Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Job


Second grade is kicking our ass! Hot damn. I cannot even believe I am writing about second grade! Second grade!

It is no secret I am in love with E1's school. I mean, I REALLY love it. The teachers, staff, administration have the students' success at the core of every decision they make. Yes, it is public school. Yes, there are bureaucratic decisions I hate, but those decisions I should take up with my state legislature - not the principal.

Second grade has been filled with MANY new topics and a shift from learning to read to reading to learn. E1 is a bright child. I am even going to share that she is ridiculously smart. I am not being arrogant. I am not being "that parent,", I am being honest.

Even with her strong academic abilities, second grade is kicking our ass. It is kicking our ass because WE are all learning time management. If E1 has a test, she must study. An 8 year old has no idea HOW to study and WHEN to study. I am here to teach that lesson. And that lesson is a bitch.

Some weeks E1 has one test. Some weeks she has four. E1 is always given ample time to study. I thank second grade for this. I appreciate a week (or more) notice for a test. With all that time, E1 is learning to study a little bit each day.

Learning to study a little bit each day is a bitch. I will say it again. Time management lessons are a fucking bitch. We have disagreed on not how to study, but WHEN.

E1 should study BEFORE playing. BEFORE screens, BEFORE anything else. The five minutes a day won't kill her, but in her mind it is. In her mind she is dying a slow death each time she must study before doing an activity. How do I know this? Her attitude, her words, her body language expresses it all. She hates tests, she hates studying.

Guess what? I told her I hate tests and I hate studying, BUT if she does not learn how to study and WHEN to study I have failed as her parent. One day she will make her own study time table. She will no longer study with me. Hell, one day she will not even tell me she has homework.

Until that day it is my job as her parent to show her excellent study habits even when she knows the material. When you know the material, there is no harm in reviewing it. You cannot get cocky about academics. The day will come when E1 needs more than two minutes to learn a new skill. The day will come when she needs the tools we are giving her.

I know E1 sees the benefit of studying - she is confident in her academic abilities and confidence is priceless. Unfortunately she is 8 and her memory of doing well in school disappears every single time she must study.

I hate that we are struggling with each other over this.

E1 is expected to do her best. If her best is an F after studying, then that is her best. Case closed.

If she does not study, she is not doing her best. Being a student is HER JOB. A job requires a person to be prepared for their day and for the duties they must execute.  E1 is a student. Studying prepares her for her day. Studying prepares her for the duties she must execute.

It is annoying that in second grade the expectations are so great, but this is not a battle I am fighting. Education is moving in a direction I do not agree with, but that discussion should take place on Capitol Hill.

Maybe a day will come that I choose to go to Washington and try to make policy changes. For now, I will continue to hand my daughter her flash cards and study guides each day as she rolls her eyes and groans that tests are stupid.