Why is Elementary School so Hard?


…and I don’t just mean for the kids. It’s crazy to think that my 4th grader is already doing algebra. Not pre-algebra, but OMG word problem algebra. But parents feel the pressure too.

A few years ago, we moved to an area that has some of the top rated schools in the country.

I was excited that my kids would be getting a top notch education. We moved from a district that wasn’t the worst, but due to cut backs, had phased out their gifted programs years ago. Not to mention, the district rotated the librarian and music teacher, bringing those programs to limp along with barely a crutch to hold them up.

I’ve mentioned before what a lame parent I can be. I think we all feel that from time to time.

One of the reasons I say that school is hard for the parents is because around here, if you blink and miss a meeting, your child may be doomed to be left out of a crucial program that they may need to excel, leaving them to, God forbid, suffer the indignity of mediocrity.

The parent involvement here is phenomenal. It’s inspiring. I, sadly, am not that parent. It seems I am always late to the banquet when it comes to pushing my kid to the front of the line, and they don’t grade on the curve here, at least not for the parents.

Parents even keep portfolios of their kids’ “out of the box” achievements in the off chance they don’t meet testing expectations. “Always look for the edge” seems to be the motto. And if you’re a new-comer, better figure out how to get on board or be left behind.

With the hundreds of emails the school sends out, how did I miss the “portfolio” one?!

I guess I need to step up my game. Otherwise my kids will be doomed to the same mediocre ruler that measured Ben Franklin, and others in history who didn’t finish at the top of their class.

I only hope I can get enough “portfolio” material on my 4th grader before he graduates high school. Forget about the 8th grader…it’s already too late for her. She’ll have to get by on her book smarts and dazzling personality.


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