Today I am thinking about school

It’s the start of a new school year and 2 of my children are happy to be going to school, 1 is irate at having to go to school and 1 is happy to be starting online-schooling just as soon as his computer arrives.  My irate child went to school last year, was miserable and comforted himself with the idea that he would not, would not, would not go back again.  But I sent him back anyway.  I think he could do well in school.  I think he could make friends.  I can’t believe that there isn’t one other kid in the school who would like my son as a friend.  And everything he is complaining about is pretty normal: dumb rules, unfair teachers, kids who are obnoxious and mean.

Here’s the dilemma I am wrestling with: these are all normal parts of middle school, but are they acceptable?  Is my son who is having a hissy fit saying, “I don’t care if this is normal for these people.  It’s stupid and idiotic and I don’t want anything to do with it” actually speaking out of wisdom?  He gets accused all the time of not being willing to just suck it up and deal with it.  Which isn’t entirely fair; he sucks it up and deals with it and keeps putting one foot in front of the other.  He did it all last year.  I do make him do chores and be nice to his sisters.  But he just refuses to learn to do it happily or quietly.  Like I told the middle school principal this morning, if he figures out a way to get him to do that, let me know because nothing I’ve done has worked.  He’s gotten much less obnoxious about his protests and more willing to try things your way rather than trying to walk away from an unpleasant situation.  And honestly, as he grows up, I think he will have to learn to be more realistic, tactful and less emotional, but not being willing to quietly take crap will serve him well.

So, I don’t know what to do.  The kid has to learn to make peace with necessary evils at some point.  And I hate to respond to his near-hysteria by just saying, “fine – whatever you want.”  (He wants to be allowed to do online homeschooling.)  But I really empathize with his struggle to deal with the necessary evils that are particular to middle school. They are not the sort of things which have useful parallels or would even be allowed to take place in the real world.  So why is it OK for me to insist that my kid go through them just cuz that’s the way it is?  I dunno . . .

This cartoon is so right for my irate child – not only does he hate school, but he taught himself to read using Calvin and Hobbes books.  Perhaps reading materials with less anti-school bias would have been better?  LOL

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3 thoughts on “Today I am thinking about school

  1. Send him to school – Unless he’s Einstein, your son may end up doing “nothing” with his life if you give in to his tantrum. To say “They are not the sort of things which have useful parallels or would even be allowed to take place in the real world.” is Pollyannaish. Open your local newspaper and you’ll find tucked away on the inside pages reports of armed robbery, molestation, embezzlement, slander, extortion, murder – all “allowed to take place in the real world.”

    Hopefully your son’s school is not a haven for armed robbers and murders – if it is, I can agree with your son – and hope you can get him into a school which is not filled with criminals.

    There is a value to education – why else is education universally valued? As much as the American educational system is maligned within the USA, people come from around the world seeking entrance to our schools. Yet everyday students in some of the rough areas of our cities do attend schools where gangs are prolific and there is serious danger to one’s health and life – and many of these students attend in spite of the danger because they understand education is the pathway to a better life for them and their families.

    Is one to believe that all the educated people over the eons of human existence contributed nothing to the betterment of mankind that would not have been done by those without education? History proves that belief incorrect.

    Before you cave in, check your own outlook – or better ask someone who knows you well to give you a “reality” check. You may find that in the “real world” your son’s situation is not unusual (it’s just not discussed in public very much – not going to school is normally not an option for kids of school age) – and that classroom learning has a real value, to be cherished, not eschewed because of the imperfections inherent in human beings and the systems which we humans operate.

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    • I came across this again tonight and I held my tongue before, but really – where on God’s good, good, green earth did this person get the absurd, ridiculous notion that question at hand was “should I educate my child or not?” WTF. It always irritates me when someone who clearly didn’t grasp ANYTHING I wrote (did you actually even read it?) wants to come and lecture me. Yeesh.

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