Sunday, August 28, 2011

Snooping in Other Kids' Backpacks

Okay, so here is something I am admitting to. You may think it's absolutely horrible, but you also may wish you had thought of it or had the chance to do it. If you get the chance, I highly recommend it!

So my oldest son has a great friend who goes to the public school across the street. Ever since she started kindergarten, she'll come over to play after school sometimes. Once I had to get something out of her backpack and ended up snooping in her homework folder to see what kind of homework 5-year-olds get. The stuff was on par with what I was teaching my son, so I was relieved.

Now whenever any school kid comes over, I ask if I can see their homework folder. They are always happy to show me. I have to say I do see a difference between what they teach at the Catholic school up the road and in public school. The private school kids go to private school for a reason, for sure, and if you don't think so you are kidding yourself. They are advanced in what they are doing by at least a grade level over public school.

Keep in mind that, oh, I'd say 75% of what all kids learn will be gone from their brains by the time they graduate. The great equalizer. It goes for homeschooled, unschooled, private schooled, public schooled, TV-schooled, whatever.

Just the other day I asked Joel's pal if I could see her homework. I had been fretting over Joel not knowing what he was supposed to know since he doesn't have his multiplication tables memorized (turns out most kids don't; not like when I was a kid), we don't do math drills and we don't do spelling tests. We don't do any tests, in fact.

Guess what?

He knew the stuff. I understand that the first couple of months of any school year is review (crazy!), but I was relieved to see Joel knew what he was supposed to know and could spell all her spelling words. Now we just have to get on 5th grade and make sure he's learning what he's supposed to be learning (in like, 1/4 of the time, mind you!) and then he can move on each day to chores, character development, playing with friends, field trips, swimming, riding his bike, spending time with his grandparents, nature walks, Scouts, gymnastics, Legos, reading for fun and SO MUCH MORE.

Is your kid "on schedule"? Or do you laugh at that term like I do?

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