Years ago I thought I had finished with school forever. I was 17 and the world lay in front of me, full of wonderful adventures, exciting experiences and NO MORE SCHOOL!
But wait. Thirty two years later and once again I am brought to the realisation that I still hate school.
My youngest will start his last year of school next week. Over the break between last year and this year – which went from the end of October until now – he was given some holiday homework to do. Instead of listening to the wise words of his mother and doing the homework at the beginning of the holidays, he has left it all to the last minute, which means I will spend the next few days screaming at him to do his homework, instead of the things he enjoys doing like watching television, chatting to his friends on facebook or playing his guitar.
Why scream you ask? Because I’m so frustrated and angry and feel so helpless about the whole situation. To me the easiest thing in the world would be to sit down and get the homework done. But I might as well try to wring blood out of a stone.
Why on earth would a school give students holiday homework? Is it purely to torment their parents?
I am incredibly happy that this is the last year I will have a child at school. After this year it is up to him to decide what to do with his life and, if he chooses to continue studying, which I doubt, it will be up to him to do it all himself. It’s my job as a parent to see him through to the end of high school. But although I will support him in whatever his choice is at the end of school, it will be up to him to do the work. No more screaming.
The thing is I also remember what I was like at school. I was pretty much just like he is now. I didn’t want to study, I didn’t want to do the work and I was plain lazy. But I was also gifted and able to pass exams if I crammed the night before. Back then only exam results counted. Now all the work you do (or don’t do) throughout the year also counts to your final mark.
I don’t mind if he goes to University or not. It really doesn’t worry me. Neither of his brothers went to University. I simply want him to finish his last year of school with a high enough grade that he has the option to go to University if he wants to. I didn’t go to University after school. In fact I was 37 before I did my first University degree and I’m now working on the second. But nowadays I study because I want to and not because I have to. There’s a huge difference.
So I now have nine awful months in front of me. Nine months of asking him to study, begging him to study, trying to make him study and probably screaming at him to get the work done. Much as I disliked being pregnant, it was a better option to occupy nine months than what lies ahead of me!