Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Family/school uproar

As of last night dear husband and I are tossing around thoughts and feelings such as "boys following their leader at recess -- grrrr," "teachers who watch for any hint of poor behavior in one particular group of boys -- grrrr," "boys who shift blame to our son when the adults ask -- grrrr," and, oh yes, special for this week: "standardized testing -- grrrr," followed by "just pull the boys out of school and we'll homeschool them!!!!!"

It's been an interesting 18 hours. I'm waiting for a call from the principal, or I'll stay when I drop off Son2 at noon for pre-K, to discuss our Son1 being "written up" yesterday for bad behavior at recess -- a big deal. We believe our son, who says he was (foolishly) copying a leader of the group of boys who play together and have known each other for 4-5 years, and that the behavior was play, and not in any way the problem the playground-supervisor teacher said. His action was what she saw, and he was the one written up.

Dear husband and I are weary with encouraging our son to choose not to play with these kids who make bad choices and who treat him NOT as a true friend would. He is a normal, good boy. Not perfect but not a troublemaker or wild child. Yet what kid wouldn't want to play with the kids he's played with for years, even if they're getting in mild trouble for some of their choices, and by the way also try to get him into trouble for little and bigger things, many of which are invented?? We were getting bothered about that already. Son1 already avoids playing with them sometimes at recess when he doesn't like their games or knows they'll get in trouble for what they're doing.

On top of that, it especially steamed us when we heard yesterday that certain teachers are hyper-vigilant at recess for any hint of poor behavior choices with our son's particular group of playmates. What set of boys wouldn't end up in trouble pretty soon in that situation?

One of the things that frustrates me about school is that he is with these peers for many hours every day in a situation where I have no objective knowledge of what is going on. I have to listen hard to what he says and every hint he drops, ask lots of questions, keep an open mind to all of the possibilities and not just he is saying, and that's just with my son. I have to do the same with his teacher and, today, with his principal, and attempt to get to an understanding of the truth of what's going on in his days at school. And in this case, figure out what actions to take re. Son1, recess, school, etc.

Dear husband is vehemently talking about withdrawing both boys from school and homeschooling, which of course I would love, but -- this is a surprise.

We'll see what the next few days bring us.

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