Tuesday, November 14, 2017

An Open Letter To Saturday School





I picked up my exuberant Kindergartner last Tuesday and was surprised when he handed me an official looking letter from the school. It stated that he had been marked absent at some point in the last 3 months and as part of their 'perfect attendance incentive' being offered to "make up" the absence by attending Saturday school the weekend that kicks off their Thanksgiving break.

Wait, what?

He's in KINDERGARTEN y'all. Why the eff would I send him to Saturday school for four hours? Aside from racking my brain to think if he even missed a day (turns out we skipped a day when he got his new cast) he's already only there for four hours! Why would I send him in on the weekend to "make up" the hours? 
That makes no sense. 
Upon further reading I discovered it was optional but to continue with their push of perfect attendance they were advising we go. You read that right. They want the kids to strive for the "perfect attendance incentive" at the end of the year so you can go to school on a Saturday and 'make up' the hours you missed.
Umm yeah that's a no from me dawg. A big FAT no, nope, no way, no how. 
Why are we doing this to kids again? So the school can get more funding? I'm a firm believer in supporting our public schools in all the ways I can but this? Nah, fam. I'm not down with this nonsense. 

Parents and administrators often wonder why kids are so stressed out at a young age and I'm a firm believer that this is one of the reasons. Pushing perfect attendance and trying to get them to come in to complete that act on their day off is just compounding these emotions. I see kids freaked out running full speed to get to their class on time and fretting about missing a single day because they're sick or have a travel day for vacation and they shouldn't be feeling that at all.

Yes, we want our children to understand commitment and school is the first place they learn to show up on time and daily BUT do we want to put so much pressure on them to NEVER MISS A SINGLE DAY so that they start to panic if they are even a minute late? 
I think not. 
Grwoing up we basically had to cough up a lung,and prove it, in order to stay home from school (perks of having parents in the medical field) meanwhile I had peers who's parents let them skip on days they were "tired" or "stressed" and just needed a break. I was jelly for sure as I was there sick or not. So when my oldest began school I vowed I wouldn't be such a stickler. If we wanted to stay an extra day on vacation, we did. If she wanted to cut out earlier and spend time w/ cousins, we let her, if she missed a day because she was up too late the night before, meh, no big deal. Mental health days are just as necessary for kids/teens as they are for adults but we push our kids to go so hard we often miss when they need them. And they do need them. 

 Before you start rolling your eyes she's always had her work done, rarely missed a test and we called in to be responsible. But making them go when they are truly in the weeds just seems wrong. Hell, adults call out sick just to get a break (and sometimes to head to Disneyland) so why can't kids?

I don't know y'all, I'm just not about putting so much pressure on kids at such a young age. Perfect attendance is great thing to strive for, but I'll be damned if I'm going to send my five-year old to school on a Saturday to achieve it and all so the school can get more funding from the state. 

Judge your mom and worry about your eyebrows. 

2 comments:

  1. I'm with you. That is WAY too much pressure. We are all good with having a family skip day (call it a mental health day if you have to) and enjoying some time together mid-week. We don't do this all the time, but sometimes even kids need a break. As long as their work is make up and they are generally responsible, I don't see an issue with it. And does your son's school push the whole "be a good citizen" agenda on them? It can get to be too much....especially for Kindergarten!

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  2. The expectation that there should be perfect attendance in kindergarten is outrageous to me. The suggestion that I would spend my Saturday, let alone have my child spend part of his, at school to make up four hours? WHAT THE HELL DID THEY COVER IN THOSE FOUR HOURS THAT NOT "MAKING UP" WILL BE SO DETRIMENTAL?

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