Grade Expectations is a weekly look at education from a parent’s perspective. We’ll talk special needs, gifted & talented, and everything in between.
Who here remembers the last two weeks of school in December? I’m talking about before finals were an issue for anyone to worry about. I mean right before school holidays in elementary school. Who remembers their backsides falling asleep in their wooden chairs as the class watched movies and played corny games and generally acted like they were attending the most boring daycare on the planet, not an educational facility?
This is all I remember about school in December. That, and having to bring in armfuls of presents for my teachers.
December might be the most useless month in the elementary school year, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my daughter figured it out. For the past week, she’s been whining every morning about not wanting to go to school. Each day, she begs her dad and I to let her stay home. After plenty of poking and prodding, we’ve learned that it’s not an issue of something bad happening at school, it’s just that she doesn’t particularly enjoy it at the moment.
At first, I was concerned and trying to cross out all the usual suspects. I talked to her teachers and assistants about problems with a certain lesson, problems with certain students. I asked my daughter multiple times to talk about what was going on. We even had a chat with the school case manager, just in case there was something that my daughter was upset about that I wasn’t catching.
After all that concern, it looks like my little girl just has some holiday antsyness. The tree is up. There’s snow on the ground. We’ve even started wrapping Christmas presents. She’s done with school until after she’s had time to play with new toys and lay around the house for a day or two.
Really, who can blame the kid? Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that I wasn’t just as disinterested in school during the holidays. I might not have been stubborn enough to tell my parents that I was staying home, like my daughter wants to, but I was definitely muttering about it under my breath. I was rolling my eyes at the movies and making up not-so-serious illnesses that I could be afflicted with.
After a lot of thought and consideration, I’ve decided that this is one academic battle I’m just not going to fight. It was honestly a hard decision. I’m the mom with the reading chart who volunteers at school once a week. I don’t like the thought of my little girl not applying herself to her studies. But I’ve come to accept that nothing productive will be accomplished until we hit 2013.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not letting the little way stay home everyday. Not unless she wants to take a real, bonafide sick day that includes a minimum two-hour nap and absolutely zero sweets or playtime in the park. Sick days have zero screen time and no horseplay. They are strictly bedroom resting days. But if my daughter wants to do that instead of going to school, she’ll get the opportunity to take a lazy day at home. (So far, it hasn’t appealed to her.)
Nothing is going to happen in the next two weeks, and if it were, my daughter wouldn’t be paying attention to learn it. She’s reached her academic limit for the semester. So I’ve decided to throw up my hands and let the snowflakes fall where they may. If that means one or two “mental health days” at home, I think my little girl will be just fine.