a sucky thread about sucky stupid school that sucks

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My son hates school. He really hates it. The roots of this might lie in our homeschooling him for a year-and-a-half, but maybe it's something else. The homeschooling didn't work out. My wife was also trying to balance homeschooling with being pregnant and then caring for our baby daughter at the same time and it was way too much for her to handle. Also, every time I took a day off from work to observe them, they would get in some sort of argument about his work. When their quarterly reviews with the school system came up, his work was always approved, but I don't think that the quality of the materials and instruction were up to the par that he would have received in public school.

Also, I think he developed a bad opinion of school, just by being around my wife and other homeschooling parents: "aren't you so glad you get to sit on an exercise ball instead of one of those hard, awful chairs that public school kids have to sit on?" "Aren't you so glad I let you take breaks to run around outside? Public school kids don't get to do that." To be straight with you, I agree with most of my wife's criticisms of public school, but I think she probably prejudiced his outlook by offering these opinions too frequently or something. I think from the outset, she probably thought that she was going to homeschool him for his entire education (she was inspired to homeschool in the first place by a friend who had schooled both of her kids from infancy through high school and who both turned out to be really successful adults).

But it may not just be homeschooling. Like I said above, my wife and him often got into conflicts when they were homeschooling.

Anyway, he's finishing up his second year of public school now (in 3rd grade). He absolutely hates it. He walks in the front doors with his head held low. This morning, the principal apparently had to help pry him out of the car because he didn't want to get out and they were holding up the drop-off line. On weekends, he starts complaining as early as Saturday afternoon that "the weekend is almost over" because he dreads going back to school so much.

He's generally a good kid and very sweet. I hate to see him so miserable. I'm really getting worried that this could overtake him. Any thoughts/experiences?

how's life, Monday, 13 May 2013 13:04 (four years ago) Permalink

Also, feel free to post your own problems with kids and school too. I know that to some extent, school antipathy is universal. I just feel like my guy is coping with it less well than others.

how's life, Monday, 13 May 2013 13:15 (four years ago) Permalink

The whole structure and concept of school is anethema to humanity imo. Kids are meant to spend their days doing varied tasks, at least some of which should be outdoors, not sitting in chairs for 6-8 hours straight. How do we mitigate this? Maybe with stuff like music and art and gym and recess to break it up, but unfortunately most schools are going the opposite direction.

THIS IS NOT A BENGHAZI T-SHIRT (Hurting 2), Monday, 13 May 2013 14:03 (four years ago) Permalink

Also I believe kids need more time for free exploration than they get.

THIS IS NOT A BENGHAZI T-SHIRT (Hurting 2), Monday, 13 May 2013 14:03 (four years ago) Permalink

obviously the solution lies in private education

the bitcoin comic (thomp), Monday, 13 May 2013 14:06 (four years ago) Permalink

Waldorf school for everyone

THIS IS NOT A BENGHAZI T-SHIRT (Hurting 2), Monday, 13 May 2013 14:09 (four years ago) Permalink

i am not even remotely a parent but is it possible there's something specific going on at school? or are you sure that it's totally just the concept of school.

call all destroyer, Monday, 13 May 2013 14:54 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah, he's definitely not afraid to tell us when he does have specific problems at school. He's been sorta minorly bullied a couple of times (once by a girl who kept telling him he was going to hell for not believing in god). He's at odds with his art teacher, who is apparently a bit of a bitch, but he's only being taught to hate art once a week for an hour on Thursdays. If there was some sort of ongoing issue, I'm pretty sure we would know about it.

  • I do think lack of exercise plays a huge part. He's a really active kid.
  • Some of it probably has to do with not being able to move at his own pace - either waiting for other kids to finish their work or have the rest of the class outpace him.
  • I think that a really intense emotional attachment to his mother probably plays another part. What kid wouldn't rather stay at home all day with mommy, you know? He basically had an extra two years to do that after going to a normal pre-school, when all his peers were in kindergarten and first grade.
  • There's probably a part of it too where he just doesn't want to do educational activities and would rather be playing video games or riding his bike.

how's life, Monday, 13 May 2013 15:20 (four years ago) Permalink

And another thing about this whole situation is that he doesn't perform poorly either. He made honor roll this semester!

how's life, Monday, 13 May 2013 15:31 (four years ago) Permalink

I feel like now that I'm more linked into the parenting network, I hear these stories a lot. My wife is now tutoring a few kids who are all clearly gifted and all having some kind of adjustment problem in school.

THIS IS NOT A BENGHAZI T-SHIRT (Hurting 2), Monday, 13 May 2013 15:37 (four years ago) Permalink

does he have friends at school? school does kinda suck but having friends makes it easier.

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 13 May 2013 15:44 (four years ago) Permalink

He does have friends at school, but his closest friends are people he knows from the neighborhood who he's not in class with or are in different grades. Also, from what I understand, there's some kind of conflict between the kids he knows from his classes and the neighborhood kids. I kinda went through a similar thing in elementary schol, where I was kinda a total outcast in my grade but when I went home I hung out with kids in the grade above me who were legimately "cool kids".

how's life, Monday, 13 May 2013 15:50 (four years ago) Permalink

He sounds really profoundly unhappy there from your description. I think if a similar thing was happening to my child at that age (esp. after two years) I would start looking for alternatives (co-ops, alternative public schools, god forbid even private school if tuition was affordable) but admittedly I live in a city where such things are readily available.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 May 2013 02:43 (four years ago) Permalink

found out yesterday we "won" the public school lottery for our daughter (ie we got our first choice) so uh well I hope she likes it...

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 14 May 2013 15:53 (four years ago) Permalink

i'm of the opinion that most schools do suck in a lot of ways, but like Alex said i think i wd be exploring alternatives if there are any.

really sorry your kid's having such a hard time, i hope he grows thru the experience.

Koné 2013 (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 14 May 2013 16:06 (four years ago) Permalink

i hated school a lot a lot a lot when i was that age until 12th grade. in high school it became kind of ok because i made a game out of getting awesome grades (to the point that it was bad for my mental health and i might have had OCD, like i would start my homework over if i had to erase something) but it was socially pretty painful. i don't know how i turned out ok. i would tell my teacher in 5th grade every day "i hate school." i was a little shithead. i think school sucks for kids a lot more than it did for me even 10-20 years ago though. i know of no solution to this and still wish my parents had let me drop out when i was 10. the point is i turned out just awesome, and i'm a lawyer. the other point is i still feel scarred by it.

veryupsetmom (harbl), Tuesday, 14 May 2013 23:14 (four years ago) Permalink

i do worry about schools for our kid. the public high schools in l.a. are shitty, the junior highs are no great shakes either. we live by a good elementary school! anyway if you're someone in l.a. who can afford a nice house you can afford to send your kid to private schools the whole time and they're better off, and that's sort of the unfortunate truth of the matter. not that public schools are uniformly bad. but i think the lack of pay for teachers is a big issue there. i have a friend who is a private school teacher and she probably makes 70k. the best teachers in a lot of cases go where the money is and the environment is better.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Tuesday, 14 May 2013 23:19 (four years ago) Permalink

"found out yesterday we "won" the public school lottery for our daughter (ie we got our first choice) so uh well I hope she likes it..."

I think the good public elementary schools are actually pretty good so I would think she probably will.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 02:38 (four years ago) Permalink

in SF that is.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 02:38 (four years ago) Permalink

I kinda think that if you don't hate school as a kid there's probably something wrong with you... between the regimentation and the forced exposure to your (inevitably) shitty peer group there's bound to be something you find unpleasant. Learning to deal with those things is what school is really about imho.

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 17:04 (four years ago) Permalink

if you don't hate school as a kid there's probably something wrong with you

I'm not a parent but I think there's hating and then there's hating imo? like when I was 12-13 I talked every day with my friend about how much we hated school, how stupid everything was, etc, but when she said she was changing school because she hated ours so much I was like "wait, what? really?!"

(she was much happier at the new place btw)

anyway learning to deal with things you think are a chore and not as good as playing video games is a useful life skill (which I don't have), but learning to deal with things that actively make you trudge home with your head hung low every day and spend all your free time dreading... eh, I think that one can wait until a later age if there's any chance something could be done about it. maybe it's all an over-dramatic charade but 2 years seems a long time to keep that up for.

susuwatari teenage riot (a passing spacecadet), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 21:24 (four years ago) Permalink

"I kinda think that if you don't hate school as a kid there's probably something wrong with you..."

Uh at 7-8 I don't think most kids hate school that much. I also think there is a difference between boredom and a desire for freedom from the confines of a desk and what how's life is describing his son's reaction to be which strikes me as something much more profoundly unhappy.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Thursday, 16 May 2013 03:00 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

On weekends, he starts complaining as early as Saturday afternoon that "the weekend is almost over" because he dreads going back to school so much.

Still does this, even this past weekend which led into the last week of school: half days, field day, assemblies, etc. Thank god we've got another year in the bag, I guess.

how's life, Wednesday, 18 June 2014 12:44 (two years ago) Permalink


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