Thursday, September 4, 2014

Things that make me want to jab pencils into my eyes....

or, preferably, someone else's eyes.

Every person who ever struggled with a class in elementary or middle school should have children, if for no other reason than to be forced to sit with that child, listen to him or her cry, whine, moan, sigh, and generally freak out while doing whatever particular class the child hates.  The past two nights I have, in my heart, thanked my mom for sitting with me at the dining room table when I was crying over math as a child and not killing me.  (Or maybe she should have killed me and then I never would have had to suffer through college calculus or sit at a table with my own whining, crying, cringing child?)

Two nights of having my child take her disgruntlement with math out on me makes me want to have t-shirts made that say this.

Of course, D has been dealing with it as well (when I force him to spell me so I don't bite and spit out N's head into the recycling bin) so he needs a t-shirt as well, except that says "Fatherhood:  The Big Fat *****."

And this homework situation leads into the other thing that makes me want to jab pencils into my eyes which is the whole dilemma of middle school.

As much as I like choice, I wish I didn't have a choice when it comes to school selection.  I wish I just sent her to the closest fricking school and there was nothing else available for 900 miles.  Though I think my daughter is bright and a generally cool kid, I don't think she has the chops to compete with a whole slew of more bright and talented kids.  I honestly think my daughter would function better in a small pond.  She isn't especially competitive or motivated so being around kids who do math and other academic things for fun would intimidate her.

But sending her to a particular middle school near our house, which I think would be fine, might limit her on high school selection (since we have all this stupid choice).  So do we push?  Do we make her write essays and do the dog-and-pony show?  Is it worse to not challenge her as much as we could or challenge her too much?  Do we do all this junk now on the off chance it will make any difference at all when it comes to high school?

These kind of questions should be reserved for college.  I don't want to have these conversations for middle and then for high and then for college.

And sending her to private school is not an option.  I guess technically it is an option, another choice, but I am not a fan of private schools even though I am a product of them.  I really do believe in public education.  I really do believe in her meeting and being with all kinds of kids from all kinds of situations because I think this makes your worldview wider and your compassion greater.  I pay my taxes and don't particularly care to spend additional money to keep her away from the "unsavories" (which is why I think an awful lot of people send their kids to private schools even if they don't say that publicly).

(With that being said, if N becomes as boy-obsessed as her dear old mom was as a preteen, I will totally send her to my alma mater for high school.  It was an all-girls private school and kept me, at least for 7-8 hours a day, off the "Wow, I love boys" distraction wagon.  If there was a all-girl public high school option I would be all.over.that.

It feels absurd to stress this much over education when so many people, so many girls, aren't even allowed to get any kind of education at all.

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