I have a confession. I really, really don't like school and I'm afraid even against my best efforts, I am passing this on to my children. I have always loved to learn, but school settings weren't exactly my first choice. Here's the kicker, I am a former teacher.
After a half hour of crying and trying to sort out what our current school troubles are I finally asked Josiah, "Do you like to learn buddy?"
"No! I hate it, I hate it so much!" he replied. I know this isn't exactly true as he is constantly asking me to show him how to do things, but I winced as the words left his mouth. Should he push through or do we have a real issue here?
Once again I found myself trying to reframe things for him so he can continue for the next 6-8 weeks when it happens again. I go over in my mind what the factors might be:
Third grade is a notorious year for things getting more serious and kids starting to struggle.
Our public school is lovely; it's one of the best in the city, still in a city very much struggling with their education system.
His teacher is nice but hard, I get the impression she is just doing her best to prepare them for the state testing.
As parents, we aren't super focused on grades, achievements and the like, not really our style.
I don't really blame the system as I understood what I signed up for. I know the teachers and administrators hands are tied to a certain structure and the standards of learning. I also see their effort to bring some creative and alternative learning into the classroom, but what happens when it just isn't enough? What do you do when your kid is losing his love for learning? I know every kid dislikes school at some point but what do you do when it seems like it is coming up more frequently?
Private education? This is when I become incredibly aware that I have four children. While the option isn't completely out, it is an incredible reach.
Homeschool? It always sounds great in theory to me, but if I'm totally honest, I just don't want the total responsibility for his education. My homeschool friends tell me it is complete crisis of imagination on my part and there are all kinds of ways to get support. I'm realizing the root of my resistance might be deeper as it would also alter my life dramatically (insert selfish feelings here). It is still an option.
Extracurricular activities? Supplemental learning has seemed to help alleviate the drudgery of the everyday. Extra art classes, tree climbing courses, even long park days help. It might be just the dead of winter blues?
So super people, what do you say? Have you ever had this type of education dilemma? Do you have a kid that dislikes school and is struggling to stay engaged? What do you do? Give your advice in the comments.