There has been a great deal of discussion about school in our house recently. Seda says she wants to go to school, mainly because they have playgrounds that she can’t play on during the day because the kids are where?… In school. Will and I are trying to figure out what we want for the girls as far as school goes homeschooling, unschooling, public school, friends school etc…
One of my friends son’s came home from school the other day with their packet of summer exercises. They have to do one a day for the whole summer including a writing assignment on Fridays. She didn’t do this with him last summer so at the award ceremony at the start of school he didn’t get an award. This year he wants to do it so that he can get the award and not be embarrassed. It saddens me the district would set up a reward system that, because of peer pressure and the stresses of being an adolescent, forces the students to do summer work for fear that they will humiliated or teased by their peers for not receiving a certificate.
The idea of having summer work is great! I am all for learning around the clock 365 days a year but does it need to be so structured and limited. For parents who, for whatever reason, are unable to provide learning opportunities on their own during summer breaks these packets are great. Their children can participate in a learning activity every day. In this situation though if parents choose to seek out different learning opportunities for their children during the summer other than “the packet” the child ultimately pays the price the next year by not being awarded a certificate when their summer education program may have been just as or more rewarding or developmentally challenging as the packet.
These are the types of scenerios that come into my mind when I think of putting the girls in school. I have no solution, we are a rewards based society. We even like getting rewarded with points for spending money. I just feel bad for the students who gets upset at the assembly because they didn’t get a certificate for doing the packet.