Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In the Know

I will never be accused of hyper-parenting (click on the link for more info). Parenting in the extreme, scheduling and pushing for your children so hard that you are actually doing the work and activities for them - is absolutely not my style. Heck, I was never even ABLE to attend a PTO meeting - whose bright idea was it to schedule them at 4:00 on weekdays anyway?

As a result, I was often out of the loop with oldest. When she was in kindergarten I checked her daily folder one evening to find that there was a cookie exchange and sing-along. In. One. Hour. This was the first I had heard or seen, and I checked her back-pack daily. So we rushed through dinner and to the event, oldest still in her school clothes. Another kind-hearted parent took pity on me as I watched an assortment of children dressed in their Christmas finest and told me, "With kindergartners you never know what's going on. It will get better."

And in some ways it did get better. Teen was on safety patrol in elementary school, she won awards and gave performances- which I always attended. But, I was never the parent who knew how to get things done, or even what things I was supposed to be getting done for that matter. When the school sent a letter home saying they were moving her from advanced classes because there was no longer enough space, I didn't even know I should fight it - let alone how to fight it. Needless to say, I was not a parent "in the know" of things. Until now.

Through a series of events with Boy, (click here or here for more info) and by becoming a teacher in the district I have greatly increased my "know" power. So it was last May that I asked a counselor at my school to run Teen's high school schedule for me (she starts in August). In looking at her classes, I was dumbfounded. Two periods of English and two periods of Algebra a DAY? Only 2 electives and no language? How can this be? I colluded with co-workers and decided to wait until state test scores came back, then I would call.

I made the call this week. In speaking with a guidance counselor I was able to quickly cut to the chase; Teen wants to be in honors English and science possibly math. As the counselor was giving me the prepared "your child is not as smart as you think she is speech" I was able to quickly rattle-off the all-powerful test scores. Counselor stopped talking and started listening. She pulled records and quickly came to my way of thinking. She let me know it would take a bit, as she needed to make some major changes to Teen's schedule. She would call back, and she did. I am pleased to report Teen is now in honors, has her language as well as orchestra (she is leaving band for the cello), art, and PE. Yes, she went from 2 electives to 4. Her days will now be filled with challenge and art, she and both of her parents are happy.

Though, I do feel badly for all the parents and students who will not see their schedules until freshman orientation; I am reveling in the fact that for once - I was one of the parents in the know! And to think I only had to change my career for this to happen.


  1. You only learn from experience. Wait till youngest gets there you will be an expert.

  2. Good catch!

    Funny thing is that being "out of the loop" is the norm for most parents.

    We also learned how to stay on top of the kids' education. It is so important to recognize when they need to be challenged. Kudos to you & your daughter.

  3. When the girls were in grade school I was one of the parents in the know; on the school board, knowing the moving and shakers, planner, etc.
    When the oldest got into high school she let us know, and I quizzed her constantly about it, that she wanted to be on her own. Mom didn't have to join any boards, committees or clubs. She wanted it to be her experience. I did attend important events, but that was it.
    The youngest really hasn't said anything. I have gone to all the important events, but not joined any anything there either.
    I try to keep on top of all things school-related, but it isn't so easy now. I'm changing my career, but will not be in education. Sometimes I wish I was.

  4. You go girl! Way to go Oldest. Yeah, she is one smart whipper snapper.

  5. ~kathy: kinda like the school of hard-knocks!

    ~bad momma: it may the the norm - but it stinks!

    ~surprised mom: HS is definitely the beginning of the letting go process & I dread it!

    ~weaselmomma: Just think how kick-butt I can be by the time youngest is in HS - of course that is if I survive Boy! ;)

  6. Thank goodness I homeschool. I can just ask myself what the heck is going on.


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