I don't remember having two hours of homework each and every evening when I was in fourth grade. I don't remember having to participate in science fairs. I don't even remember having to learn French or Spanish until I was in seventh grade and she's now been learning Spanish since first.
My daughter is in the fourth grade at a local private school. This is her first year there. Before that, she was at a Montessori School for six years. The current requirement of uniforms makes morning dressing easy, but the homework this year....OMG! It's killing me! (and her too, I'm sure)
She has been very fortunate to have always attended private schools. Nothing against the public school system, but she has had opportunities within the private education system that the kids in public school just don't have. With her school she's attended symphonies, museums and art studios. They made a point to have a field trip once a month. She's was in the Montessori School preprimary program since she was three and stayed until third grade. I have more money wrapped up in her education to this point than my entire college funding.
In the elementary program there she participated in the science fair every year. I think my first memory of a science fair project was....well, never. I didn't participate in school talent shows. I didn't have band practice when I was in elementary school. I think I remember picking up the violin in sixth grade....not fourth. I didn't get to be in ski club until I was in high school. And my first school team sport was soccer in eighth grade; and I only did that because we had this cute German exchange student that played soccer.
When I was in high school I did get involved in sports; track & field mostly. Cross Country was a trip...but I was a member of that for the social aspect. I'm not a long distance runner. I was a sprinter; 400m to be exact.
But all the things that they have available for the kids now days is really great. On the flip side it's no wonder all the kids are growing up much faster than we did at the same age. I had a conversation the other day with our 16 year old next door neighbor. He was telling me that they want all the kids in high school to figure out their career goals when they are sophomores. I'm still not sure what my career goal is and I've been out of high school for....well, I'm not sharing that number with you. I'd have to kill you then, and it's just not worth it.
They say the kids are starting to develop earlier as well due to the hormones in our food sources. I also read that young girls are entering puberty earlier if they no longer live with their biological father. How weird is that. And how many families are still together when the child gets to puberty age anyway is less than those that are together any more.
I like to try to keep my daughter as protected as possible from the outside world. I want her to remain fresh and young. Although I've never spoken to her as a child...if she asks a question, I explained it best terms possible for her, but never speak down to her. Her vocabulary is exceptional for someone her young age. Her sense of style is outstanding. Heck, even her choices for movies and music is pretty sophisticated for someone her junior age.
I'm still on the fence about her joining the ski club this year. There's just so much stuff to keep track of. This is the girl that calls for my help if she's missing her remote in her room. (Usually tucked under a pillow or fallen beside the bed) I mean, if she can't find her remote, how is she going to keep track of all her ski gear? So the last few times her dad and I have followed the bus down. Good parenting? Maybe. Over protective? Not so much...but maybe. Wanting her to stay young and needing her parents? Perhaps.
So as I struggle to get her to finish up her homework yet another evening; I need to keep telling myself, "she's growing up and won't need your help soon"...that should buy me another half hour of patience. I hope.
Because this homework is killing me....