Wednesday, September 7, 2011

School is in Session

Labor Day weekend is over so most schools have probably started by now. In my case, my kids went back to school today. My 7th grade daughter and Kindergarten son were up bright and early this morning. My daughter wasn't too excited since today is also her birthday, but my son was full of excitement. He met his teacher yesterday and even gave her a hug.

As the kids head back to school I am full of mixed emotions. Happy they are getting one more year of education and new experiences. Sad to have my little boy leave my side after the last year and a half of doing everything with him on a daily basis. Excited to have my 2 year old all to myself for those ours. Worried about helping not one, but two children with homework and projects ( I am a very hands-on mom when it comes to school work). I'm also trying to figure out how I will divide up my time to volunteer to help out at two different schools.

But all these emotions are part of the back to school package. I am, however, looking forward to having some quiet time as the house can get pretty loud with three kids running around. Maybe I'll actually have some time, while the little one naps, to get a new hobby. Yet, even with a few hours to dedicate to my youngest and try new things, school time is the busiest time.

Driving kids to and from after school activities, going to parent/ teacher conferences and Back to School Night and attending choir or band concerts, sports events and school plays take up a lot of time. Add to this cooking, cleaning, laundry, preparing lunches and helping with school work; the day can become extremely hectic. That's why I can understand parents looking for a way to lighten the work load.

Some parents get tutors for their children. Tutors are not just for students that need extra help in certain subjects. Parents get them for many reasons. Sometimes to take a breather from being the one that does everything with the child, some children respond better with a tutor than they do with a parent. Other parents get them to help teach the child learn extra information and of course some get them for the child that needs a little extra help to understand the class and succeed.

I am all for the parents that need a little extra help, getting it. What I have a little concern with is leaving this all in the "hands" of computers. Don't get me wrong, we live surrounded by many technological advances that I love. I also have educational games and programs my kids use to expand vocabulary, practice math problems and improve reading skills. Lately, however I have seen parents talking about new apps so they no longer have to practice spelling, multiplication tables and vocabulary with their children.

Are we really going to leave our kids to be taught completely by computers? Are we really so busy that we can't practice multiplication tables with our kids? Some of the best memories I have are of my parents helping me with my homework. I remember eating breakfast and my dad practicing my spelling words with me just before school. I remember and do the same with my children so they can have those same wonderful memories.

As parents, we need to give our children the best of ourselves. Children love video games and computers, but they also love to have attention from their parents. So let's make this school year a fun experience for our children but also get involved and help them succeed.

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