Let’s Really Close Schools

Governor Pritzker ordered the schools closed until the end of the academic year. Which would be fine if schools were really closed. But they aren’t. They are working very hard on turning little kids into screen addicts.

If you know anybody who has kids in grade school, all they want to talk about is the absolutely insane amount of time idiot teachers are forcing kids to spend online.

An assignment from a Physical Education teacher: “Find information about the importance of physical activity and prepare a 500-word report.” We have beautiful weather. The hiking trails are open. And this is the assignment this pathetic excuse for a teacher comes up with?

I believe it’s child abuse to make children stare at screens. Parents in the Mommy group on Facebook are full of horror stories. Many people are just now realizing what incredible crap secondary education is. I predict a spike in homeschooling after this is over.

We need to realize that schools teach absolutely nothing (as I’ve already discovered from meeting a whole generation of college freshmen) and everything we want kids to know we have to teach ourselves. And constantly battle the idiot teachers who want to outsource everything they do to stupid apps.

And please don’t think it’s just public schools in the US. A very expensive chi-chi fru-fru school in Canada where my niece goes is exactly like this, too. What they are doing to kids should be illegal.

9 thoughts on “Let’s Really Close Schools”

  1. Ours haven’t been too bad, actually. The youngest (3rd grade) has three Zoom meetings per week (MWF), for 45 min each. He gets to see his little friends and his teacher. He has a few well-delineated assignments through Google Classroom each day and is usually done with all in well under an hour. He is pretty conscientious about his work and does it without prompting or parental involvement. He also has piano once a week and practices every other day. The rest, he keeps himself busy. Drawing, video games (he’s also designing his own levels in a game called Geometry Dash), outside time, playing/fighting with brother.

    Middle boy (7th grade) has very little work and no synchronous obligations. One weekly assignment in the humanities and sciences, two in math. I got him a book and I am there to explain anything in STEM, so I’m not too worried. He does Spanish every day or every other day through Blended Learning, which I liked as far as I could evaluate; in any case, it’s an improvement over the first half of the year, when Spanish instruction was shit after the original teacher had left and they got a sub who didn’t actually speak Spanish.

    I am OK if no one learns anything for six months, or a year. They’ll live. So much of what they “learn” in school is just busy work. As long as they seem happy and relaxed at home in this crazy time, I call it a win.

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    1. I’m with you completely. And it’s interesting how it’s always the people with a lot of experience in pedagogy who understand that nothing horrible will happen if kids don’t study or do homework for several months.

      A friend of mine is fretting that her 3-year-old will fall behind academically without school. She wanted to swap learning activities that I do with Klara. And I do absolutely none. Not even the activity books we used to do before quarantine. She looks extremely happy, though, so what do I care about anything else?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “A friend of mine is fretting that her 3-year-old will fall behind academically without school.”

        Fall behind academically at 3 years old? This is just sad to me. Poor kid.

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  2. I think it would help if teaching in general were treated as a respected profession in this country. I understand your frustration and the fact that there exist well-paid teachers who are not good, but that obviously doesn’t describe all teachers or even the majority. If you’re carrying student debt from the Master’s degree in education you need to get the job, are making under 40K, and don’t have someone supporting you financially, you’d be an idiot not to try to outsource as much of your job as possible to apps, or to choose it in the first place.

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  3. We raised 5 free-range children: no classes, no tests, nothing. We didn’t teach them to read (unless they asked for help), didn’t teach them math (we just cooked with them). I’m serious: We never made them take a class or test, and I would have let them roam the streets all day rather than subjecting them to modern schooling.

    My wife and I are, obviously, the evilest evil-doers to ever abuse a child – right? We should have been arrested, and children taken from us – right? So, how did these poor neglected children turn out?

    Very, very well. Any more will sound like bragging. College degrees, honors, jobs, family, that sort of thing. They also love each other and us, and didn’t see a need to rebel – against what?

    The point here: the ultimate triumph of compulsory public schooling is that people can’t even imagine doing it any other way. The graded classroom structure is a soul-crushing abomination. Certified teachers are certified in insanity.

    Yet we can’t let go. Here’s hoping the forced shutdown opens a few eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it is very variable. Our school district very clearly stated that my son (first grade) should be spending no more than 40 – 70 minutes on school work per day, and that time for play is very important. We’re actually doing slightly more than that – one hour first thing plus another hour right after lunch (although at least 15 minutes of both of those is “getting going time”), plus occasional fun stuff (eg growing crystals, craft projects) when I have the capacity – but that is because my son thrives on structure. We have had zero synchronous teaching sessions at grade school level, but we do a 15 min Zoom 3x per week for story time with my daughters preschool class because she misses her teachers and friends. I know other children (in other countries and states) who have been sent way too many assignments, and others who have been sent very few.

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  5. My kids get sunburned if I let them play outside ALL day (and they would, given the chance), so now that it is the hot time of year, I keep them in for 2 hours in the middle of the day to spare their noses. We get all their schoolwork done in that time. It’s pretty casual.

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  6. I have decided to go with what the students wanted. It is interesting.

    Do want: Zoom classes (to see people), interesting readings, videos to watch and talk about
    Don’t mind: Projects with flexible due dates
    Do not want: Tests, strict grades, inflexible due dates, daily small projects that you get dinged for doing on time or not doing right
    Do want: C for showing up and doing, B and A for doing well, no D, F, W, I unless it is for non participation / not doing

    I think it’s fine, actually

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