The world ended this evening around 7:00. You most likely didn’t realize it, but it did. It ended with a complete explosion of tears, leg flailing, and the all important throwing of stuffed animals.
I had already told my daughter this afternoon that we wouldn’t have a movie night. She’s been plagued with asthma episodes, has not been wanting to get out of bed, and had a soccer game this morning. All of that is a recipe for a trip to the ER for emergency breathing treatments while I’m waiting for her new prescription to kick in, and so I just wanted her to go to sleep at her normal time. I had told her all that, and she was fine with it until after dinner when she began pestering me and hoping I had forgotten that I had already told her no.
And really, it wasn’t that I had told her no to the movie night that upset her so much. It was the fact that I told her that he also didn’t have any popcorn. That’s what did it. That is what turned my 9 year old from a likable child with great comedic timing to a complete uber freak of a meltdown!
When it ended and the earthquake that centered in her room quieted, things were normal again. They were normal, that is, until she fell asleep and I wanted popcorn. Remembering that we didn’t have any, and being completely pissed off that we also didn’t have any apples, or candy, or chocolate, or chips, I got pissed off and wondered what the hell I was supposed to do without all those things! I’m the one who buys everything, and so I had to forage in the pantry until I saw my daughter’s left over Christmas M&Ms from my parents.
And you know what I did? I ate them! That’s right. I ate them because I’m a hideous beast who is most hated and never has movie night and never, ever has popcorn.
The tantrums of late are all brought to you by the STAAR test. For those of you who don’t know what that is, imagine your brain being forced to do something it’s not developmentally ready to do, and then you feel completely stupid because of your brain will not do what you want it to do. That is the STAAR test.
When my daughter was 8 months old, she could mimic patterns I beat on the little drum we had. She had an ear for patterns and music, and was very verbal even though she couldn’t use actual words. At the age of 5, she could recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night with guidance from her art teacher, Miss Alma.
She’s now 9 years old and in the 3rd grade. She can read on a 5th grade level, but no longer likes to read. My little girl who could add and subtract without even thinking at age 3 and a half completely hates school.
Homeschool is not a viable answer because I have to work! I can’t afford private school, and so we are left with little choice. Without consulting actual brain scientists or child development experts, the amazing folks on the SBOE in Austin made the standards even more rigorous. And the wizards at Pearson Learning didn’t consult with any actual brain scientists either. Let me say right here, I’m for learning. I’m a life long learner! I’m for teachers! I used to be one, and I really do like my daughter’s teachers. I’ve liked all of her teachers, and I know they are doing their best. What I don’t like is having kids being tested in a way that is inappropriate for their age! I don’t like that my child hates school! I don’t like that children are sitting in school feeling dumb and inadequate when they aren’t.
What’s happening to kids now is heart breaking! The educational system in the US is not doing it’s job, and the answer isn’t more testing and harder standards that the children’s brains literally can’t comprehend because their brains aren’t ready for what they are learning yet.
I’m all for assessing a child to see where they are, and what the next step is. I used to give short informal assessments all the time, and as a parent, I still do. Assessments are valuable tools when used correctly. The STAAR test is NOT one of these tools. It has to stop before we have a generation of children who completely shut down and hate learning.
If you have a suggestion, or a rant, please leave it in the comment section.