Winter break ended and we started getting back into the swing of school this week (it’s more like leaping with our eyes closed, but whatever). On Tuesday, we narrowly missed hitting a bus as my country road driving skills payed off when my van tried to spin out as we turned on the side road to the school. It’s possible that I should’ve taken this as a sign of things to come- I didn’t.
My overconfidence that I had this mom-of-public-school-kids thing down, might have been due to the fact that my littles were with their dad from Tuesday afternoon until I picked them up Thursday morning. That meant that I had even more time to forget what homework is like. If you are among the people to whom I have proudly proclaimed, “homework is easy when you’re used to being the one in charge of all the schooling…” now is the time to call bullshit. Homework makes me feel like an idiot! Honestly, pretty much any paper the school sends home makes me question how I ever considered myself qualified to educate my children.
Take today’s parent-teacher conference form, for example. The form clearly instructs: LIST ALL CHILDREN ON THE SAME SHEET OF PAPER AND RETURN ONLY ONE (1) FORM WITH YOUR OLDEST CHILD. Maybe it’s my Type A personality, but when something is in all caps, I feel like there is no room for error. The instructions continue [with normal capitalization], letting me know that I should indicate a preferred date and time, that conferences will be 10-15 minutes in length, and I need to be at the teacher’s room a few minutes prior to my scheduled time. This is where I being to feel confused AF, because I have three students, with three different teachers. And don’t get me started on the added fun of the Family Night (per grade) schedule, “you might want to schedule for the same night if possible.”
I have questions:
- Are all the teachers going to come to the same room to meet me?
- Should I pick the child I feel needs the most support from me, even though that child has the teacher I communicate with most often?
- Should I pick the child whose teacher I have barely spoken to, despite knowing that this child is thriving academically?
- Do they expect me to provide a parent/step-parent for each child (I can), and we will divide and conquer?
- Will there be someone at the school to revoke my parent card because I clearly am not at the top of my game with homework and things placed in the “leave at home” side of the children’s folders??
School forms aside, homework is KILLING me slowly. I am sustained only by wine, my incredibly patient and helpful friend of 16+ years who happens to be a 5th grade teacher at the kids’ school, and my son’s teacher who is always prompt and gracious in replying to my frantic ClassDojo messages. Last night, these three combined forces to help me understand the complexities of fraction operations. (If “operations” makes you think of performing an intricate surgery, you’re understanding how I felt when this piece of paper was laid in front of me). Pro tip: pizza is key to grasping fractions.
All this to say, I’m currently accepting applications for a public school parenting tutor. I can pay you in wine and Netflix binging at my house after each session. Seriously though, I need help before my youngest three children start looking at me with the same disappointment as my oldest, who has sadly realized that Mom does NOT know
shit it all!