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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

It is hard to get the girls to school every morning. on time. It always seems like we can’t find the matching shoe, there are no clean socks, or maybe I can’t seem to get myself or the girls out of bed. This is a great thing about homeschooling the other two. They usually don’t have a time they have to be up and going. And if they need to get to work (because of something later in the day) we can get started in our pajamas.

I found out yesterday that the girls have been late to school everyday for a month. I knew that the schools were going to be making up days lost because of snow. Their plan was to add time to each school day (twenty minutes). What I didn’t know was that they were going to have to be at school 10 minutes earlier and stay 10 minutes later. I was wondering why Sweet T. kept reminding me that they were late every day. This is where you insert “Slacker Mom” for not reading the note in said daughter’s school folder.

I realize that writing this will not change how our school system has decided to make up school days, but I feel the need to rant.

What are you people thinking?

The idea is that student needs a certain number of days (or in our case, hours) of school time each year in order to learn the set objectives for each grade. By extending the school days, the students will have the opportunity to make up for those lost school days of study. Apparently there is some standard to how much time is required to learn. Not more. Not less.

I find this idiotic. Let’s start with the smalls. (pre-k-1st.) Most of the school days is a waste of time. It’s a holding tank for kids that age while their parents work. I don’t mean to say the teachers are not doing a good job. I love teaching this age myself, but do you really need 6.5 hours a day for 180 days to teach kids this size? No- that’s why many brick and mortar schools have so much recess, rest time, and free play. (Again- not saying these things are bad, but adding 20 minutes to every school day to make up for lost days will not help any of those kids learn what they might have missed.)

I would say that even for the upper grades of elementary this argument would hold true, even though they are learning more information as a whole.

Now when you get into the middle and high schools the kids are working much harder in the classes offered. You would think that adding more school time would help kids at these levels, but 20 minutes a day is not going to help anybody learn more. Let’s say a child in any of these grades takes 7 classes a day. That is less than three extra minutes in each class to learn. We don’t teach kids 3 minute lesson plans. We mark out the skills taught in number of days not minutes.

The other options for making up school days is not ideal for parents either. Our choices were to 1. give up Spring Break days, or 2. add the missed days to the end of the year. None of these are real convenient for parents, but if we are trying to make the best decisions for our kids, why in the world would we choose adding wasted time to a school day. Not only that, but it also makes it more difficult to get to all those extra-curricular activities after school.

I do have another solution. (BTW- my choice was to make up the school days during Spring Break.) Forgive the missed days of school for this year (after taking away the one holiday, the two snow days, and half day they had.) It was only a couple of days they would miss in the end. It’s not like going those two extra days would help the kids solve all the world’s problems. Then, when the school board is deciding next year’s calendar, drop the fall break that is offered (because we also get a break for Thanksgiving) and add an extra Spring break. Then if there are snow days, we lose those days without having to make up days (or minutes) later on. If it doesn’t snow then we get two spring breaks.

Am I alone in this? What do you think?

Thank you for taking time to read this silly rant. Now I must get back to work with my homeschoolers, who BTW did have some school during those snow days, but also did a little work over Spring Break.

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