Thursday, November 06, 2008

Knowing when to exercise the mommy power

Sam missed school this Monday and Tuesday because he had whatever stomach flu his father so graciously gave him (and me...grrr!). Yesterday, he came home from school with an obscene number of worksheets to complete. Presumably, these were worksheets that would have been completed in class had he been in attendance. When I was sifting through them after school, I muttered something about this being a day when I had scheduled a vet appointment, grocery schopping, and Cub Scouts, Sam nearly started crying. When I asked him what was wrong, he quietly pouted he didn't want to miss cub scouts because of "stupid homework." I realized my frustration up to this point has been because I've allowed this kind of silliness to continue.

So...we went ahead with our plans and I wrote a note for school...
Dear Miss C: Wednesday nights are Cub Scout nights and Sam did not have time to complete all of the work from his absence. We plan to have it completed by Friday. Thank you for understanding.
We'll see how it goes over with the school.
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No, my internal ethical battle over certain parts of Cub Scouts has not been resolved. I KNOW there are larger issues involved here and that I could take a stand for what I believe. But like the lady who refused to give Halloween candy to kids whose parents supported Barack Obama, it would be MY stand at the expense of my son's involvement in something he enjoys. I'm working on my approach. But for now I'm just going to let him enjoy the camping and nature hikes.

1 comment:

lorem ipsum said...

In fifth grade (1980 or so) I had the misfortune of having a teacher named Lavergne Hartig. Mrs. Hartig was the kind of teacher who believed that giving kids a LOT of busywork to take home would keep them out of trouble, so even just one class with this woman was enough to keep her students booked until at least nine p.m.

Unfortunately, due to a fluke in the scheduling process, I had her for all but one class. There was not enough time in the day to do everything she assigned. This went against our religion (so to speak) but my parents ended up doing a lot of it. I'm talking stuff like Xeroxed line drawings of Babylonian pottery cut into equilateral triangles, creating jigsaw puzzles from hell. I remember both my parents going absolutely insane over that one. They tried to solve it until nearly two in the morning--and couldn't.

I hope the teachers cut the sick kid a break. Clearly Sam didn't get sick in order to get out of school, but a lot of what passes for 'teaching' these days is just babysitting, and the in-class handouts are, again, busywork designed to keep the little ones quiet. However, based on your experience with that school, I doubt they will. In fact, I'm certain they'll complain that 'Sam had time to go to Cub Scouts, so why didn't he have time to do...?'

Keep fighting the good fight anyway...