My daughter entered third grade yesterday. This year they begin to focus on organizational skills, and the school has provided an organizer for each child. The students need to record all their assignments in it, and parents have to initial the records each day and record whether the homework was complete. If the child (and their parent) don’t do their organizer correctly, or forget to return it each day, the child misses recess.
I had a visceral reaction to this new plan. I don’t know why this bothers me so much. I’m familiar with using Outlook, calendars and PDAs. I guess I had a fear reaction. All of these children are going to be infinitely more organized than I am; the kids are leaving me behind in the electronic dust.
I also am not sure why it is necessary for a third grader to carry an organizer. Why do they have so many activities and homework? Do we have to train them to be type A personalities so they can grow up and take on too much work and have too much scheduled in their lives? What’s the point of all this? We aren’t churning out happier people. Perhaps I’m getting old and feeling lost in the digital shuffle.
They also train in email and the internet this year. I would think they would learn these skills on their own. Shouldn’t we be discouraging these skills, and encouraging good nutrition and sports instead? I thought we didn’t want the kids sitting in front of the computer and video games all the time.
The schools could strive for a bit more balance. To counteract teaching all this fast paced technology, maybe they could teach them meditation, theatre, art, or social skills like manners or resolving interpersonal conflict. Why can’t they quietly read during class time?
I’m getting a little tired of the pressure. Not only do I have to fill every second of my day with work, but my child seems to be required to do it, too. We’re all collectively maximizing and multitasking our way to a nervous breakdown. Or, maybe it’s only me.