I tried for a shorter title but nothing else worked. Basically, the world is ending in tears and brokenness and third grade is the reason.
I wanted to write something after the day / week I’ve had. I wanted to complain and laugh at my own pain. (As you do.) So, (only half-teasing) I asked our editors how they thought folks would relate to a profanity-ridden diatribe about third grade in general because I have *so* many thoughts. However, what started out as a semi-joke evolved into a serious conversation between some of our contributors about how the expectations of school, especially at this stage, are breaking us and our children.
Here are some snippets of that:
“The expectations are CRUSHING our smart, little girl.”
“She had THREE tests this week, other homework AND a project due … all while she’s preparing research for ANOTHER project. I had less work as a college student.”
“I hate school. I hate homework. I hate having to take a bath while calling out spelling words.”
“… as a former teacher, to see children loathe learning and parents pushed to the brink is the complete opposite of what we should want for them. The expectations are going to alter their affinity to learn and grow in the best way possible. I know there is pressure on educators to GET THOSE scores and GET THE JOB DONE … but at what expense? Our kids lose confidence, joy and families lose spending valuable time together.”
“The people writing standards are’t child psychologists and don’t understand the backlash. They’d say, “work harder.” In fact, kids need LESS work and LESS homework and MORE play. But someone who understands brain science and cognitive ability has to be in charge.”
“… her ADHD medication wears off RIGHT when she gets home. My child is JUMPING around the table and we’re trying to do the area of a parallelogram. Jesus.”
“Can you imagine those children that don’t have two college-educated parents working with them through this?”
“Children are absolutely prohibited from showing any signs of happiness during school. No twirling.”
“… as an educator, I hate what education has become.”
“… the expectations are INSANE. My child went from being on honor roll to being lucky if he makes a C (in third grade).”
Title suggestions (I’m so sorry for completely ignoring them in favor of a run-on sentence) for this post that were shared in that thread:
“How School is Ruining Families.”
“Dear Schools, We Are Getting It All Wrong.”
“@$&# Third Grade”
“Moms Against Schools.”
“School: Moms Hate You (Get Out of My Life).”
I share these thoughts because they’re all relatable. Those aren’t all my contributions but I get it. I’m living it. And I’m totally not alone (and neither are you). Let’s be clear, too that these women are all CAPABLE. We’re (I’m going to go ahead and include myself in this description) all working hard to GET IT DONE. There’s not a slacker or career complainer amongst us. We ALL find this hard. We’re ALL having trouble. We’re all asking the question, “Is this how it has to be?”
I just wanted to scream that into the void tonight.
“IS THIS HOW IT HAS TO BE?!?”
I really wanted to go for the funny, witty rant, but this is REAL, y’all. We’re hurting. In my house, we get through the homework and study for the tests at the expense of almost literally EVERYTHING else. There are no after-school activities. There is homework / studying / projects. Full disclosure: Some evenings there isn’t time for a bath because there is math. The third grader is my oldest. My kindergartener is completely feral at this point. This type of pressure wasn’t meant to be managed by an 8 or 9 year-old. This far in, the question about whether or not I can affect change is muted by my efforts to merely keep up.
How about you?
Are your evenings filled with laughter and play after a family dinner at the table?
Do you smile when you think about the afternoon ahead?
^^ If that’s you, please unfriend me. I’m wallowing.