And by Monday nights, I'm a mess.
I am terrified of this school year. My children are bright, intelligent, pleasant children. Last year, I felt like the biggest failure at the end of the school year. They hated school. They refused to do homework. Olivia even refused to do class work. They are bright, intelligent, pleasant children, so I felt like *I* had to be doing something wrong, that *I* was failing them somehow.
That was with TWO kids in school. Now I have THREE. I am terrified.
I'm not going to say that I've been a perfect parent, I know I have plenty of faults. But I really can't and shouldn't take all the blame for school. They have so much pressure put on them. Our Kindergarten teacher told us that before she took time off to stay home with her kids, she was a 1st grade teacher. When she came back and started teaching Kindergarten... she was still teaching the same material. Kindergarteners are doing the work that 1st graders just 10-15 years ago were learning. That's awesome, but scary at the same time. How many of these kids are really ready for it? Isabelle wasn't. She struggled... I felt like a failure.
The next year, Isabelle gets a teacher who thinks 1st graders need homework every night. We fought every. single. day. She hated school. Still does. She is always tired when she gets home. Always. And to have to push her to keep going, to do homework, to not play... it's just not fair. To her. To me.
Fortunately, this year won't be a problem with Isabelle. Her teacher doesn't like homework. I don't really know about Olivia yet, though. But I worry about her because she starts the gifted and talented program. If she's out of the classroom 150 minutes a week, she's missing something in class. Is she going to have to take it home to do? I spent over an hour this afternoon to get her to copy her spelling words three times. Whining, moaning, refusing, crying.
And Zoe just thinks that's how you handle homework. Her homework was super simple. Color certain shapes certain colors. 45 minutes of tears.
I had someone suggest that I just tell the teachers that we will not accept homework.
A little extreme, especially for me. But I wish it could be that simple.
It's not fair that they spend all day in school and have to come home to do homework, too. IF they would just do it, I'm sure it would only take up a few minutes of their time. But they're tired, mentally and physically, so they end up fighting it for an hour or more. They get no time to be a kid. Relax. Play.
I don't like it.
It's just the second week of school. I'm supposed to still be on the "this is going to be an awesome year!" wagon. But it's Monday, and I'm discouraged, and tired.
Tomorrow's Tuesday, though. I'll be OK then.