My kids go to public school...they always have. I wish I was one of those moms who was organized, not easily distracted and could stay on task without help, but I know my limitations. If I was to try and homeschool my kids, we would end up with field days every other day and they might graduate by the time they are 25! Private school would be out of the question too, for this money well runs dry half the time... So, my kids go to public school.
For the most part they like it. They are both social butterflies and love learning and hanging out with friends. Jordan enjoys playing with pals at recess and doing science projects, while Kayla loves learning the flute in band and picking history apart in Social Studies. They do well. Decent grades. They get along with teachers and other students. This mom does her part and plans parties and activities with the PTO. Yeah, they pretty much like school...
Except for this week. The week of the dreaded BENCHMARK! Teachers and principals have them so uptight that they get sick. Kayla told me that one of her teachers told her class that if they didn't do well on the test, that they would hurt their school. Talk about pressure!!!
I didn't really worry about the Benchmark until two years ago. Jordan was in the second grade. He started waking up in the middle of the night with night terrors. They were the scariest thing. You feel so helpless as a parent. I finally asked the advice of a counselor who went to my church. She asked if anything had changed in our lives that would create anxiety for him. I could think of nothing. That is, until he made a comment after school one day. " I am going to be a loser if I do not do good on the test!" I figured out that the Benchmark test was in two weeks. I tried talking to him about it and his worries. However, with the school putting pressure on him, it was like he was brainwashed every day after school. The night terrors continued.
They stopped the day after the tests were finished. He hasn't had them again.
Last year he just felt sick during testing time, worried about how he would do. I'm thankful he has grown out of the night terror stage. Yet, even today I asked him if something was wrong and he told me he felt bad. I realized that testing starts tomorrow. He admitted that he was "scared."
I know school life is full of things that we have to accomplish that are never fun. The SAT and ACT about did me in, and of course public speaking is my Achilles heel!!! Needless to say delivering reports or giving speeches were not my strong points! Yet, why does it have to be so hard on our babies?!
When I went to kindergarten, I learned my ABC's and shapes. Today, kindergartens learn to read and write cursive! Before you know it, our society will expect every three year old to know basic reading skills! The stress of school is so much greater than what I remember it ever being for me growing up and I certainly wasn't a straight A student!
Why the pressure? When does a kid get to simply be a kid?
I could go on and on, for I am not afraid to tell anyone who asks that I simply HATE the Benchmark test! I hate what it does to my kids. But for now, we must endure. That is unless my sister wants to move to my town and homeschool my kids for me!!! :)
Please say a prayer for my babies. Their week of testing starts tomorrow. We will probably wake up with a tummy ache and who knows what else, tomorrow...
I guess this mom will be "marking" her week with prayer...