I’m reminded of that Life cereal commercial when I think of the boys and school this year.
They like it!
Or maybe Sally Field’s Oscar speech, ‘you like me, you really like me…’
No, more Life cereal.
Either way – they like school.
I never thought I’d see the day, as I live and breathe, hallelujah Jesus, Allah, Buddha!
I previously posted a rant… it was the end of the school year and we were having an incredibly rough time at the previous school the boys attended. I was mad, hurt and protective of my boys. I felt my oldest was being treated unfairly and try as we would to go along with whatever the school suggested, it just wasn’t enough and my son was having his self-esteem and his personality as a whole, absolutely changed and ruined by never being ‘good enough’.
So we soul searched. And we checked other schools. But would a change be worse for the boys? Would it actually be any better than where we were?
In my life I’ve made some bad decisions (anything from serving milk a day or two past its prime, to flicking my kids on the forehead when they’re acting up, to being a total bag to hubby when it isn’t called for, all the way to mega bad choices that won’t be covered in this post).
And while I’m the only one who can take the blame for my own judgment, I’m not ready to take the blame for a bad decision in my children’s school career.
I actually feel like I’ve already made a bad choice in their formative years. My oldest was at that school for four years. We saw the warning signs, but ignored them.
But thank god it wasn’t too late for him or my other boys.
Now they are flourishing. They’re making friends, joining clubs, having playdates, learning things and actually having fun in school!
Crazy talk you say?
That’s what we thought five years ago when I was so thrilled to find out my oldest had been accepted to this charter school. We were told it was a structured system, which we both decided we were fine with.
School is school. Home time is for fun and play. School is for learning.
I guess we assumed they would enjoy it. And a lot of kids do enjoy that school.
And don’t get me wrong, their previous school was excellent academically, but what’s the point if you have to have a battle every morning to get them there?
Our whole family is happier and more relaxed this year. What a difference.
It feels like the house has breathed a sigh of relief.
No more fighting over homework. No more battles over heading to school. No emails home or notes in the agenda from the teacher about acting up in school.
Not one note about behaviour.
So what does that mean? Are these teachers at the new school totally lax? Maybe a bit more than the last school. They don’t harp on every little wiggle and whisper.
They engage the kids, instead of just talking at them.
They are excellent at getting these kids moving. I’ve noticed that whenever the teacher has something to say or teach to the kids, they all have them get up from their desks and go to the front where they sit on the carpet. To perform their tasks, they head back to their desks. They’re constantly moving. One place is for listening. One place is for doing. What a concept!
I do miss the network of teachers and parents at the last school. And I know my boys miss their friends tremendously. And this school is fantastic for a lot of people. I’m not on a witch hunt here and I’m not saying my children are angels and were treated unjustly all the time. Most of the time, my oldest deserved exactly what he got. I’m not about to sit here and defend bad behaviour. But if I’m calling out my son about his behaviour and making sure he is being held accountable, I expect adults, especially those in a position of power where my kids are concerned, to do the same. It’s okay to say you’re wrong. It’s okay to apologize. I’m trying to teach my kids that. Too bad some grown-ups can’t say it.
But in the phrase now repeated way too often by my Dad – ‘it is what it is’.
Water under the bridge.
But I’ll tell you one thing – when the boys do act up, I use their old school as a bargaining chip – they can go back to wearing uniforms, and doing homework every single day and having to sit in ‘ready position’ if they don’t smarten up, get along, clean their rooms, yadda yadda….
All I know is that I’m glad we made the change for our family.
It was the best decision I’ve made in a while.