Guilty verdict in elementary school: boy vs girl

Learning that life is not fair is a hard lesson for any kid to face. Hearing mixed messages from educators at school, parents and other well-meaning adults makes it all the more confusing for them. With the current social climate of #metoo, I  worry how we’ll navigate the upcoming teen years. Don’t you? Even if your kids aren’t teenagers yet, they will be…

The following story happened to my son when he was about 9 or 10 (so approximately three years ago), and I have permission from him to tell this story here. Your feedback is both welcome and encouraged, especially if you’re parenting the same age group as mine.

I would really like to know what parents, like me, think about this.

* * *

The rules on the school bus are simple:

Stay in your seat, speak quietly, don’t eat or read or get up and walk around.

The bus driver’s primary responsibility is to drive the bus safely. His or her eyes should be on the road at all times. The bus driver is not a babysitter.

This is common knowledge and all of us, parents, teachers, bus drivers, even board administrators discuss this with the kids.

But we are dealing with kids here. This isn’t an excuse, it’s just a fact. Kids don’t always obey rules, and they get themselves, and others, into trouble. Often unintentionally.

Because they’re kids. They don’t always THINK before they ACT.

What bugs me is the mixed messages that are coming from the school system.

Here in Canada, the message is loud and clear:

We are all equal. Treat everyone the same.

But when it comes down to it, the school does not follow this message at all.

Unfortunately I’m not making this up.

This does not mean I don’t respect teachers and principals who guide and teach our students today. I have nothing but respect for them. In my son’s case, the principal manages a school with 900 kids; this is no small feat. 

And still, the mixed messages are continually perpetuated toward our elementary students.

May I illustrate?

Will you read?

Will you think about this? Continue reading


Public education: not a rant but an invitation to chime in

Yesterday a fellow hockey mom and I met at a school hockey game and had a brief chat about our sons’ school.

Public school in this country, Canada, is a  sore topic for me to broach so at the risk of this post turning into rant, I will only say this: Continue reading

Homework stress and the sensory box

A mom whose blog I follow mentioned recently that she created a sensory box for a child in Girl Guides. But it turns out her own child ended up enjoying this box so much she kept it for her. When I read this, I immediately had one thought:

Make a sensory box for my own girl-child.

I thought it might address the anxiety issue in our own household. Imagine this scenario: Continue reading

Mom, I forgot to mention…

Every single one of us has experienced the dreaded last-minute mention of some pertinent document or project or homework assignment at the most inopportune time.

Allow me to state this one important fact: if you allow them to disrupt you, they will never learn.

Let me also say: I fail miserably at this. Continue reading

Little big-kid adventures

Yesterday I had to pick up my 9 year old at her school. She had an activity for 25 minutes past her bus departure and so I drove over with my mom to wait for her outside the schoolyard.

On the way home we got stuck behind a streetcar. About halfway between my daughter’s school and our street, at a big intersection, I see a group of boys getting on the tram.

One kid waves to us like a maniac as he approaches the back doors.

I look closer. Continue reading

Last ditch effort for school – the money jar

I know everyone is counting the days (hours, minutes…) before summer vacation begins, but we’re not quite there yet. And one thing that seems more prevalent this time of year, so close to the finish line, is the endless need for cash and coins.

There are so many field trips, fundraising functions and pizza/ice-cream/hotdog days in the last few weeks of school that my regular money jar, which I neglect somewhat during the early spring days, is empty.

We’re back to it now. Small bills (10s and 5s) as well as coins are placed in there everytime I open my wallet.

cash for school

cash for school

Continue reading

Tween milestones – taking the local transit, part 1

(I asked my son for permission to write about this topic and he said it was ok.)

* * *

As a new mom, when the first baby arrives, we anticipate and log and share and take pictures of every tiny little milestone they accomplish, and it’s the most exciting thing ever. Right? Then a second, third or more baby is born and you’re too tired to care whether she took a step earlier or later than her brother. You still notice the milestones, of course, they just don’t get quite the same attention anymore.

My oldest is 11 and I once again feel like the parent I was when he was an infant/toddler/preschooler. There are so many things going on with him, it’s almost impossible not to notice how much he’s grown and learned over the last couple of years.

And now, we are standing on the threshold of a new type of independence. My baby has grown up and he’s about to leave me. On a streetcar, and only until the end of the school day, but still. It feels like a big step, and me being me, I wanted to prepare him adequately for this new method of independent travel. Continue reading