Posts Tagged ‘School’

20120826-094835.jpgHow is it that we’re already at third grade? Where did the time go?

I have a feeling I’ll be saying this a lot in the coming years, right?

New school, old friends & hopefully new friends
This year our school district shifted things around. There are two schools (West and Central), and they were both K through 8.

West is literally in our backyard, and for the past three years, the neighborhood has been filled with hundreds of kids walking to and from the school. Until now.

To better even out the distribution of students, teachers and expenses, the district decided to merge the two schools, making West 6 through 8 and Central K through 5. This means, the munchkin is now headed to Central, renamed Elementary.

This, as you can imagine, caused more than a little consternation on the part of my 8-year-old. We’ve tried to reassure him that all of his friends are in the same situation. The school administration has done a good job of helping the kids get acclimated, with field trips to the ‘new’ school at the end of last year.

We’ve also tried to explain that the students who had already been at Elementary are probably just as upset. They now have all these interlopers invading their space, their school, their teachers.

And the up side of this whole thing is the possibility for new friends. 😉

All of this seemed to help, and the first two days of school went off seemingly without a hitch! Yay!!!

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a successful year! Here’s hoping your school years will be just as good!


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Piggy Bank 1 - S5isPiggyBank_1

Image: Daniel Y. Go

So this morning as we were driving to school, my five-year-old asked me why he wasn’t going to be a “walker” tomorrow and Friday. *Explanation: The one day I don’t work, I can take him to school; these days he’s considered a “walker.” All the other days of the week he’s considered a “busser.”*

His class is hosting a Mother’s Day Tea this Friday; so I’ve switched my work schedule to work Wednesday so I don’t have to work on Friday. He thought he’d get to be a walker Wednesday and Friday. *Heart. Sad.*

“Sorry, kiddo, nope. Just on Friday,” I explain.

Pause. “Oh.” Another pause. “Why does Sam get to be a walker everyday, then?” (Names changed to protect the innocent.)

“Well, Sam’s mom doesn’t work in an office. She stays at home and works there,” I say.

“Why do you work, then?” he asks.

“Mommy would love to stay home with you, but both Mommy and Daddy have to work so we can afford to live where we live, give you food and clothes and pay bills.”

“Well, then how can Sam’s mom stay home?”

“I’m not sure. They must be able to afford it,” I answer.

Long pause. “I’ll give you all the money in my piggy bank, Mommy. Then you can afford to stay home,” he says.

*Heart. Breaking.*

“Awww, that is so sweet, honey. Unfortunately, that probably wouldn’t be enough money to pay for all we have to pay for. But I wish it were.”


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children posters teacher

Image by TheChristianAlert.org

This week we participated in our third parent-teacher conference. Based on last quarter’s discussion, we knew essentially what to expect.

The munchkin excels when he chooses to.

His teacher describes him as funny, smart and…reluctant to learn. She’s right. He doesn’t understand “the point” of school.

What’s the point?

We had a conversation a couple of weeks after he started school that went something like this:

Me: “So, how do you like Kindergarten?”

Munchkin: “I like it!” <Pause. Pursed lips. Furrowed brow.> “All except those worksheets.” <Insert eye roll here.>

Me (trying not to laugh): “What’s wrong with the worksheets?”

Munchkin: “I don’t know. What’s the point? Why do we have to learn something? Can’t we just have fun?”

And that pretty much sums it up. Needless to say, we had a frank conversation about how “learning something” is the point of school. And that those worksheets are just going to get more frequent and harder as the years go on. So learning them now is important.

Where’s the pay off?

The thing is, it’s not important to him right now. He doesn’t understand the “pay off” as his teacher put it. Again, she’s right. To him, there is no pay off. What’s the point?

We’ve tried to talk to him about college. That that’s when you  get to choose what you want to learn (becoming a paleontologist, for example), what you’re interested in, what you want to do for a living. But, really? A five-year-old’s going to get this? Right.

How do you teach that?

There’s an issue that further complicates this whole thing. How do you teach the whole “everyone-else-in-the-entire-class-is-sitting-on-the-carpet-right-now-waiting-patiently-for-instructions-which-means-you-should-be-too” philosophy?

He sees them sitting there. He doesn’t feel like sitting. Again, he’s thinking, “What’s the point? Why can’t I just stand?”

Right. What’s the answer there? Because everyone else is sitting, you should too? And the rebuttle? Ten years from now, we’ll be saying, “If everyone else decided to jump off a bridge, would you follow?” Uh-huh. It’s a bit hypocritical, no?

The social nuance of “right now you should follow what everyone else is doing because it’s social etiquette and necessary based on the classroom environment and because you’re too young to rebel against the system” is lost to the munchkin.

So what’s the answer?

Good leadership skills

A new blogger friend of mine, SomeGirl, recently commented about strong-willed children on the Changing Tactics post. She describes her oldest child as having “good leadership skills.”

I thought that was perfect! From now on, that’s the term I’m using to describe the munchkin’s strong-willed I’ll-do-it-when-I-want-to-do-it-and-when-it-makes-sense-to-me  nature.

Eventually, this attitude will be a good thing. Eventually, he’ll realize the point of learning. Eventually, he’ll understand the social nuances of proper etiquette.


Until then, I’ll be embracing his leadership skills and trying to steer him in a positive direction.

How do you deal with your strong-willed children?

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