Basket Case

I get to stay home from work today because Parker is sick. He threw up in Wal-Greens last night as I was buying Valentines for Aiden’s class party today.

(Side note… yes, we went with the stupid store-bought, totally commercial Valentines this year. Last year we made cool heart crayons and cards that said “You color my world!”, but this year there was no time and no money to be creative. I got a box of 34 Spectacular Spiderman Valentines for like 2 bucks. It works.)

So there I was, buying the stuff, Dallin was pushing the cart and ramming it into my leg, Aiden was asking for every piece of candy or gum he saw, and Parker was crying when he suddenly threw up. Great. I tried to rush out of there to get Parker home and changed. It’s so fun when kids throw up, and it’s so much more fun when they do it outside of the house. Luckily it was nothing too bad so he only got it on himself and not all over the store.

After we got back from the store and Parker cleaned up, I sat down with Aiden for homework time. He is given his week of homework all at once, so he likes to do a lot in one sitting so he doesn’t have to do homework every day. Fine with me. Except he didn’t do his work in class so he had to bring it home to do. It wasn’t hard, and once he sat down and concentrated on it he only had to work for 10 or 15 minutes. It just took him over half an hour to get started. It is SO frustrating to me!

I could never homeschool. I don’t think there is anything wrong with homeschooling in general, but I think you need to be the right kind of person to do it. I am not the right kind of person. I just can’t devote that much attention to Aiden without losing my mind. Or my temper. My temper usually goes first. I admire those of you who homeschool and do so successfully. Good for you. It’s just not for me.

Speaking of schools… I’m trying to decide what to do about Aiden for school next year. We had wanted to get him into this one charter school here, but they were full for first grade, so we put him in the local public school. He’s done okay, and I’m not completely displeased with things there. I’m just not that excited about some things. Aiden is a smart kid who needs a small class. He needs to be pushed. He gets bored easily and then refuses to do his “boring” work. He ends up being a distraction in the class. I want an environment where he can really thrive. However, he has a hard time with transitions. He wasn’t happy about starting at a new school this year (which was unavoidable as we moved!), and then he had to get a new teacher and a new class at Christmas time. He has had some major behavior problems the last few weeks. I don’t want him to have to start all over again in a new school. I just also want him to get everything he needs from school, and I’m not sure he’s getting that at his school.

My other issue with this is that I believe there are too many people in this school district who are unhappy with things so they bail rather than trying to improve things. It’s amazing to me how many kids go to charter or private schools or just go to a neighboring school district. And we definitely have our share of homeschoolers. I’m all for doing what is best for you and your family, but I have to wonder what would happen if more people would take a more active role in the local public schools rather than just leaving? I pay taxes and that money goes to this school district, whether or not my child goes to school at one of these schools. Shouldn’t I want the place my money is going to be a good place? I strongly believe that if you don’t like how things are, you get involved and get things changed. We had a horrible superintendent in this district and because a group of unhappy mothers got together, the superintendent resigned a month ago. The interim superintendent has a lot of promise and hopefully things in general will start to improve. What a difference these mothers made by being involved and actually doing something about the problem rather than pulling all their kids from the public schools!

I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching because I know many of my friends reading this blog send their kids to charter schools or they homeschool and I don’t want to say you are wrong in your decision to do so. You aren’t wrong in your decision. At all.

I just think it’s important to be involved… make your presence at the school known… be available… be proactive… get what you want out of the things that are already there. (And yes, I also realize that my husband is employed by the district so that makes me want better things for the public schools because our well-being is dependent on the district, you know?! If kids continue to leave the district, that means less students for Ches. Less students means a limit to what he can do with his groups, and part of his job is to make the program grow. And what kind of example am I setting if I pull Aiden from the district? That the schools aren’t good enough for my kid, but you should definitely keep your kid in so my husband can have a job?? I don’t know.)

I think we’re going to give this school another year and I’m not going to be working next year so I can be more involved with Aiden’s schooling. I’m upset that he really hasn’t had anything done with the gifted program here this year (even though I talked to the gifted advisor months ago!), but I also haven’t been proactive enough. I requested to meet with her tomorrow during parent/teacher conferences, so hopefully she will be there and we can get some questions answered. It’s not too late for this year. I hope.

Wow. This post got to be long-winded and all rambling. Sometimes you sit down to write and you just go and see what happens. This is what happened today.

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6 responses to “Basket Case

  1. i just wrote a really long rambling response back and realized, wait… i don’t have kids! LOL

    i like the way you think though. not everyone can home school and not everyone has the means to have their children transfer to another district or to private schools.

    our educational system is really screwy. but then, so are our priorities. guys who can catch a ball are the cream of the crop while those who shape children’s minds are lesser than.

    i don’t get it. and i even like ball. 😉

    hmmm. i still managed to ramble. i’ll be going now.

  2. I know what you mean about staying to make things better. I have my own personal biases, but I was a public school teacher and unless we’re in a drastically awful school district my children will be in public school.

    So sorry your little guy got the pukes. You know I’ve had my share of that lately! I hope I didn’t send you our germs when we sent you our wonderful rain!!!

    Hang in there, you’ll make everything better — that’s part of who you are. We are all better because of you, and your children and the schools will be, too.

  3. I totally agree with pretty much everything you said! Maybe that’s why you’re my bff! 😉

    Keep your chin up…it will get better sometime! At least, that’s what I keep hearing!

  4. i have to say when it comes to homeschooling – sometimes a parent is totally capable of homeschooling – but the kid isn’t! I had fully intended on homeschooling, until I had Dot – she NEEDS the social aspects of school and the interaction with teachers, and all that. So I think too that just as homeschooling isn’t the right thing with all parents, it also isn’t necessarily the right thing for all kids. heh.

    Anyway, I agree with you and I think it is great that you want to stay and make things better – we really can make a difference.

  5. Ugh, so far I’ve managed to avoid having my kids puke in public places. Sorry for you, and I hope Parker feels better soon! Oh, and we went the store-bought route this year, too.

    And I totally agree with you that public schools will not improve unless the families put something into it, rather than removing themselves from it. I firmly believe that our little school is as good as it is because of the families that have chosen to stay there rather than send their kids somewhere else (us included, if I can toot my own horn 🙂 ) These are the families who are committed to seeing good things happen and are willing to work at it rather than give up. (I also fully understand that not everyone who does the private/charter/homeschool route does it just to escape what they consider to be an inferior school – just so your other blog readers don’t hate me!) Sorry, didn’t mean to go on so long!

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