Tuesday, September 02, 2008

School is harder on the parents.

I don't get how people can be happy to see their kids go back to school. First, I like having my kids around. Second, school is no holiday. I don't get all the jokes about cheering one's kid back off to school. The people who cheer when their kid is gone must only have one. Only one to feed at night, only one to watch to make sure he's doing his homework. Or maybe she already does all her homework on her own.

I bet none of them have to watch an almost 3 year old to make sure he's not making trouble, while keeping countless people off the computers and away from tv in order to do their homework. Or worse yet, getting them to eat a snack quickly, change into soccer clothes, off to a soccer pratice, eating sandwiches there and doing homework at the same time with the ones who don't have a practice and alternating when it's someone else's turn to pratice, coming home at just after bedtime, trying to get everyone showered and in bed at a decent time.

I don't know how my mother handled the stress. Of course, she didn't have to check 4 or 5 supply lists and get them right. Actually, she didn't have to buy anything at all until high school, because back then at least, in Moose Factory, a free education was actually free. The most she had to get for us was a pair of running shoes. Everything was supplied by the school. Also, we didn't get homework until about grade five. And then, it was only the odd project or two.

Also she didn't have anyone in any sports that she had to drive them to. We had after-school sports and get this... A BUS WAS PROVIDED FOR THOSE COMING HOME LATE FROM SCHOOL . Wow. Yes, people knew how to provide things back then. Parents didn't have to pick their children up if they were staying late for a school sport.

My mother didn't have to buy anything for us until high school. And even then, it was just a couple of binders, or one really big one, loose leaf paper, pens and pencils, a ruler and maybe some coloured pencils for projects. There was eventually the odd geometry set or scientific calculator, but I think we even got our school agenda for free... I don't remember ever paying for it. If we took art, most of the art supplies were provided. Text books were assigned, we borrowed the same textbooks that students had been using for years. We didn't have to buy new and updated ones every year. There was no such thing as exercise books, we used the good old photocopier... and photocopies were not charged to us.

Ahhhhh, whatever happened to a simple blackboard and chalk and a slate you used over and over again to copy out your lessons, then erase them? Whatever happened to learning stuff by heart, with poems and songs, instead of using textbooks and pedagogical tools... School was simpler and cheaper once... and kids came home, milked the cows, hunted for the eggs, fed the animals, and had no soccer.

Good old days....