Tag Archives: public school bitches

Homework Rebel

So yesterday Lily came home with her first spelling list for first grade, which was oddly a lot easier than ANY spelling list she ever had toward the end of kindergarten– where I believe her first spelling test somehow had the word “clown” on it.

Her spelling list now:

a
I
in
the
is

Lily reads at at least a late second grade level. She has been reading chapter books for almost a year. Obviously, she can spell these words.

Yet the spelling list came with a literal tic tac toe board of insane activities we had to do together. We were supposed to play tic tac toe with the activities to make sure we got three in a row. Examples: Make flashcards, write the words in flour in a plate, write down as many of the words as you can in one minute, do artwork with the words. Parental involvement was required in each activity.

And you know? I totally understand that these kids need to be able to spell these words and not all the kids learn them so easily. Some of these activities might help kids who have trouble with them and that’s great, but this is a huge waste of time in our household. The activities should have been optional. When I got the list, I turned to Lily and asked her how to spell each word. She could spell them all. Following that and short of a REAL worksheet she can fill out herself, that should have been the entirety of my involvement. Because you know what? I finished my first grade homework when I graduated from first grade 28 years ago.

I totally contemplated cheating on my daughter’s homework and just putting my initials on three of the tic tac toes in a row, but Lily can read. She’d totally know I’d cheated. And she’d take that as a cue that it was ok to cheat.

It’s not.

But seriously. WHAT. A. PAIN. So last night I had to spend 20 minutes helping my child participate in ridiculous activities to memorize words she already knew how to spell.

Whatever happened to just quizzing your kids on the spelling words and then being out of the loop? You REALLY expect me to make a huge mess of my kitchen by having my 6 year old write words she already knows how to spell in flour? Really?

Ugh.

And yes, I’m back. Bad winter, bad routine, no routine, long crazy summer and Candy Crush addiction (and Candy Crush rehab!) all gave me writer’s block for a little bit too long there, but I think I’ve conquered it. I hope. Or at least today I have. Hopefully our new and improved school schedule will keep me writing.

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Back to Reality

For the past semester, I have been extremely spoiled. Every morning, while I took a shower, my husband would come down and make breakfast for the kids. He would watch the younger kids in the house while I waited at the bus stop with Lily, and then he would drive Rose to school on his way to work. Every single day.

Basically, my mornings were hassle-free until preschool pick-up. I was so spoiled. I actually probably should have pitched in more, but I hate mornings SO MUCH, especially breakfast prep, and he never complained.

Since I’m married to a college instructor, every semester is a gamble when it comes to what my parenting support schedule will look like. My little idyllic morning ritual is OVER until at least May thanks to this semester’s early morning course load. Starting tomorrow, my husband will have left at least before the bus comes. So I’m in charge of most of the morning stuff. I’m not so sure about breakfast yet, but I’m for sure in charge of getting Lily on the bus (I’m required by the school system to wait outside with her) and dropping Rose off at preschool.

Man, this is going to be a shock to the system. I think I may go into withdrawal if I start having to make breakfast for the kids myself too.

Or maybe the kids will go into withdrawal. Their dad makes them some really elaborate breakfasts, and I hate to cook breakfast more than any other meal. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up at his level of morning amazingness. While I will definitely feed the kids, I’m not so sure they’ll be getting THREE hot items plus fruit on their plates when I’m in charge!

Gasp, they may even have cereal some days.

THE HORRORS.

Now, I know I can do this. I can get over being completely spoiled. I can get everyone to the right place by the right time and feed them too. Other moms do it with far less support for far longer periods of time far earlier in the morning.

But man, this first week of adjustment is going to SUCK.

It was fun while it lasted.

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Foggy

Today marked our seventh 2-hour fog delay in 6 weeks of school. As I’ve posted before, I went to a school system that NEVER cancelled school unless it was, like, 20 below and the buses wouldn’t start. Having this many delays for a little fog is mind-boggling to me. The locals all defend it, claiming it’s an important safety protocol because much of our school system is rural. Um, I had horses and goats in my backyard when I was a kid and lived on a super hilly road with tons of ponds on it. The fog was much thicker than anything I’ve ever seen here in flat-as-a-pancake world. I obviously lived in a rural area, and school was never cancelled or delayed.

I am lucky. I am a stay at home mom so these delays don’t disrupt my childcare plans or make me late to work. They do ruin any plans I may have. Rose’s school does not get delayed, so when Lily’s is delayed I have to pick up children every 90 minutes all morning long. It makes it impossible to accomplish anything else, especially in weeks where these delays have happened virtually every other day.

The fog delays are happening so frequently lately that my husband has come up with what seems to be the obvious solution: School should just start 2 hours later. Then we wouldn’t be delaying it every 5 seconds for fog or snow or travel obstacles because it already starts then. People would already know about the childcare situation and get it covered instead of scrambling every other day trying to figure out what to do with their kids if something happened. School would go later in the day, but that would take care of the after-school care many parents scramble with right now. High school would run 9 to 4, middle school 9:30 to 4:30 and elementary school 10 to 5. Everyone would come home in time for dinner. After school activities could be moved BEFORE school. It’s easier to take kids to school early for those things when “early” is 8 or 9 am than it is to pick them up “late” from activities that often don’t get out at an exact time.

See? Easy. No one likes going to school at 8 am anyway. Remember how impossible 8 am classes were in college? Remember how terrible it was to get up for your 6:40 am bus in high school? No one likes that insanity! Make it later! Who can learn that early in the morning anyway?

At this rate, we’ve had so many delays that school practically does start at 10, so why not simplify things for us?

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Fog

This morning we all got up at 7 am, got ready for school and were about to head out to the bus stop when I discovered a message on my cell phone.

We had a fog delay. On the fourth day of school. They delayed school on the fourth day for fog.

It was clear outside by the time I was even awake. Seriously?

I grew up in a school system with a superintendent who was a sadist when it came to cancellations and delays. School was never cancelled. Like ever. In my entire 12 year public school career with this school system, we had maybe three delays and two cancellations. In TWELVE YEARS. And trust me, it snowed and was foggy. Often. We lived in an area badly affected by lake effect snow, but school was never cancelled. We lived in an area with lots of hills and swampland (it’s completely flat here). The fog could be very dense. School was never delayed or cancelled. You just drove slower. Sometimes you were late to school. Sometimes your bus was late getting you.

It just boggles my mind how often my local school system cancels or delays school. We have several cancellations and countless delays per YEAR here vs. the less than five delays/cancellations we had in 12 years at my childhood school district. I know times have changed and people are more aware of possible lawsuits or child endangerment, but COME ON. Are our children made of glass? Can no one drive in snow or fog anymore?

I don’t get it.

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Red Tape

Lily starts kindergarten in about a week. This has been a long time coming, especially since we decided to “redshirt” her and wait to send her to kindergarten until she was almost 6 years old. Her birthday is 25 days before the cut-off in our school district, but at least 35 days AFTER the cut-off in every surrounding school district. It was a tough decision, but I’m fairly confident it was the right one. I guess I won’t know until… well, possibly never. Any problem we have with school this year we could have easily had last year.

I’ve been filling out kindergarten forms like crazy. The forms range from logical to upsetting. The most upsetting form was one where I had to guaranty someone would be here at the house if they let school out early because of an emergency. If there was an emergency, they wouldn’t have time to call and warn the parents. If I can’t guaranty I’ll be home during that emergency, I’m supposed to send my child to another friend or relative who can confirm that they will be home.

Who the hell can guaranty they will be home during the 15 hours a week their child is in kindergarten? It’s ludicrous! I signed that paperwork, but seriously, how the hell can I guaranty I won’t be running an errand if this rare emergency send-home happens? Am I supposed to sit home 15 hours a week while two out of three of my children basically have childcare JUST IN CASE they randomly send one of them home? No. That’s not going to happen.

So here’s hoping in the rare event that they send my child home during an emergency, I’m actually here. Because I’m psychic and will totally know that they’re doing it, apparently. I’ll give Lily further instruction on what to do if that doesn’t work out (neighbors), but yeesh.

Then there were the medical forms. Since Lily has a food allergy (We think? She’s being retested TOMORROW!!!!), we had double the insane amount of medical forms because doctors need to sign off on both Benadryl and Epi-Pens.

When I printed out the medical paperwork this morning, I was admittedly late. I’ll bet 99% of the other kindergarten parents also printed out said paperwork this very week. All hail the mighty busy pediatricians this week. They deserve a break! But I was shocked looking at the paperwork that it said it was “to be completed at your child’s physical”.

Was I to take that literally? Because I have no physical lined up. We only get one well-child visit per year and it has to be more than one year after the previous well-child visit. We aren’t due for another physical until late September (more paperwork!).

I panicked. Then I called the administration building, where I was informed that “obviously” the doctor will fill out the paperwork based on my child’s LAST physical.

Oh. Obviously. That’s why it said “to be completed AT your child’s physical”. Obviously. Get an editor, school system.

And then I discovered that we had to have paperwork filled out by her dentist. Because teeth are SO important to her learning, I guess.

I mean, seriously, why? WHY? I understand the medical forms. The school needs to know our kid’s health history in case something goes wrong. They also need to make sure kids are vaccinated, which I think is important. But dental forms? How many teeth emergencies are kids going to have at school? I mean, sure, a kid could knock a tooth out and then it would be a tooth emergency (been there), but otherwise, WHAT? Why does the dentist need to pre-authorize my child to come to school?!

I guess it’s probably to make sure we’ve all taken our kids to dentists by now, but still. I find the dental form ridiculous and just another excuse to make parents run ALL over the place before school starts.

Dental forms? REALLY?

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