Home > Education, Parenting > Failing


This morning, my six-year-old son asked if he could stay home from school.

I asked him why.

“I’m stupid,” he told me.

“Oh, sweetie. You’re not stupid. Why do you say that?”

“I do everything wrong,” he replied before rolling over and burying his head under a pillow.

Trying to conceal how stricken I was, I said with as much calm as I could muster, “Sweetie, the fact you feel that way means something is wrong, but it isn’t you. It’s in you being forced to ‘learn’ through worksheet after worsheet that prepare you for test-taking instead of helping you learn by real world exploration and play. At my iob, they understand everyone learns different ways–but most of all by really doing, not by doing pile after pile of repetetive worksheets–and they encourage that! But then I send you to school, and you are expected to be like everyone else and learn like everyone else and show your learning in the exact same way. Teachers lose when testing is everything. Parents lose. Kids lose. You aren’t stupid, sweetie. It’s adults who are doing everything wrong, and I am so sad you are suffering for it.”

I only barely did not cry, a fact that has barely remained true throughout the morning so far.

I must work. My law degree and bills won’t pay themselves.

I like working. I don’t feel like I’m abandoning my kids when I am doing something that challenges me and they love what they are doing.

But when one of my kids is miserable and my short-term solution is “just keep sucking it up as best you can, mmkay?” then I feel like I am abandoning.

That it’s not my child who’s failing, but I who am failing him.

  1. February 19, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Oh dear. Wish I had some advice to offer …

    • February 19, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Just saying it felt important to me, throwing it out there that I am struggling and trying and hopeful and defeated in turn. I think it felt so important to me because a few people around me act genuinely surprised when I make mistakes: “Oh, you are human!” Yes. Through-and-through, and I want to shout that out in a world where it can be so hard to be genuine as we grapple with a new reality in which everything we say lasts forever. As an added bonus, doing this inspired such positive affirmations that … well, I am back at hopeful-ish for now. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • February 19, 2016 at 12:49 pm

        It will be up and down, this schooling roller coaster!

  2. February 19, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Oh my, our schools are failing! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    • February 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      They are, but the reasons are so complicated! I get so agitated when people blame teachers (a feeling I know you share!), as if anyone chooses to become a teacher to jump through ever smaller, nearer government-mamdated hurdles instead of enrich kids’ lives. It goes back to my happy-birthday data rant yesterday: humans are really good at going, “Let us proliferate data and measure, measure, measure!” with only the vaguest idea what it is we’re seeking or if it’s even the right thing ti measure. If we can measure it, we should! And if we can’t, we should fix everything so that it is measurable!

      Unfortunately, my very favorite things can’t and shouldn’t be capable of precise measurement: love, creativity, wonder, compassion, adaptability, critical thinking. We can try to get at aspects of these with our stupid data, but we’ll still be no closer to meaningfully quantifying them.

  3. February 19, 2016 at 10:30 am

    This is the hardest part of parenting. And it’s the hardest of the hardest part when they’re so young. My greatest challenge is making my dyslexic son understand — and believe — that he’s not defective. And that he’ll be a smart, and possibly higher-achieving adult than his straight-A high school peers. But getting to adulthood is hard. On them and on us. Hang in there, mama. Keep doing your best.

    • February 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Oh, my gosh. This is exactly it! I don’t even have words yet to express how little these letter grades will have to do with how or whether D–or any kid–succeeds. It’s how each kid solves problems differently, uniquely, and with his own sets of strength that will enable him to flourish, despite letters on a report card or letters jumbled on a page.

      Problem-solving will win the day, more and more in this world of constant change where humans will need to be human and insightful to not be made redundant by machines. Learning to jump through very specific hoops in very consistent, repeatable, critical thinking free ways will prove a great way to have one’s job done by a machine instead. But how to convey that to a six-year-old in a way that’s meaningful and hopeful to him? Maybe I need to incorporate the idea in my bedtime stories!

      Thank you so much for the love and support. You rock, as a mom and a friend. โ™ก

  4. February 19, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I will never forget when my grandchild asked me ” grandmother am I ugly” ? She was then four years old and must have heard something like that at the kindergarten. I was nearly in tears also but she didn’t see it. I hugged her and said “No you are not”

    • February 19, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Gah. There must be so much love at home to counter the sometimes craftily concealed not-love outside!

  5. February 19, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I’m so sorry he woke up so heart broken. Poor kiddo. Even at such a young age it’s hard out there in the world. It wasn’t like that when I was in elementary school. Now my 5 yr old comes home with as much homework as my 10 yr old, and he gets bullied. I’m sad with you, but you are not failing him. If he feels stupid it is not from your words but from the adults he learns from at school. I’d get all mama bear and dig a little deeper.

    • February 19, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      You said exactly what I have been saying to my husband! My first-grader is doing more homework than when I was finally (and displeasingly) assigned it in fifth grade!

      The fact young kids are sat at desks for most of seven hours daily and then sent home with even more work both pisses me off and breaks my heart. As homework gets harder and harder to get done by the day, I become more frustrated and more certain this is all wrong. As I told my husband last night, “I’m a 37-year-old woman and I’d tell someone to go **** themselves if they told me I had to complete a dozen worksheets to help me learn! One doesn’t help me learn, so how the **** is multiplying no learning by 12 aupposed to help?”

      I learn by doing, exploring, trying to fit pieces together until I have made connections organically. Why should I expect more of a six-year-old? Why should the government? The only answers I reach for taking this tack involve neither rationality nor good (or even common) sense.

      • February 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm

        I agree! And I was under the assumption that in kindergarten they were learning to socialize and my son is in reading classes because he can’t read at the same level of what a second grader was reading 5 years ago. My son has been slammed into walls, punched in the mouth so hard his tooth broke. I say there’s no point in the public school system that can’t allow for hands on play/learning, and the obvious social stress on kiddos inflicted by a desire to come up first on state and federal testing! It’s just bull****!

  6. Deb
    February 19, 2016 at 11:08 am

    You aren’t a parent who fails their child, it is the social systems that fail our communities and parents like you who work with these systems for improvement and change. You’ve shared many stories with us Deb, about your struggles with teachers, schools, day care providers, leaders and adults in your boys lives that are also stuck within this system, but you have always been a parent who puts themselves square in the middle of any issue and works until a solution is found that fits your family. You will once more be an example to your boy that he has a team behind him and together you will figure all this out.

    • February 20, 2016 at 5:29 am

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Deb! I’ve spent a lot of time thinking again on how my mom was never settled for what was right in front of her just because it was in front of her.

      I went to four different elementary schools, which sometimes seemed a little much at the time … but, man! I get it now. The difference when I finally ended up in fifth grade with a teacher who took a different view of learning than the ones who preceded him!

      Some of my classmates didn’t like him because he sometimes yelled, but I loved him because he never yelled at me alone or singled me out. He had a whole awesome reward system the memory of which makes me smile almost decades later. I’m now glad my mom weighed stability against opportunity and moved me until we found the right place, with a teacher who saw that I’d been crushed and wanted to help build me up again (his words to my mom, before I enrolled).

      It must’ve been so much work for my mom to constantly assess, plan, act, repeat, but I really had no idea how much work until very recently, as each new challenge arises and I have to weigh a whole host of considerations–with a partner, which is a whole ‘nother beast!–as I consider what’s next. That she did this with four kids boggles my mind and makes me so, so glad for her examples of advocacy.

  7. February 19, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Whew sis! I feel you. My son got his report card last week and he’s 7 in the second grade and got a D in math. I’m trying to help him, got him a tutor, but he’s still having trouble. So I add extra worksheets to help him with homework, but he has a reading log that has to be finished, other homework and oh, four other websites that his teacher recommends he logs into and work on. How the heck is he supposed to do all of that and get to bed at a normal time to be well rested to go to school and deal with all this drama? Keep the faith and just keep encouraging him to try his best. That’s all we can do as parents.

    • February 20, 2016 at 5:36 am

      YES! Everything you’ve said! By the time we’re finished getting through the not-reading homework, if we have enough time to finish it, it’s time for dinner. We then have to do the reading and get straight to bed. Where’s the time to play? To just hang out together? To stretch and wiggle and grow? Homework takes way longer than the expected 45 minutes to an hour (!!!) because–spoiler alert!–he’s six years old and everything in him screams to go out and really explore instead of sit working through even more stacks of paper!

      Anthony and I talked about opportunities to change how homework gets done around here. We’ve tried a few different things, but man, we’ll keep going until we find the spot where Li’l D feels less overwhelmed–by quantity, not concept–and more free to be his wiggly, expressive, loving self instead of a bundle of palpable (and understandable) frustration.

      Like you and Munch, we’ll keep encouraging D in the meantime, and reminding him how much we delight in his tenacity and efforts. How love is apart from and greater than any letters on any worksheet or report card!

  8. February 19, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Oh that is so sad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I remember telling my mother that at age six. She would do work at home with me until I didn’t feel stupid anymore. But you’re absolutely right about the insane amounts of homework they give children, and the fact they they teach AT them, rather than let them learn in an environment of freedom and play. You’re certainly not failing your child, your children are so loved and cared for and that is what will build their confidence later on.

    • February 20, 2016 at 5:37 am

      It is mindboggling! I don’t learn or reinforce learning by doing more and more redundant concept work. I work be applying, tweaking, re-applying, and so on! Part of why I love my current job so much is that there’s so much room in all these regards. I’d love to see Li’l D–and all kids everywhere!–relishing in learning and so growing in the same kind of exploratory, hands-on way.

      • February 20, 2016 at 6:03 am

        Oh I completely agree. Hands on is the best way.

  9. February 19, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Bless his heart. You are so right, the way they are teaching is just awful. A teacher at Eli’s school was talking about how she hates that they are forced to teach to these tests so much. And they have testing so many times throughout the year.

    • February 20, 2016 at 6:01 am

      I’ve been spending a lot of time reading this week, and I feel saddened for everyone trapped–in various ways–by this abysmal system. I see so many losers, but not a single winner. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  10. February 19, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Awful. Heart-hurtingly awful
    And how I wish that my parents had ever thought it appropriate to even hint that an adult might be in the wrong in their treatment of children. Including me.
    The school sounds to be below a passing grade (or perhaps it is the curriculum). You are not. And your precious boy is not.

    • February 20, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Based on a ton of reading this week, what I’m seeing is part of what parents everywhere across the U.S. are seeing. I read articles from an educator’s perspective and was so frustrated by how this system operates not from love/hope for a better future, but from fear: Teach for the tests so you have a job! Teach for the tests so we can keep operating! Just do everything you can to make sure the kids pass the test! So it’s in part the curriculum, but in larger part the interwoven webs of circumstance that conspired to create the curriculum … and the need to narrow the focus of teaching to do everything possible not to ensure engaged, creative, excited students but students capable of sailing through standardized test after standardized test. (I had to take a couple during my public school days, but Li’l D has already taken a couple a couple of terms into first grade. Blech!!!!!)

      Also, I am so saddened to read about your experiences. Every time I read about kids being told to suck up and deal with what they get–for it’s their job–I think about the sad, hard road ahead for that child. I wish I could go back in time and act as an advocate in each and every case, but … that is sadly beyond the reach of my superpowers.

      Big, big hugs.

  11. February 19, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I have no better words than already offered here. It is absolutely gut-wrenching to hear such a young child be discouraged because of the way school and learning is structured. This link is a related story which you may not have time to read but it’s an important story. The title should also say how measurement is failing students. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/opinion/sunday/how-measurement-fails-doctors-and-teachers.html?_r=0

    • February 20, 2016 at 6:14 am

      I’ll read this sometime this weekend, but in the meantime, I am struck by the title alone and how it fits in with my thoughts yesterday! I feel so sad for everyone, everywhere, who is tethered in their ability to do their job because bureaucrats somewhere decided that they know better how to optimally perform–or measure–the job. ?!?!?!

      I thought about Liz Ryan’s idea of the “human workplace,” where employees are treated like humans instead of robots. (This actually increases productivity by all measures I’ve yet encountered in my readings!) I got to thinking about how we no longer have human doctor offices or human schools, by and large, as more and more hoops are established separate from core job functions. It aggravates me to no end. Let doctors heal! Let teachers teach! Let kids explore! Acknowledge that humans are humans, and let them be humans!

      Do you read Victo Dolore, by the way? Her posts are the ones that’ve had me rueing the day bureaucrats began interfering in and directing the business of practicing medicine, a problem I now understand today assails so many people in so many different vocations.

      • February 20, 2016 at 5:44 pm

        I do read Victo Dolore and find her posts wonderfully honest in expressing the challenges and frustrations of practicing medicine. It’s good to get the perspective from the other side of the gurney.

        As for treating employees like humans, what a refreshing concept! I work for a very good organization that treats its staff well but life in front of a computer does make you feel like a button-pusher no matter how wonderful the boss is.

  12. N.
    February 19, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    If you managed to not cry during that conversation than you’re a stronger person than you give yourself credit for.. Seeing your kids sad or upset is the hardest thing a parent can do but that happens whether you’re a SAHM, working, studying or a combination of all three! Don’t blame yourself is what I’m trying to say basically ๐Ÿ™‚ you’re an awesome mom!

    • February 21, 2016 at 6:30 am

      Thank you. ♥ I moved a lot, lot further away from feeling on the verge of tears after getting a chance to see through others’ eyes.

      I remember starting down my contracts career paths about a decade ago. I loathed having to get other folks’ input on things. I meant to be perfect all on my own! I’m glad now I had such a kind, effective manager showing me how much more two or three or four sets of eyes can see over a single pair, no matter how perceptive that pair.

      I’ve mostly internalized that all these years laters, but sometimes I’m still excited to see how much more can be seen through many eyes (and hearts). ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. February 19, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    He’s so very bright. I don’t understand what they’re testing — or how their testing– if that isn’t reflected. He routinely tackles concepts that adults struggle with… I just don’t get it, but it breaks my heart to think on it. You are a great mom. He has great parents. Everything’s gonna be okay. โค

    • February 21, 2016 at 6:39 am

      He’s doing fine on graded tests so far, but I’m seeing his frustration grow and confidence decrease as he “fails” on ungraded tests like doing worksheets quickly, with perfect focus/no talking, and with tidy handwriting.

      For my part, having more, more, more measures against which a kid can fail is terribly disheartening, and I said as much at parent-teacher conference, when I pointed out the small handful of achievements I do actually care about. This all was based on reflections encapsulated in my post “Wide Angle Parenting,” which captured how much more D flourished when I stepped back from pointing out every single thing he wasn’t doing quite right and instead let him savor the wide strokes he was doing great. Since then, I’m really uncomfortable when “good” is the same as “virtually perfect, in all possible regards.” No, no, no!

      I’m going to talk with his teacher (whom I generally adore, and wish had fewer bureaucratic hurdles to maneuver) about cutting back on the homework. I am virtually certain this will leave him more enthusiastic and energized about focusing on his daytime work, instead of feeling it’s always there and inescapable; his childhood equivalent of death and taxes. (At six! Noooooooo!)

      Thank you for your encouraging words here and elsewhere. Through those words, I was able to see many glimmers of hope–signs your words were right–that all is well enough, and apt to stay that way even with many hurdles around and ahead. ♥

  14. February 19, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    That’s rough. Not that it helps, but overcoming challenges early on is a good thing. This is me trying to convince myself that this can be a good thing. Hang in there!

    • February 26, 2016 at 4:23 am

      This is something I’ve been talking about with my husband. I definitely feel there’s benefit in overcoming challenges, but feel those challenges should be age appropriate … and so, for a six-year-old, brief and/or sporadic! Ongoing crushing at the hands of standardized testing based education deeply fails that criteria for me, but I’m looking for every opportunity for building-up to counter that crushing while exploring options. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. February 19, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I wish I had the right words to say to help you, but I do know this is not your fault. As many other commenters above have pointed that schools are supposed to be teaching to tests that are forced on them.
    I’m a mother, but all of my children reside in heaven and were called there before I ever go to hold them, so I don’t know how my advice may help. I am also the daughter of a math teacher, who teaches children who are behind in math skills, learning disabled (LD), emotionally disabled (ED) and some children who don’t actively participate in their education and sadly their families don’t care either. My Mom does her best to create stations, in her middle school classroom, and activities that attempt to teach whatever the lesson is about to all types of learners. She has manual manipulation of different items, she has found or made up songs to teach concepts and even does her best to meet each child at their level of understanding.
    She had a lot of practice in her 30 some years of teaching and also the techniques she used to help me learn since I have dyslexia, ADHD and various other LDs (which were unknown at the time.) I was also able to quickly advance to gifted/honors/AP classes after my learning issues were identified and she helped me figure out strategies to best learn the material.
    I constantly felt stupid and actually had several teacher tell me I was stupid (but that is another topic all together and my parents raised hell over those times) my mother made sure that I remembered that as long as I did my best that they were proud of me. My parents taught me my best was paying attention in class, doing my homework to the best of my abilities, studying for tests and most of all asking for help when I needed it. It took multiple parent teacher conferences each year for my parents to feel my teachers were doing their best by me.
    I’m sorry this response is so long, but I am certain that you are teaching your son the most important lessons in life. I also humbly suggest that you talk to his teacher to see why he is feeling this way and what can be coordinated to help him learn best and ease his negative feelings about his academic ablities. My heart goes out to you and your son and I am so sorry he feels that way.

    • February 20, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Sorry I either mistyped or auto correct got me ED does not stand for emotionally disabled it is for Emotionally Disturbed, which is a major differance. These children are very disruptive, but can learn and my mother has been blessed the ability to reach many of these children who have the label of ED mainly from their home environment (nuture) which brings out mental illnesses from stressors in their environment that most of these children are genetically predisposed (nature) to have the mental illnesses. I just wanted to clarify that and apologize if I offended or mislead anyone with my, accidental, misinformation.

    • March 6, 2016 at 5:57 am

      I am thankful for your long response, though it’s certainly taken me long enough to say so!

      Your mom’s classroom sounds awesome, as does her advocacy. Often when I come up on moments like this, I remember that a lot of my strength came not from not encountering things, but how my mom handled them when I did encounter them. It sound like you had that same kind of advocacy, which is a fantastic example when it’s time to have your own kids.

      Reading others’ kind words and about their experiences helped ease my heart. It took me out of “I SUCK BECAUSE I CANNOT SOLVE THIS RIGHT NOW” (or narrow angle parenting) and back into “I am doing what I can with what I have, and this is just a small part of the whole” (or what I once wrote about as wide angle parenting). It’s good to get back to the wide angle view, but impossible to actually stay there all the time.

      Thank you again for the insight into your experiences and thoughts. There’s a lot for me to consider in them.

  16. February 19, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    What a heartbreaking conversation. I wish I had some words of wisdom but I’d be clueless as to what to do for the best. One of my big fears is that Freya won’t like school. I hated it and the realisation that I had to keep going was awful. I really hope you can talk to his teachers and perhaps work something out.

    • March 6, 2016 at 5:59 am

      I really enjoyed school for the most part, all the more after fifth grade, where I was moved to a teacher who really knew how to build up. I’d like my boys to also enjoy it, but it seems like that will be increasingly difficult in this … “educational” … landscape! I’ll keep looking, though, and working on countering any notions that how one performs on worksheets has much to do with how well one will perform in life beyond school.

  17. February 20, 2016 at 8:23 am

    I am not looking forward to my oldest guy starting grade 1 next year. At least now I am accustomed to the levels at which I am failing him. I don’t want to add more to that!

    • March 6, 2016 at 6:01 am

      I’m sorry you feel that you’re failing him! The best I can figure, the feelings of failure don’t often–or even usually–align with actual failure. It’s a constant rebalancing, and we do what we can to find new balances as we gain new information day by day and week by week.

      I hope what’s ahead ends up being better than you can now imagine!

  18. February 20, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Our education system is so frustrating. My heart goes out to you and your son.

  19. February 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    You are not failing but the system is failing. One time I asked a teacher if she could give my son extra math work because he was bored and already knew the math they were learning. She said, “No, I can’t help your son move ahead of the other kids, I have to teach for the tests.” I also know many adults who hated school because they could not learn from the way teachers teach, but they are smart people. Education needs to change.

    • March 6, 2016 at 6:03 am

      Gaaaaaaah. I’ve read so many like comments since Li’l D started elementary in August. How is this short-sighted pursuit of measurement supposed to benefit our kids? They’re learning how to hoop jump instead of think creatively, and it’s no more a service to them than to anyone involved in their should-be education!

      I so agree that education needs to change. Quite frankly, there needs to be a whole lot less talking at and a whole lot more education in it.

  20. February 20, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Your care for him
    must feel quite deep
    and loving to him!
    Wishing you continued
    beauty in your relationship ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. February 20, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Gosh we really are getting something wrong in the schooling system. I’m sorry you had to respond to that and that he felt that way at all. That’s not right or fair.

    • March 6, 2016 at 6:05 am

      It’s come up several times since, but fortunately, I’m now better able to respond without floundering! We’re looking for solutions and I trust we will find something, but man, that will only help those in this household … :/

  22. February 21, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    You’re not failing anyone, Deborah.
    Your son couldn’t have asked for a better parent.

    This post is timely; I’ve been feeling like a miserable failure for days. In fact, I’m in a deeper depression than I’ve been in some time. So misery really does love company, babe…

    But you’re going to be okay.
    I promise.

    • February 21, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      This is a placeholder for a more meaningful comment to follow. For now, I just wanted to send an enormous hug with a side of thanks. (Also, a reminder: You’re good people.)

      • February 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm

        I may indeed be good people, Deborah, bu tin terms of realizing my dreams… I’m a miserable failure.
        And I’ve grown quite tired of it.

  23. February 22, 2016 at 10:30 am

    This just broke my heart in a dozen different ways. Way to go mommy. Hold that little heart in yours and know that you’ve failed no one. Least of all that sweet six year old. Love really does heal so many things, Brenda, and it sounds like you said and did just what he needed. But I so get how easy it is to feel like a failure, raising our kids. So many things get in our our way!

    • March 6, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Thank you for your kind words! Though D’s said things about being stupid since, they’re less emotionally fraught and I can see glimmers of how our (dad included) conversations are building him up. The rough moments will come, and I can’t/wouldn’t want to change that (though they shouldn’t be too often, or it’ll be harder for the positive to counter its damage!), so I take comfort remembering my own childhood and knowing that advocacy is a powerful thing. Also, as a sidenote, my name is actually Deborah, though Deb works well, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • March 6, 2016 at 8:12 am

        Oh, so embarrassed! I know your name is Deborah… not even sure why I wrote Brenda! Brain fart. Sorry about that Deb!

  24. February 22, 2016 at 11:16 am

    My heart broke when Mr. T was in kindergarten (or first grade) and he goes “Mom, here is how we sit criss-cross-apple-sauce. and we have to sit very, very still”. And all I could think was that I had a boy, and boys use their gross motor skills to learn and he was being forced to sit very, very still! I wanted to just gather him up right then and there! Over the years, we’ve discussed how the primary education system is designed for girls, who learn better with their fine motor skills, and how it will be frustrating, but sometimes we just have to adapt to them… and learn enough to then do it our own way! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • March 6, 2016 at 6:11 am

      Yes! Over the summer I read some of a book talking about how boys are being failed by “education” centered on sitting quietly and working on worksheets. Uuugh! Though girls can tolerate it better, I’m pretty sure it’s not optimal learning for kids of either gender. It sure doesn’t work for me learning as a 37-year-old woman, and I’m dubious that more boring, redundant stuff at the desk would somehow be better for fidgety, exuberant people thirty years younger than that.

  25. February 24, 2016 at 6:21 am

    School systems have remained the same in one sense. They believe every child learns the same way and at the same pace. It’s not you. Don’t take it personally. I’ve been there too. My oldest daughter has adhd. So when it comes to learning because both sides of her brain are firing off at the same time when normally it’s one at a time, she takes a little longer to process things to make sure she’s got it right. The school measures in grades and time.

    • March 6, 2016 at 6:12 am

      It’s the measurement thing that bugs me. The more I read and see, about school and all facets of the modern human world, the more I see human beings excel at paying keen attention to all the wrong measures, just because they’re easily measured. Terrible, short-sighted thinking, that! :/

  26. March 8, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I’m an avid opponent to the established standard that has become our education system. My daughter is in similar situation where, after 6 months of one way, is suddently switched to PSSA Prep Packs with crap that isn’t anything like she had up to this point. I specifically asked “Do you teach the test?” to which the teacher responded “No, I don’t teach the test.” Well, they’re teaching the damn test! It’s condescending to tell me that and then do something else like I won’t notice the change. I’m not a fan of the system, teachers aside doing what they’re told, the system is broken and no one seems to notice. Parents have the power, but the administration bashes the parent down when they speak up becuase to acknowledge the parents complaints is to admit the system is broken. They’re not paid to do that, they’re paid to keep the status quo.

    I’m sorry that your son is going through the same thing. I honestly have responded to my daughter in the same manner as you have to your son. School is not life unfortunately and we’re woefully underpreparing our children for the world.

  1. February 23, 2016 at 6:54 am
  2. February 25, 2016 at 5:22 am

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