Monday, September 17, 2007

Back To School

Now...I'm wondering how many parents are smiling as their children wave goodbye and head to school. I know I used to be one of those parents but not anymore. Let me explain.

During the summer, there are no worries about being late for school. No worries about what to pack for lunch. No worries about homework being done.

Come September, all these worries resurface. Whether you are a working parent or not, back to school means back to school for you, too.

I remember growing up where my mom, being Greek and not speaking any English, never helped me with my homework. I managed. With my children? Although I speak Greek, English, and French, some of these assignments all read like hieroglyphics to me. My oldest child will be 29 this October, and our school system, while all five of my kids were in school, had changed at least 7 times that I can distinctly remember...and I remember because it affected them in some way.

One year they introduce a French immersion program to begin at Grade Four. I always believed this was silly because a young child entering Kindergarten is like a sponge and will absorb more of a new language than a child who is around 9 years old. Well, wouldn't you know it...a few years later they changed it.

One year they decided to forego correcting children in their spelling until they entered Grade Three. Once again, I felt the school board was making a mistake. One year later, this new introductory system was changed.

There were at least three different math programs introduced and then scrapped a year later.

Now, you tell me if these new introductions don't affect a child's education in some way. I understand the need to grow and expand and try new things but you would think they would survey the parent committees for input. Anyway...

I praise teachers nowadays for they have a lot to deal with: funding is almost nonexistent, kids at a younger age seem to be having more and more stress, and many of the extra stuff comes out of their own pockets in order to try and offer their classrooms decent educational material.

So, does Back To School sound as yippee as you first thought?

Lea Schizas

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