If you live in the northern hemisphere, chances are that summer break is here! As always, I’m seeing so many different reactions from parents about this time of year. Some are relieved and happy to have their kids home for a couple months. Some are feeling overwhelmed and are scrambling to figure out how to keep their kids occupied for the next 12 weeks. And still others are, unfortunately, trying to overcome the obstacles that have been thrown before them (NY and CA, I’m looking at you) and are trying to figure out what will become of their children’s education once summer is over.
It is with all of these parents in mind that I decided to write today’s post, just as a reminder of what they’ll be “missing out” on these next few months (or indefinitely, depending on which parents are reading this).
10 Things I Don’t Miss About Public School
For those of you who aren’t aware, we haven’t always homeschooled. Several of my kids have spent varying amounts of time in public school. In fact, my oldest son graduated from public school. What that means for all of you is that I’ve had plenty of experience with it and remember all too clearly the inconveniences that seem to pervade its very existence.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.
1. The Annual Lice Epidemic
When I say “annual,” I’m being generous. Sometimes it happened several times a year. Unfortunately, our lovely school district takes the stance that “lice is not a health issue, but a social issue.”
What that means is that the school doesn’t bother to notify parents when a classmate has been discovered to be infested with these little critters. Rather than giving a heads up for parents to check their kids’ heads as a precaution, they’re completely comfortable with waiting until an entire household is overrun.
Let’s give a hand to our trusty school adminstrators.
2. The Train of Contagious Illnesses
As if lice weren’t bad enough, let’s talk about the number of germs running through a school building at any given time:
- pink eye
- stomach bugs
- fifth disease
- and more!
My kids were getting sick even more than they were getting lice – and that’s saying something! Never fear, though! School administrators were always happy to show concern…concern that my kids were missing too much school because they kept coming down with illnesses they caught in school.
3. Secondary Parent Syndrome
Your child is sick? Better call and get permission for them to stay home! Family vacation coming up? Better get that approved – because we all know that school is more important than family! Looking into treating your child’s ADHD naturally? Be prepared to butt some heads with
his primary parents the school who know for a fact that your child needs medication.
Sorry. This mom has no time for that nonsense.
4. Mandatory Overtime…Homework!
You know, it just boggles my mind that kids can spend 6 to 7 hours a day in school, and it somehow isn’t enough time for them to get all their work done.
Instead, like a good employee, children are expected to bring their work home with them, except they don’t get paid for it.
I would say, “What about family time?” but I think we all know that the school system doesn’t give a hoot about that.
5. Standardized Testing Culture
Because we all know that the true path to education is cramming a child’s head with useless factoids that they’ll never use again. All that matters is that they understand how to completely fill in the bubble.
That’s the key to success.
6. PC Culture
You knew this was coming. You had to.
Some of my last memories of the public education system involve me being recruited by both parents and a couple teachers to complain to the principal and the local news about the insanity going on at our school.
Whatever you feel about these holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day were all but banned. Christmas became a Winter Celebration and Easter became Spring Break.
Children were forbidden to exchange Valentine’s Day cards because it would take away time for test prep (I’m not even kidding) and a few teachers attempted to clandestinely hold “Green Day parties” as a cover for St. Patty’s celebrations.
There was, however, one holiday the school fully supported and actually held a full day celebration for: Cinco de Mayo.
What was that all about?
7. The Dreaded Early Morning Start Times
Some people are early risers, and that’s great if you are. In my case, getting 7 kids ready and out the door on time every morning when we were all half-asleep and cranky was, well, the pits.
I’m telling you, starting our homeschool day at 10 has changed our lives. 🙂
8. Walking to School in the Freezing Rain
I get it. A lot of districts bus their students these days. Our district only buses those students who receive help from the Intermediate Unit (I should add that my daughter was receiving speech therapy from IU, but for some odd reason, that didn’t qualify her for the bus).
I’m not going to lie. It was eternally frustrating for me to gather up all my kids and walk them to school in all kinds of weather while the neighbor boy who was in my daughter’s class got there by bus.
I am ever-so-thankful that we can now spend our winter mornings sipping hot chocolate in the living room rather than trying to make it to school without getting frostbite.
9. Let’s Not Forget the Bomb Threats and School Lockdowns
Like the lice epidemics, these happened pretty frequently. I can’t even count the number of times I drove past the school to see all of the kids standing outside, yet again. Sometimes they were fire drills, but, more often than not, it was a bomb threat. I’m honestly curious how many actual hours are spent in school, you know, learning.
And lockdowns? Pshaw. The little boy in my daughter’s 2nd grade class was an expert in getting that to happen. All he had to do was start hitting the teacher or ripping off her jewelry, run around the classroom dumping out all the bins of books, and throw a desk or two. There you have it – lockdown!
10. And Finally…Unexcused Absences
There is nothing that infuriates me more than the school’s assumption that parents don’t know best – they do.
Our school loved to throw out unexcused absences like candy at a parade.
Signed your child out early because of another bomb threat? Unexcused!
Street too slippery to drive up the hill you live on? Unexcused!
At the hospital being monitored and have no way to get your child to school? Unexcused!
Do you have anything that you’d never miss about public school? Leave a comment!