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I’m Ready to Raise a Pair of Idiots

Maybe I have spring fever, maybe I’m burned out, maybe I’m just a mother that doesn’t really care about her kids. I’m done with school. I’m done with homework. I’m done with lost backpacks, missing uniforms, substandard homework and spelling words. I’m done with waking up early. I’m done paying tuition. I’m done with sports. I’m done with girls being mean to each other.

I am absolutely positively finished with school.

I realize that my week in New York didn’t leave me free of my kids, it left me free of my kid’s unending schoolwork and hideous days.

I’m worried that we’ve robbed them completely of childhood and instead we’re trying to get them to learn State Standards instead of giving them some good old fashioned common sense.

I spent the morning yesterday with a group from Katalyst and Intel, they were talking about the flipped classroom. They do homework during the day, and watch lectures on DVD at night. Although it’s probably better than the existing system I’m wondering why our kids have to work a longer day than we do.

School is from 8 to 3 and then they’re supposed to come home and work another two to three hours? When are they supposed to be kids? When are they supposed to apply their knowledge? When are they supposed to have a childhood?

I hate school. I hate them all because they’re set up to feed themselves, they exist to benefit adults, not children. I’m ready to sell the house, pull them out of school and hitch hike around the globe with them. Maybe then we can all learn something and actually enjoy our lives.



36 thoughts on “I’m Ready to Raise a Pair of Idiots”

  1. OMG. Jessica I am totally and absolutely in love with this post. It sounds like it came from my very own keyboard. I feel the exact same way. I am a huge advocate for education (I’ve been teaching for 10 years). I understand the value of learning and the ways it will impact a persons life. But my children cannot enjoy their childhood because they have so much homework. They go to school all day and are crippled with 2 hours of homework each night. By that time, its time to go to bed. Ridiculous. I’m so ready to throw their book bags in the garbage and enjoy our summer vacation with swimming, parks, museums and just plain old fun. They need a break and so do I!

  2. Can you stop and pick us up on the way? I just finished writing an email to another teacher who is ignoring his ed plan. The high school stock answer to any questions about what goes on in the classroom is that they are preparing students for the reality of college. The kids have to live now. I’m frustrated with process over content. I feel like we’re leaning so hard on J that he’s losing interest and confidence daily.

    We all try so hard to do the right thing. I told J the other day that it’s no fun being a parent. It’s hard work and not always pleasant.

    My friend Lois just had lunch with her 40-year-old son. He’s married with 2 great kids and just started a great new job. He doesn’t seem to recall all of the high school histrionics, and he turned out just fine. I know my kid is basically a good human being, and I hope I haven’t ruined him with our “parenting.”

  3. I am tired of school work that doesn’t teach critical reasoning or logic. Tired of homework that is only assigned because of mandates not because it makes sense or is good for the kids.

  4. I’m not a fan of school. People learn best when they are exploring things they are actually interested in. School is not that.

  5. Tomorrow my son has to turn in a major school project that counts as a third of his grade for that class (4th grade) this quarter. The project … a paper bag with 3 printed pictures of anything from the state of Nevada. What did he learn? How to google “Nevada”, hit the print button and use a glue bottle.

    1. Yup!! I did a huge project in 4th grade that was a paper mache of the globe. We didn’t even learn the continents or anything, just how to glue paper to a balloon. The teachers were more concerned about the art part (and this consumed most our day) than teaching us the geography. This was my first year in public school and I remember going home thinking, “Mom, I feel like I am in daycare all day!”

    2. Yup!! I did a huge project in 4th grade that was a paper mache of the globe. We didn’t even learn the continents or anything, just how to glue paper to a balloon. The teachers were more concerned about the art part (and this consumed most our day) than teaching us the geography. This was my first year in public school and I remember going home thinking, “Mom, I feel like I am in daycare all day!”

  6. I think the end of April is always a breaking point. Then it gets hot and really starts to stink. The end of school blues. I personally hate Share Pages for first graders. I hate them with a grand passion. What first grader needs to learn how to give a speech one a week? its nutty

    I hate walking by the cafeteria and seeing the dang milk in the plastic bag. Hate seeing all the little ones hunched over trying to drink milk off the table. Its my biggest pet peeve. My son will never have to stoop down to drink milk. As God as my witness. Wow, Jessica you have opened up a can of worms. Now I am sweating.

  7. As the grandmother who had those two adorable idiots this past week, I certainly understand your frustration with the schedule. By the time the kids finish school, practice for volleyball, soccer, baseball and /or tennis, they are tired and hungry. Then they have to do homework and eventually turn off their brains so they can go to sleep. Well, I suggest parents who are still in the midst of “monitoring and reworking” homework, go to the Khan Institute. Videos at night, teacher and friends helping through the day discuss the information learned the night before. You might end up having to be sure your kids are watching education videos and NOT skyping with friends, but it would greatly reduce the nightly situation of deciding between finishing homework, doing the homework for the kids so they can finally go to bed, or just letting the kids fail. I love this new concept and los Alamitos in California has hired the Khan Institute on a trial basis. It maybe time for a parent revolution against unnecessary homework. And, you could give school administrators a viable solution to the problem. Not just complaints……This concept is truly thinking outside of the box.

  8. Jessica you could not have said it better. My last child is graduating from high school this week. He absolutely hates school. He does not want to participate in graduation at all. I finally feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and if I feel this way, imagine how my son feels.

  9. Two words…..home schooling. I did it for 14 years and the things we remembered were all the awesome trips we took. I’m talking field trips, trips to friends, trips to different states. And yes my kids went to college. One is a speech pathologist, one a Captain in the Marine Corp, one a computer guru getting his degree in industrial design. Not idiots! susan

  10. I’m a teacher and completely agree with you … The workload is so high you can see it grinding children down … which is one way to get compliance with the kids who don’t want to learn. but a bit more real-life experience and they might find that actually they do want to buy in to there education. It’s like we’ve just fallen into a trap where so many people need to send their kids to school and then homework club for childcare (or have their kids do homework alone so they can get on with other things) that all the schools are assessed based on how much work the children are doing rather than the quality of their lives – it doesn’t seem to matter if they can still do high school math in five years time – just as long as they cram enough in to short term memory to get good grades. Then the parents who want to raise people rather than machines are stuck dealing with the fallout from those who don’t care or don’t think about how the constant focus on work is damaging their kids.
    I’d say go for it… but first have you thought about just writing a whole bunch of excuse notes and give your kids a week (or forever) off homework? Depends on the school (and I’m in the UK, so possibly the country) but they might tolerate it for a while without handing out detentions or calling you to discuss why you’re “not supporting the school”.

  11. We’re all counting down until the end of school… we’re all sick of it! Tired of the endless homework and projects, tests, getting up early, etc…. my daughter, 8, is especially getting the itch as friends are getting fickle and feelings have been hurt. So ready to just have the kids to myself and do something FUN!

  12. Yes, I completely agree! My kindergartner has homework and she is being bullied at school. NONE of this is OK. Lids should be KIDS. Running, playing, being silly, learning about the world around them by being IN IT.

    All these state standards, gotta test or we don’t get our Federal money is BULLSHIT. It was so much easier when we were in school. I came out pretty damn smart without being robbed of my childhood.

  13. I hear you loud and clear. Have to say, one of the most impressive groups of kids I’ve ever met are the ones who belong to a girlfriend who’s been home-schooling them for years. They are wise beyond their years, intellectually engaged, curious about and connected to the world. They travel constantly and she (my friend) turns every journey into a mobile classroom. I watch with envy and wonder.

  14. I feel the exact same way. The sad thing is that most of that time is spent doing things that have nothing to do with learning. Our schools spend way too much time trying to cram crap into kids minds that they will never remember or use.

    I too am over uniforms as well. Nothing sucks more than waking up to realize they have no clean uniform shirts (who the heck says children should wear WHITE shirts to school). Our school (elementary) doesn’t even have a playground!!! Okay, looks like this post struck a nerve…rant over.

  15. It’s national teacher appreciation week. I don’t think they have a school appreciation week. My second son will graduate from college on Saturday so I’ve actually been recalling and appreciating their teachers and their schools. As bad as it might seem (and apparently from the comments it’s bad) the alternatives are much worse, trust me.

  16. Oh my Jessica…. you are speaking from my heart! :) Have thought that since my kids were young – they are now in their 20’s….
    Developed a fantasy school curriculum and sat on it… just a few weeks ago it was resurrected, and quite possibly could become reality.. (with the right funding – although that is a bad word at this particular moment :) )

    The curriculum is about real life and preparing them for it, along with College… fun (because learning is) and teaching resourcefulness and thinking skills/problem solving.. after all that is what really prepares you for life – not the reguritation of details and information….

    Finally – I commend you for the fabulous posts – I read them and enjoy them all!

    In Gratitude, Happiness and Health,

    Your FB Friend,

    Annette Walbon

  17. I was terrified to start homeschool last year and only did it on accident. But the more I learn and the more fun we have together at home, the more I am SO happy. Schools are a scary place anymore.

  18. My little girl just turned 4..and i have one that is about to turn 3. When the school called asking if they would enroll my child into school I knew right then and there I’m homeschooling them for as long as I can. Madeline is autistic but not stupid. They want to put her in special education ffs. She already knows her alphabet, numbers, letters, shapes and is starting to draw already. Why does she need special education ya know? Plus I’m selfish. I want them around longer.

  19. Awww! You definitely sound tired. That is why I wasn’t really in a rush to put my son in all day school yet. He did half day Pre-K and I think it was great, though. Homework was only once a week. And he seems to have a lot of fun. Next year is full day Kindergarten, but I really think it depends on the teacher and school – not the school system as a whole. Kids and society would be worse off without school. Imagine how many kids would study and learn nothing.

  20. I know exactly what you mean! Granted, we’re not paying tuition – public school, baby. I’m tired of getting them up, the whining, fighting and drama. I’m really sick of the mindless homework. Hell, I’m tired of doing my own damn homework. That’s another topic. I think traveling around the world sounds like an awesome way to go.

  21. I so agree Jessica! Growing up and being ready for life, for me means that my kids can encounter situations and find solutions for challenges they have. And most important that they are aware of who they are and what they are passionate about. Kids at school learn what they have to learn, not every child is a math wizard, in fact most aren’t, and the school as it is does not offer the opportunity to develop my kids skills at what they are good at. Creative skills are important for making strategic choices and creativity is the first thing that is budget-cutted out of the school system. I am struggling with the challenge of taking my kids out of school every day. And have homeschooled them for 6 months – 2 years ago, but I didn’t find that the right school for our family as well. School should be an elective learning ground, where kids can choose what they want to learn. And unfortunately schools are far far away from that ideal.

  22.  I couldn’t agree more!  I got homework/school burn out myself last year, and this year I decided we weren’t doing any homework.  I just straight out told them, no busy work, no reading logs (“I’ll tell you right now my kids read at least an hour a day, I don’t need to write it down every day”) no, no, no.  I did it nicely, but straight up that we will not do any routine homework. Outstanding work, projects and the like are no problem, but otherwise I don’t see why they can’t teach the curriculum in the time allotted by the Ministry of Education. And I have my own battles to fight, I’m sick of fighting about homework that I don’t agree with.

    This year has been MUCH less stressful and so much more peaceful at home.  I ended up pulling my 6th grader out of school due to bullying (that’s another topic) and my 3rd grader stays in from recess one time per week and does all his homework then. He doesn’t mind, his teacher doesn’t mind, so i don’t mind and he won’t fall behind anyone else.  I’m so glad I made that (totally unpopular!) decision.

  23. ‘Just found your blog while searching for some back-to-school commiserating.  I hate school. My kids go back on Wednesday; they’re in 7th and 8th grade.  I was a decent student as a kid, but I realize that being a parent of a kid going through it is HARDER.  You already did it; you graduated.  What you didn’t realize whilst going through was that it was okay to procrastinate.  It was okay to cram for tests and just do what you needed to do to get a decent grade. I had weaker subjects, but still did what I had to to get a good grade. Now my kids have to take some awful classes (like earth science and phys sci), which I LOATHED.  Not only do I have to help at night, I now have to have a perky attitude while helping.  I find myself biting my tongue; I want to tell them how stupid and impractical 85% of their school work is!  I mean, why not teach a kid how to become an entrepreneur?  (I have my own business)…

    Furthermore, I realize now how little I’ve actually LEARNED AND RETAINED.  Isn’t school supposed to be a center for facilitating LEARNING?

    Oh summer, you flew by much too quickly!!!

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