Greener Grass

On Monday, Katie went to the local elementary school for some project that her Girl Scout troop is working on.  All the other girls in her troop were already there, of course, since they go there.  Katie alone had to be hauled in.

That night at dinner, she asked if she could attend that school.

“Um, no.”  I said.  “We’re moving in 3 months.  I don’t think putting you in a school for 3 months is beneficial to your education.”

She started crying.  I guess the other girls made school seem like a great place.  Plus, she has some ideas about what school would mean: she thinks it would be quieter than our home, she thinks it would be social and fun (but quiet?), she thinks it would be easier.

Because an easy A is better than an A earned because your mother made you do that problem over and over and over until you clearly understood and mastered the material and got it right.  She doesn’t know that even if she went to school, I would make her do the work over and over and over until she got it right.  Sorry, kiddo, I want you to get an education, one way or another.

“Do they have to memorize poems in school?” she wanted to know.  Right now she’s working on “Paul Revere’s Ride”, which is the most challenging one she has to do this year.  The other poems are much shorter and simpler.  She wants to go to school so that she won’t have to memorize poems.  Oh, the torture.  {sigh}

She’s also struggling with the history books, even the historical fiction.  “I want to go to school so that I don’t have to read books,” she declared.

We tried not to laugh out loud.  “Not only do you have to read books,” Fritz informed her, “you have to write papers on them.”

“They’re called book reports,” I said.  Our writing assignments are a bit different, and none are like the formulaic book summaries I remember from elementary school.

Her biggest complaint, though, seems to be the noise level in our home, mainly by those children who have completed their work or who have none.  Her attitude annoys me, because she is just as guilty of disrespectful shenanigans during school hours as anyone else.  But if anyone has any suggestions for effective sound-blocking headphones, I would appreciate it.


Fritz has no illusions about the tribulations of attending school.  For one, there are girls there.  Horrors.  Secondly, he thinks school is much harder than home.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  I don’t think he would have to memorize or even read much Shakespeare at his grade level.  He wouldn’t have Latin.  But, yes, he would likely have other assignments, writing assignments, that would frustrate him, especially if his mother demanded more editing and re-writes than his teacher.

But clearly, one thing about home school is an advantage.  At CCD last night, the teacher asked the kids what time they get up in the morning.  Most were between 5 and 530 AM to catch that school bus and be in the classrooms by 7 AM.  Fritz doesn’t get up until 7 AM.  I’m a morning person, and I honestly don’t know how parents get their kids out the door that early. 

Better them than me.

And now, off to begin our day.  The kids keep hoping that mom will keep typing, but we have much to do in little time.  Moving will disrupt our year, but at least the kids won’t have to change schools.

10 thoughts on “Greener Grass

  1. Poor Katie :). I asked to go to a “real” school because the kids there got to trade cool things from their lunches. I didn't get to go, but I think my Mom compromise and bought us a pack of KitKats just that once.

  2. My husband recently started working for a new company where there is potential for frequent relocations. That was one of the many reasons that we decided to begin homeschooling this year.
    My 3rd grader misses her old friends more than going to regular school. Since we moved she wouldn't see those friends anyway!
    My 1st grader Loves HSing!

  3. Yes, the grass is always greener. Both my kids have asked to go to public school instead of Catholic this year because: the grading system is easier–90 is an A, not 93; public schools in NJ have most of November off; the public-school kids leave 10 minutes later and get home 10 minutes earlier.
    Of course, once Little Brother found out that he'd have to go to CCD, all bets were off 😉 And they're both happy to have next Thursday off, while most of their friends are in school.

  4. School. Ugh. Probably my number one stressor right now. Double Ugh.

  5. I just explain the “no homework, no projects” concept and that seems to do it. Also, the writing aspect – that scares them. Any word on where in 3 months?

  6. No matter what side you child is on she will always find something better about the other side. My ten year old daughter loves going to the middle school most of the time, but there are days when she starts complaining that she'd rather be homeschooled. That usually happens when she doesn't want to get up in the morning or doesn't want to do her homework and study for tests. My husband tells her she should be happy where she is because school with me would not be the cake walk she thinks it would be.

  7. Yes, and grass is greener for moms too who either think it would be great to have a clean house and peace and quiet for a few hours every day or who think it would be so Little House on the Prarie-ish to have everybody home and together all the time. It's why we have to continue to discern what is best for us each year. All I know is that public school for just 3 months really isn't a great plan!

    Kris, currently it looks like we're going to Tampa. I have high hopes that next week we'll know for absolute certainty.

  8. The ear covers that are used at indoor shooting ranges could be of some use. I could bring a pair when I next visit and you could try them.

    Dad R.

  9. Dad, we have one already. They don't block the right decibels. They help some, but not enough to suit the princess.

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