School Woes

I’m worried I’m going to get a call from the principal to come in and get my kid today. I don’t think that will actually happen, but I’m creating fantasies of grabbing Erik in a huff, telling the secretaries to take him off the rolls because I’m homeschooling and then e-mailing the entire PTA that I quit.

As if homeschooling that boy would somehow be easier and less stressful than dealing with the PTA. Ha!

Erik broke down crying last night, saying he hated school on Tuesdays and was never going to go to school on a Tuesday again. He has art on Tuesdays, which I knew he didn’t really enjoy but he did ok in it last year. He has a different teacher this year and he says she yells at him that his lines are not straight and he uses the wrong colors. I told him to ask her if she was trying to create artists or copy machines, which made him laugh. I really hope he asks her that, but I am worried it would be interpreted as being disrespectful and get him sent to the office. Not that I really care. I will argue with whoever I need to argue with that children getting yelled at in art class for not doing art correctly is the most absurd thing I’ve heard.

I know it’s not 100% the teacher’s fault. The new art curriculum is completely ridiculous. The students learn about an artist and are then expected to create a piece of art in the same style. This teacher apparently takes the curriculum to new levels of absurd. The few art teachers I’ve talked to hate the curriculum and do their best to encourage students to stay within the guidelines, but secretly take glee when kids do their own thing.

Of course, it’s not like Erik is into art and doing his own thing. More likely he is moaning and laying his head on the table and doing the absolute bare minimum. He has never enjoyed coloring or making art. In fact, I used to wonder why parents complained about their kids drawing on the wall. That bit me in the ass and I have freakin’ purple crayon marks all over my house. Magic eraser is great, except it doesn’t get rid of all the dark purple. She couldn’t have picked an easy color.

Anyway. . .

We have parent-teacher conferences today so I’ll see if his regular teacher can shed any light on the art problem and then I’ll arrange a conference with the art teacher. My 8 year old should not be crying over an art class. That’s so wrong.

He was also crying over his math homework, saying it was boring. I honestly didn’t blame him. I was about to cry over it myself. They are doing addition and subtraction using open number lines, which I suppose is a pretty helpful technique if you struggle with math but it is extremely tedious if you can actually do math.


He brings home his math papers and the number line work is always wrong because he doesn’t pay attention and labels them wrong. If he could just do the problem like a normal problem he would have the correct answer. I’ll be talking to the teacher about this as well. I hate that school is making him hate something he loves. I understand why they are learning this. . . just wish he could skip over it since it is actually detrimental to his skills. Bah.

I think a lot of his crying has to do with being over-tired, though. He has been staying up way, way, way too late to read independently It’s great that he is finally loving to read, but the sneaking up to read at all hours has got to stop. I used to do it too so I sympathize, but I don’t enjoy dealing with the aftermath.

And now the boy is home and saying art class was ok. We’re watching MasterChef Junior while Elsa is at preschool. I think Erik has a long way to go before he’s ready for this show! They’re making handmade pasta! I don’t think I could do that.


  1. ~zandra~ said,

    November 12, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    Sounds like Meet the Masters for art, which we use and I like. But, I’m not a stickler for my kids doing the project to the letter and cared more about getting an overview of the style of art. But you are totally right, art is subjective and there isn’t a “wrong” way.

  2. Margie said,

    November 13, 2013 @ 4:57 am

    No one should cry over art class. No matter what the curriculum, art should be fun. It would be interesting to see what the art teacher would say if you talked to her.

  3. kimberly said,

    November 14, 2013 @ 9:40 am

    On both adult and kids versions, they get a little tutorial on techniques before at least some of the challenges. I looked into it after watching a highly technical lobster dish last season, I was like no way they both knew how to do that so perfectly, and in fact they did not before the pre-challenge instruction.

RSS feed for comments on this post