When my kids started school, I had these grand visions of being this organized parent who reviewed flashcards nightly and corrected every single piece of homework before it went back to school. I always told myself that I would not be that parent that forgot to sign the permission slip or the agenda….but actually, I am that parent. I do not review flashcards every single night nor do I have time to correct every last piece of homework. I have turned into the parent that doesn’t send in absence excuses because I forget to write them. I am that parent that tries to keep all the papers organized, but just can’t seem to find the right sorting system for four kids. I am almost there and that is good enough for me.
I used to say that I would read to my kids every single night of the week. I would love to tell you that I really do read to all four every night, but that would be lying. I read with them often, but my two older boys have not wanted to read with me for years now. I do my best, but they are not avid readers. In fact, none of my boys really enjoy reading! Since I am a reading teacher, this just about kills me!! But, there is still hope for my daughter.
I have learned to just let some of the everyday things go in order to remain sane. If my kids do not have a fruit or vegetable in their lunch every day, they will be okay. It is not the end of the world. When we have a rough morning, my daughter goes to school with her hair sticking up. If my son has on a wrinkled shirt that does not match his pants, that means that he dressed himself….after all he is colorblind! I always wonder what the teachers think when my kids come to school disheveled. But then I realize that when my students come to school untucked and mismatched, I don’t think twice. I know their parents are doing the best that they can.
Although I might not be the most organized parent in the world, I truly do care about my kids and their education. Since the shift in education a few years ago, I have been hit hard with the realization that some of the curriculum is just not age appropriate. Parent help is needed at home. I do my best to communicate with the teachers often, and I work with my children daily. I am that parent that makes my son rewrite his spelling sentences because they are messy. Unfortunately for my children, having two parents that are teachers does not allow them to get away with much!
I may not check every piece of homework, but I talk to my kids about what they are doing in school. I don’t get much of a response from my boys, except for hearing about what they are doing in physical education which is their favorite subject! My daughter, however, is full of stories but most of them do not relate to academic work.
I call my daughter the “common core baby” because she embarked on her educational journey right when these new standards were introduced. She has had wonderful teachers, just like my boys have, but she will never know what school was like before modules and testing. This makes me sad. I know that I am not alone in feeling this way, and I am confident that parents and teachers will work together to stand up for our children’s future.