My son goes to a small rural school. He has a total of 14 kids in his class. There are not multiples of any grade. There is one 4th grade class. It has 14 kids. The school pre-k through 12th grade is all on one campus and shares one gym, auditorium, music/band building, cafeteria, etc. There are definite perks. They don’t even have locks on their lockers. There’s no need. If it’s not yours, it’s not yours. My son has always scored in the top 90 percent in the nation on the Iowa State Tests the school has them take every year. He scored in the top in the state on his reading and math 3rd grade state mandated tests. Sounds great, but there are some drawbacks.
First, my son is bored out of his mind in class and gets in trouble for falling asleep. I have to laugh because I did the same thing. One of my brothers, who is now a District Court Judge, did the same. The problem is that our schools want everyone on grade level and the only focus is getting the slowest kid up to required levels. We used to try to raise the kids up to the highest kid. It’s called the dumbing down of America and it is very real. My teachers gave me extra stuff to do when I was in school. I slept through my first two years in college getting my bachelor’s degree too. I had a lot of fun in college those first couple of years though. My son, is about to lose his mind. He hates school because there is nothing that has challenged him. He is so incredibly bored. He would sincerely like to shove common core math up someone’s ass. It has so many extra unnecessary steps. The state he goes to school in is big on the AR books. When he was in kindergarten and first grade, he was supposed to bring two books home and read them three times out loud to me and I was supposed to read them to him once. Then they took the AR tests online at school. He read all of those books in the pickup on the way to school in the morning one time each. Most of his work has been just like that. He makes A’s with a couple of B’s when he’s just gotten so bored he didn’t even bother to finish his work. Teacher’s meetings are always the teacher is concerned he isn’t getting enough sleep at home because he sleeps in class. Followed by this reading is so important and we just can’t have kids behind. Umm…. have you even looked at the grade level my child is reading on? Stop giving him busy work and teach him something. It’s extremely frustrating as a parent to actively keep your child from learning too much so that he doesn’t get even more bored at school. Our schools suck for intelligent kids. They are awful.
Occasionally, he will start something new and have to struggle for a minute. Usually, it’s one step he is missing and he’s got it. Then he is back to being bored again. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have a child in our public schools and watch his potential being wasted. I haven’t written a lot the last two weeks on my blog because I’ve been looking into switching him to a different school. We live on the state line and I can transfer him into the state our address is in without any issues. I think the school systems in this state are a little better. I’m just trying to get my son through this year without imploding. It’s ridiculous. When I have a parent teacher conference, I don’t want to hear about the slowest kid in the class and the importance of getting the entire class on grade level. I want to hear about my own child.