Monday, August 22, 2005

Back to school

My kids didn't finish their summer bridge work. And with school starting on Wednesday, I don't think they will.

Its not that we didn't tell them to do their work every day, its just that we told them to do it every day last week, when they were bored at their grandparents house.

I am sure that there is a child in every class who finishes his bridge activities, but it doesn't happen in my house. First, the kids have been at camp almost every day throughout the summer, and when they weren't at camp, or playing baseball or hockey, they were watching TV. There is simply no time, even with late bed times and lazy sunday afternoons, for them to do work.

I think school gives kids too much homework. I don't know why they need to spend all day in school, and then come home and do more work.

My wife, a teacher in the school, disagrees.

This year she is teaching our oldest. Stephanie, one of the kids in the class, asked her mom what my son is going to call his mother in school. I believe it will be Morati, but I have not paid that close attention to that conversation.

Tomorrow night is orientation for our daughter.

I love going to orientation. Especially in Pre-nursery. I love watching first time parents hang on every word the teacher says, writing it down and inscribing the teacher’s opening monologue in their precious child’s baby book.

I can already sum up the orientation. Your kid will play here. She will eat here. Two mornings a week she will have Hebrew emersion, and don’t worry parents, she will not drown in it.

Kids will learn how to share, and play together. Maybe even count, if they are really smart. And if they are late bloomers, maybe they will at least stop making in their diaper.

Six years ago, when I went to my first orientation, we were the youngest parents in our child’s class, by far. We were intimidated by the other parents’ parenting experience and their financial success. Many already had older children in the school; some were first timers like us. At orientation, we sat in the little kindergarten chairs and listened attentively as the teacher outlined the program that she had developed for our three year old. We asked questions, and probably took notes.

When my oldest started school, we were nervous. What if he doesn’t make friends. What if he isn’t ready yet? What if other kids make fun of him or tease him or fight with him. What if what if what if.

Six years later, we no longer ask what if. Our daughter is our third going to the school, and we know what to expect. We have seen the teachers and the classroom, and the way kids play with one another.

When my middlest was in pre-nursery, he went the longest into the school year of his entire class without an accident. I hope my daughter can live up to that standard.


Blogger Red State Jew said...

school before labor day????

August 22, 2005 10:12 AM  
Blogger torontopearl said...

Does school always start this early in your neck of the woods? My kids start the day after Labor Day, September 6. My youngest, who is starting full-day senior kindergarten, will start on the 7th (they split up the preschool 1st day alphabetically, so we come on day #2--don't know what good the splitting up does for the kids or teachers, though...)
What is "bridge work"? Is it just a review of school work from the year to better prepare for the next grade? We also tried "review work" -- math for my daughter, creative writing for my son -- but unfortunately our household follows the pattern of yours in your 3rd paragraph.
And I agree with paragraph #4-- I'm not paying so much in tuition for ME to do homework every night with 2 kids...and that's sort of what's expected in the school. Homework can make for discipline in a child, but there is a limit...

August 22, 2005 10:26 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

This is the earliest they have ever started, I think they loosely follow the Southfield public schools schedule. They also end school the second week of June, which is earlier than the other jewish schools around here, and they have a full week off for presidents day.

Bridge work is work they are supposed to do over the summer so they don't forget what they learned the previous year. It also has things they never learned last year, so I don't know if they expect us to teach the kids (we didn't), or if it is just there to confuse the kids.

August 22, 2005 10:40 AM  
Blogger Gebrec said...

Side Note on starting school -
Rabbi Dr. Tsahidi on preparing for school- I was speaking with him last night at a wedding and we spoke about starting school and he said to me the week leading up to starting school is like Erev Pesach for him! He said it with such excitement! Now that is what you like to hear from the leader of your kids school!

August 22, 2005 11:15 AM  
Blogger Krunk said...

Ah school days.Those were the best.I remember the first day of school-back in middle school.What fun,what excitement!Not to mention the feeling of fear that almost made you want to crap in your pants.Wow I miss that stuff.

August 22, 2005 11:42 AM  
Blogger da shevster said...

i hate high school. i hate high school. i hate high school...then again, i said the same thing in nursery

August 22, 2005 12:07 PM  

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