You are so very sensitive to so very many topics, so I hope that you will also be sensitive to my plea as a busy mother. I was willing to play along when you said that all homework assignments should be reviewed (and corrected, really?) by parents. I even took a day off here and there when you suggested that it would be so nice if the child’s mother could come in and read a story on the birthday in lieu of sending cupcakes. (Because everyone knows that cupcakes are evil. Especially ones with sprinkles and chocolate frosting.) And another day off for the class party. (I saw what happened when one child’s mother nor father could attend, and it was heartbreaking.)
I’ve spent entire weekends helping facilitate a science project, as you suggested the children should not be left unassisted. On weekends, I scour the supermarket for “healthy, peanut free snacks” and “snacks that are not made in the vicinity of anything remotely resembling a nut” and “snacks you cannot choke on.” (I’m pretty sure only Twinkies and Pixie Stix fall into this category, thereby negating the “healthy” mandate.) I even gathered the suggested photos, memoirs, and a “letter detailing why [my] child is special,” so that you can read it to the class. Now, I am informed that my first-grader, who’s just learned how to spell the word “book,” will have a monthly book report to write. And I’m okay with that.
I’m gathering grade school yearbook pictures that are not taken outside the confines of the school so as not to make other students feel left out. And collecting money for class gifts that are “adequate, but not excessive.” I am initialing next to my child’s speech homework each and every night to ensure that he is saying thhhhhhhhis and thhhhhhhat” instead of “dis and dat.” And initialing next to their reading logs to verify that they have met their allotted 20-minute reading per night. (Really, can’t they learn to forge it, like I did back in the day? Their lack of resourcefulness is what concerns me.) I have attended the Khan Academy tutorials to learn how my child is learning Math (I still don’t get it. Sorry. Me no like numbers.) We have extolled the virtues of being a good friend, chastised bullying, and planned a meeting place in the event of a house fire.
Here’s the thing, school. I’m tired. Do you think, possibly I could have the day off? That we can let kids be kids? Make mistakes? Figure it out? Be amongst themselves without the imposition of a parental figure 24-7? Because maybe that just might be where the learning begins.