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Home School 237 Is Failing

Some parents just do not have the luxury or the option to stay home to solely focus on their children and running their homes. I am one of those parents that must work in order to keep a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, and food to stock the fridge. Right now I am extremely appreciative to be employed and to have the option to work remotely from home.

I decided to keep my son home for the first term of the 2020-2021 school year, which means I find myself as the principal, teaching assistant, guidance counselor, lunch lady, and hall monitor throughout the day.

Here at Home School 237 we are all failing! The principal has been showing up after school hours and seems to be clueless about what is supposed to be happening between the hours of 7:45 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. The teaching assistant does not understand common core math. That guidance counselor has no chill and she just yells at the student. While the cranky lunch lady has not prepared a single meal since the first week of school. I’m pretty sure the hall monitor is supposed to be in a Zoom meeting, too!

Our one and only student enrolled at Home School 237 is failing almost every single subject including virtual gym! Can someone please tell me how you fail virtual gym class? I honestly do not understand how it is possible.

I am home with my son, also known as The Boy, almost every single day, and I am truly disappointed in his attitude toward school this year. Yet, at the same time I understand that he is struggling with being our current reality. He misses his friends from school, he is sick of Zoom meetings, and frustrated by my constantly reminding him that he is failing in most of his classes. He is failing in his favorite subjects and excelling in the classes where he used to need a tutor. When I ask The Boy “How do you fail gym class?” He says, “I don’t know, I guess I am just not doing the work.” When I proclaim my pride over his 100% in math class, I just get a shrug and a grunt. I can just tell that I am going to love him as a teenager. (Wink, wink)

My neighbor made the mistake of asking me how this year is going at Home School 237 and she just nodded politely through my 15-minute rant. When I was done she explained to me that she has her children on a strict schedule and timers set to remind them when it is time to switch classes. She also explained that when her children fail to complete their work she does it for them. Is that something that parents do for their children? My mother never did my work, and I certainly refuse to do The Boy’s school work.

At Home School 237 everyone is responsible for completing their own projects, assignments, and testing. I feel that it is my responsibility to ensure that The Boy understands what he is learning at school and is fully capable of doing his own work.

I feel that parents/guardians that do their children’s work are doing their children a disservice and are setting their children up for failure in the future. So, I let my son struggle to figure out the best way to complete assignments, but occasionally I offer him suggestions of how I would like to see him do his work.

The lessons being taught at Home School 237 are not about just the topics written in his textbooks. We are learning life skills! I am helping my son learn to be resilient and build a thicker skin to prepare him for life as a Black man.

The Boy and I are working together to improve his grades, learning when to ask for help, and that success is not always a linear path. Elementary school was easy for him, but middle school is challenging him in ways neither of us expected. I am looking forward to seeing how he will grow as a person through the stresses of virtual learning.

 As for me, I am looking forward to seeing how this school year will end!

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