Monday, October 5, 2015

Do Schools Expect Too Much From Today's Parents?

Is more responsibility being placed on parents than in the past when it comes to children's homework?

Are parents being asked to do much more for school than our parents were?

Has there been a shift from child to parent when it comes to who holds the responsibility for completing work?

Is it getting quite out of hand?

I believe the answer to all of the above is a resounding yes! I do not recall my parents doing all we are asked to do when I was a student.

I was given assignments, completed them, handed them in, and got a grade. End of story. Report cards were how our parents knew how well we were doing in school. That's it.

Now it is a whole different story. Honestly, I have more homework as a parent than I ever did as a student. Yes, there are 5 kids, which may have something to do with it, but still, it should be less than I had as a kid.

I think this shifting of responsibility is going to produce irresponsible adults.

Lower elementary grades: K-2 Kids bring home spelling they need dictated, a reader that they need to read silently, be read to them, and read out loud to a parent, and a math packet they need to complete and bring back. I am completely fine with spelling and reading at this age. What I am not okay with is the math packet. It needs to be done together with a parent. The parent needs to check that it is correct, then sigh the front. This is taking things a little too far. Check and sign it? Won't they find out if they did it wrong when the teacher checks it?

Upper elementary grades 3-5; Kids bring home spelling they need dictated, a reader they need to read silently, be read to them, and read out loud to a parent. Then they need to discuss the story together, and complete a comprehension sheet with the parent. They also have a math packet that needs to be checked and signed. They also bring home assignments that need corrections done with a parent and signed by a parent. The parent also needs to look at the child's planner daily, write done on assignments that say do, and sign the planner. NO, JUST NO. NONE of this can't be done independently.

Middle school grades 6-8; Mostly independent work. They do bring home an awful lot of things to sign regarding assignments, book choices, classroom rules, class syllabus, etc. Here's the kicker. I get e-mails telling me to check parent portal weekly to make sure my child isn't missing assignments, and remind them to turn the missing ones in or ask for a new one and from which teacher if they lost it. WHAT???? Did I miss something? Isn't it the student's responsibility to keep track of assignments and turn them in on time and if they miss one, tough beans, zero on that assignment?? When did this become something the parent has to do? Am I going to be going with them to college so I can continue checking up on every little thing they need to be doing? I think not!

That's not all. There is also a million e-mails about working for xyz fundraiser, baking for the holiday bake sale, working at the garage sale at school, working at the book fair, and don't forget planning donating or chairing each class party, and also field trip volunteers.

I do not even know how it works in high school grades, but I have a feeling it is going to be bad.

I am starting to feel like this whole school thing is a full time job. Let's set our kids up to fail in adulthood by coddling them through school, and keeping track of all their shit for them. I can barely keep track of my own shit. Many nights we are not even home so when are these parent/child assignments supposed to be done? If there wasn't parent involvement, my kids could do the work while I am gone with one kid each night Mon-Wed at dance. Nope, instead, lets start at 7 and work until 9. Sounds like a great fun way to spent Mon-Wed night.

Guess what my mom did when I was a kid? After dinner she said "Do you have any homework?" and I would reply either "no" or "I got it done." "Good girl" she said. That was the extent of parental involvement, as it should be. It is called teaching kids to be responsible and self driven. There was no whining about how it's too hard or I need help or you need to sign this etc. Let's take it back a few decades to simpler times, shall we? Dial down the parent involvement. Who is with me on this?

What is your take? Is the amount of parental involvement expected just too much?