It's Friday and the kids have been out of school since yesterday. They return on Monday only to get out early on Tuesday and then do not go back until the following week. The teachers are still there- I see their cars lined up outside. I know Brother's teachers are busy recording all of his Fs on his report card. Maybe not all Fs, but there are way too many. One F is too many in my book (and I am sure in most everyone else's). It is beyond frustrating. I know Brother has to be the one to do it- I can't go to school for him. But I really feel that the teachers are not doing their job. They have all of the 5th and 6th graders combined. All of them. They also have a strict policy of no late homework. If it is not turned in on time, they get a 0. No ifs, ands or buts. I understand they are trying to prepare the students for junior high and that is great. However, in my eye they are setting up the children for failure. I know for a fact my son is not the only one to miss homework assignments. What does that mean for the child who doesn't understand the assignment and is too frustrated to complete it? No homework? You lose! We were up until 10pm the other night finishing Brother's homework- mainly his math homework. I checked his work and helped him with the problems he did not get right. He received a 10 (as in 10 points out of 100). WTF?? I thought homework was supposed to be practice, not a test? Hubby doesn't understand why I don't agree with grading homework. I think he should get credit for completing it. If it is obvious he just guessed at the answers then of course he shouldn't get credit for it.
So I emailed his math teacher and asked if she would be there at Brother's parent-teacher conference. When she replied she asked if I wanted to have Brother tested so he can get into the math assistance program. What?? I just talked to her two weeks prior asking if there was any kind of tutoring available for him and she said she didn't know of anything. I forwarded the email to Hubby- I was fuming. I will cut her some slack as she was not here at the beginning of the year (she was on maternity leave)- and the substitute did not follow her teaching plan at all. However, if I tell her from day one that Brother is having problems she should have found out then what could be done. She gave him an A- for science at least- I should be grateful for that.
Brother does not like school. Aren't teachers supposed to inspire the children? Are they too caught up in trying to just get the kids all the be quiet and do their work that they forgot that they are supposed to provide encouragement? Why does it feel like it is an "us against them" (eg. teachers against students) kind of war?
I am emotionally drained from all of this. How do I help him? He is so totally lost still. And I realize I am repeating myself over and over on this topic. I do know that if things do not get better, I am seriously considering home-schooling. I know of one parent that has pulled her daughter out of school already because of the curriculum. And she was a teacher back in the states.
I scouted the Amazon website to find books on how to help Brother with school. I stumbled upon some books about boys in particular and how we are failing them. In the past two decades we have been so focused on girls that the scales have tipped and now girls are making great strides while the boys have been left behind. It is a big controversy I know. There are many women out there who fought so hard for equal rights and Lord knows I am grateful for that. I also think as a society we develop tunnel vision, and we forget to look at the whole picture. The book I am reading right now is called The Trouble With Boys, by Peg Tyre. It is very interesting so far and she seems intent at looking at things from both sides of the spectrum. I plan on posting my first book review when I am done.