Raising ferals

I actually liked school when I was there.  Apart from a short episode of being excluded in about year 5 or 6, and maths in grade 4, that definately wasn’t a good year.   Apart from that  it wasn’t a big deal.

You went there, you learned things (or didn’t in the case of me and maths), you played with friends, and you went home.


Then I had children of my own.  Altho being an old mum I had friends who had children long before me.  Having seen some of my friends and family driven to despair during the school years it was scary entering ‘The Zone’.


When I had mine I sent them off to Montessori Preschool.

Thought they’d learn how to enjoy learning for its own sake.

‘I can do it MYSELF!’  (Yes, but can you do it BEFORE the shops shut, that’s the question!)


Then  there was the day we drove to preschool, around the airport, past the skydiving hangar.  ‘Have you ever jumped out of a plane mummy?’  (No, darling – I don’t like heights)  ‘Its not that you don’t like heights mummy, its that no-one has show you how’.


This is the bit where I obviously stunted the Montesorri attitude by informing said child and his sibling.  ‘I don’t care how many times someone shows me, I’m NEVER jumping out of a plane!’


You know it can be counterproductive to your sanity to encourage questions.


My neice taught me a good trick when she was 4 yo.  We went on a horseriding holiday together.  What about, what if, and, and, and;  I was nearly demented at one stage.

So, I asked her a question which she kindly answered.  So, I asked her another, and another and another.  And she said ‘Just because.’


I tried that next time and it worked.  ‘Just because’ is apparently a reasonable answer to a 4 yo.


My boys went on to public school, they had a few learning issues which have caused me a deal of hassle over the years.  First of all, they are identical twins.  Secondly, the schools insist they dress the same, and then can’t tell them apart?


In primary school we worked hard each year to try and get on top of the learning difficulties – teachers and some parents were prone to say ‘Oh don’t worry it will just click one day.’


Some kids just don’t click.  Having vision problems does make clicking a little less likely.


The world is full of people who never did ‘just click’.   I came to the conclusion that we were schooling in the toothpaste tradition.  They don’t like to repeat kids (it’ll just click one day) and so you keep pressing them on and on, until they go on to high school and are no longer that schools problem.


Like toothpaste, you just keep pushing the tube until it drops out the end and voila! its done.


Now don’t get me wrong.   I’m not teacher bashing (altho there are a couple I’ve had mental conversations with after I’ve got my head working again).

There are some great teachers out there, and a whole heap of very good ones, and we won’t talk about the ones who are not.


But the system is not set up for those who are above or below the ‘average’ ‘well-behaved’ child.    And there’s so few average kids that it must be frustrating.  I liked it when the teacher in grade 3 gave one of the boys an award for ‘Extensive General Knowledge’.


Yep, its true he does not know everything about any one thing, but that kid knows a bit about a whole lot of stuff!


Still the same and he never reads the instruction manual so really interesting life he is going to have!


I love the parent/teacher interviews.  TG I’m not a teacher as well, fancy having to sit on both sides of the desk twice a year!  Twice a year they tell you about your child.  Very rarely do they tell me what I don’t already know.


If the boys (twins) are in the same class you can’t count on them actually telling you about the correct one either.


Firstly I love the timing of the events.  You get a list of times (every kid does) – there’s not enough times to fit all the parents in.  You are asked to fill in when you would like to see the teacher.  30 parents fill in the same 5 minute block, and 29 are reallocated to some time they can’t make.  I have 3 kids so I fill in 5.05 , 5.10,5.15.  When that happens I am usually allocated 5.05 in 3 different rooms with 3 different teachers, and even at 2 different schools sometimes.


I’ve tried sending a note to say I would like to see the teachers at different times to each other, but by the time they get their head around that all the spots are gone.


It doesn’t matter what you put anyway since no one keeps to the 5 mins, even if you try to the teachers talk more, and so everyone is out of their time slot.  And, even better is the letter accompanying the time sheet – if you don’t have anything you would like to discuss with the teacher – please stay at home and don’t torture us;  if you have too many things to discuss with the teacher – please make an appointment to see the teacher for an extended period at another time;  for those who cant be trusted to do the first or second option – here’s 5 minutes, and then POQ!


I did like the P/T’s that were held at the local club – i figured there was probably more than a few of us who needed a drink before we saw the teachers, and more than a few teachers who needed one after us!


My daughter helped me with the high school ones once – she knew the teachers by sight and had three under surveillance while I stalked another two (everyone was doing the same, it was a sprint contest when some parent stood up).   She would yell from the corner – Mrs/Mr …..is free.

Sometimes by the time I got there someone else swished in the doorway with a split second to spare B*gger!  An hour later – Sh*t;  the kids usually try to get me to leave before I get to the F word – pretty embarrassing getting a detention because your mother swore at school.


These days I just go to the P/T’s to give a token ‘I’m in contact with the teachers;  I’ll hear if you’re up to mischief type thing’.


Its interesting that the kids often say to me ‘I should tell you this before the teacher does…..’  They’ve realised that I like a little forewarning (the kids that is, the teachers haven’t got that concept yet;  which is why I dont answer phone calls from the school.)

I wait to hear the kid’s version first – or get a call from the hospital to say they were damaged at school and I wasn’t contactable;  ooops).


I gave birth to them, I’m not responsible for every single thing they’ve done or said since!  Or not done, in the case of assignments.


I struggle with the issue that schools have of the child/young person being responsible for things.  Responsible for getting to school, going to the office if they are late;  for giving in of sick notes (love that concept);  for receiving and doing homework, and assignments (esp the ones that involve putting words like ‘drugs and alcohol’ and ‘sexually transmitted infections’ into google search when they are in primary school)


Interesting what comes up then – of course because you will be monitoring every 2nd your child is on the net and especially when they are searching  you will be able to direct them to the most suitable of these sites…………yep. and who is getting dinner while this happens?

Sorry, back to the responsibility!


Yes, the student is responsible for bringing notes to the parents – whether it is about excursions, abscences, late homework, detentions, p/t interviews, or mufti day (send gold coin).  Oh and the reports.


Of course, if there is money and notes not forthcoming, uniform not worn or taken, work not done you will have to wield the ‘big stick’  otherwise known as ‘getting a verbal serve (nagging)’ and taking away of pleasures.  The school rarely asks if you agree to what they are asking of the students in the first place – normally if they are attending school it implies that you will do what you are told even if the students don’t.


I get a bit ticked off, well yes a lot ticked off these days, about the rules I haven’t made, that the student is meant to be responsible for, then being passed to me for disciplinary action.


I have a problem with homework.  I would prefer they learned school work at school and let me be in charge of the sport/musical/pleasure activities.  They want to increase sport and exercise……..but we don’t have time to do our chosen ones because there is so much school work to be done at home?


I did tell the teacher who rang me last week to complain about the lack of interest, motivation, and assignment doing of some people who live in my house but are almost of voting age – that since I am so ‘stupid, old, and know nothing,’  anything  I say would be less than useful.


I urged her to broach the subject directly with the individuals………and to do it separately if she wanted a snowflakes chance in hell of them taking any notice.


(I’m not not not responsible, not not not responsible ——-and some days I’m not, not, so in love with you)


I’m actually going to take a new tack.  I’m sick of all the old ways of not achieving things.  So I’m going to try the Dog Training Method.




No not dried liver – altho it is freely and cheaply available at the supermarket.


Money – it works for the fast food chains so I’m thinking that it could be the way to go.   I’ll let you know how it works – hopefully they’ll make enough money so we can pay someone to do their jobs, and me for running them around.

7 Responses

Leave a Reply