The summer has officially come to an end and the fun filled days of summer camp, rolling down grassy hills, trips to Disneyland and pool parties are over. My Facebook feed is filled with parents celebrating back to school with memes and videos of dancing monkeys and here I am feeling like I just received a sentence to 9 months of torture. I can't be the only parent that feels this way?!?! No offense to all the hard working teachers, school administrators and such but frankly, back to school sucks!
First, let's just start with the early morning schedule and everyone having to adjust to getting up at the butt crack of dawn. I am really not a morning person and by midweek, I practically cry when my alarm goes off. After taking advantage of a few snooze buttons (I know that’s dangerous territory), I drag everybody else out of bed through cajoling, threatening and bribing… and I am not above using cold water. Then, I can only pray to make it through the morning routine without any breakdowns, sibling rivalries or disastrous outfits. Besides, before we get out the door, I am already strategizing about how I will manage the “witching hour,” cooking dinner, completing homework (I will definitely be addressing this) and getting all the kids bathed and to bed no later than 9 p.m. The first couple of weeks, this truly seems like an unmanageable task. Is it not possible for the first school bell to be at 9 a.m.?
Secondly, school paperwork… Is it really necessary for me to write my phone number and address on fifty different sheets of paper? Just when I think I am done, you send home another 5-page packet asking me to fill out the same information 20 different times. Sorry if I missed the 7th signature on the back of page 5 in the third paragraph that explained notification of bug spraying every 4th Friday of each school quarter. But seriously, aren't we in the digital age?!?! And what about being Ecofriendly??? Can't I just fill out one form online and call it a day. There is such a thing as a digital signature. Survey Monkey, Google Forms, Adobe …something…anything?!?!
And last but far from least… Homework. The word alone makes my eyes water and my shoulders tense up. Spending our evenings playing in the park, taking family walks or even indulging in a little TV has been replaced by Common Core worksheets that make my kid’s head spin and steam come out of his nostrils. School is just getting started and I am already spending at least 2 nights a week with my 4th grader crying over homework and me trying my hardest not to get frustrated. Full disclosure, homework is my 4th grader’s archenemy so what the teacher promises to be only an hour of homework easily turns into 2-3 hours. It's a painful process that I will admit doesn't always bring out my best parenting skills and for the sanity of everyone, I will be hiring a tutor. Then again, I hear there is a new trend of no homework that is beginning to make the rounds. Where can I sign that petition or do I need to start one myself?
Don't get me wrong, I really do want my kids to develop a love for learning and enjoy school and I truly appreciate the work and time that educators invest in kids. I actually enjoyed my school days some "umpteen" years ago. I am just saying that we are all adjusting to the new school year. It may be too much to ask for a 9 a.m. start time and no homework but can we at least take it slow on the homework front and just be a little understanding if I don’t get everything signed in a timely manner? I prefer to be eased into things, not thrown right into purgatory because as I said, back to school sucks!