Number 3 is in the middle of standardized testing at school.
He came home last week really worried.
“Mom, my teacher told me that if we didn’t get a high score we wouldn’t get put in the high classes next year.”
“But she said if we aren’t in a high class one year, we can move into one the next year…
What if I don’t get into a high class?” he asked.
So we had a talk.
And I hope he really listened to what I said to him.
If there is anything I have learned, especially over the past few years, it’s that there will be plenty of things out there to worry about.
An endless supply.
But you know what I think you should worry about when you are ten years old?
Once you get into high school, there will be plenty to worry about — social media and peer pressure and all the other crap that comes along with being a teenager.
I could give a flying f*ck what track any of the kids are in.
Because when it comes down to it, I don’t think it really matters.
I look at the stuff I’ve put myself through recently. Overloading myself unnecessarily.
Working myself into the ground, taking on way too many things at once, and not taking any time to just relax.
Where has it gotten me?
It’s just worn me out, gotten me sick, and made me super stressed out and bitchy(er).
And rather than being able to do a couple things really, really well, I feel more like I’m doing a half assed job at almost everything.
In this Pinterest era, we moms can be especially hard on ourselves, beating ourselves up if we aren’t packing the perfect lunches for the kids and throwing the perfect birthday parties and decorating our houses like a Restoration Hardware catalog and losing our baby weight in record time (or ever).
I don’t want to teach my kids to do that.
I want to teach them what I wish I had figured out a long time ago.
Being in the high class doesn’t matter.
Especially if it puts so much pressure on you that you are a disaster.
This isn’t to say that I think hard work and learning to study aren’t important.
But I’d much rather have the kids in an average level class and do really well, and feel confident and really good about themselves, than in some honors or AP class that could make them miss out on other things I think are much more important.
Like participating in sports. Getting some real world experience and working at an actual job. Spending quality time with family and friends. Volunteering. And learning healthy ways to deal with stress, like exercise. Spending time outside. Breathing. Yoga. Establishing healthy sleep habits.
I want to send a healthy, well-rounded kid to college.
If he even goes to college!
Maybe college isn’t even in the cards. Maybe Number 3 will start his own business straight out of high school. Maybe he’ll take a year or two to figure things out. Maybe he’ll get a college degree online.
But the high class isn’t going to guarantee anything.
Most of my classes in high school were high classes.
Yeah, I went to good college. And as soon as I graduated I enrolled in grad school and got my masters degree.
But that didn’t keep me out of trouble.
It didn’t guarantee success as an adult.
It didn’t stop me from having to file bankruptcy or nearly losing my house.
The high classes didn’t teach me healthy ways to deal with the things I’d really have to worry about in my twenties, thirties, and forties.
So what if you don’t get into the high class?
There’s a lot of stuff you need to learn in order to navigate life.
And I don’t know about you, but I didn’t really learn any of it in the high class.
If he was taking the MAP test…..the point of that test is to make sure the kids are grasping the concepts and if they need to tweak the curriculum in any way to make it more effective.
At least that’s what my son’s school told me. That’s what his teachers tell them. They tell them to try their best but not to worry too much about it. That if they know the stuff, great! How they are teaching is working.. If they don’t, the teachers will have to figure out how to help them learn it in a different way than they taught it.
And standardized testing is for the birds anyway. What kind of pressure is that for a 10 year old? I refuse standardized tests for my kids (PARCC in NJ – a discussion for another day). Good for you!