Sunday, November 3, 2013

Are We Over-Scheduling Our Kids?

I was out at a birthday party last night with family when I noticed my niece wasn't her usual bubbly, social self.  Being her Aunt, I tend to notice when she's not happy and bummed out about things and won't say anything to anyone.  When she sat down and separated herself from the crowd, I knew something was bothering her badly... so I joined her and asked if she was okay.

She's a teenager, so I got a shrug and the excuse that she was tired out of her... until I pushed a little and she told me what was on her mind.  There were assignments she hadn't been able to get all the notes for - and couldn't get all the notes for from anyone because that was considered cheating.  She felt like she was going to fail Maths and English and she believed that her school band going interstate for a week set her badly behind in everything.  All of this has caused her to think she's going to be a failure... and in year 9, she's making it tough on herself about her grades.
I didn't know what to say to her as I remember when I was in high school, if you missed a few days, the teachers would give you the notes you missed out on, or let you in on what you missed and you grabbed the notes off a nerd/geek in your class.  However, nowadays, you can't do that.  It's not right... big things have changed in the school system and it's causing kids to have a tougher time to get things completed, to feel as though they can't sort out their own lives on their own.

The bigger picture of this is that teenagers aren't supposed to be able to!  They're still growing.  They're still wondering what's going on in their bodies.  They want to know who likes them at school and who doesn't... they shouldn't have so much stress on them that they have a nervous breakdown about failing whole subjects before their high school life has even gone halfway through!  I don't get it... I really don't.
I hated seeing my niece so sad, angry and wishing she didn't have so much on her plate at the age of 14, the but she does.  Not even I had that much on my plate, not until I was in my senior years of high school, and I still didn't make it through high school with the most perfect grades.  

So, are we over-scheduling our children?  Do we expect too much from them?  Are schools and teachers making them grow up way too fast all because they want them to do better, act better and just don't want them asking too many questions or... is this just me thinking on this subject too much?  I have noticed this about kids and teenagers over the last few years and I'm not happy with it. 

Please, share your thoughts about what you think of the education system.  Is it right to place this much pressure on our young teengers today when they should be having more fun and learning at their own rates - like we did when we were younger?  Or am I over thinking this?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.


  1. You should be thankful to hear your niece does care about her education. There are alot of students who don't put the same effort into their schoolwork at all like she does.

    1. yeah, I know... however she feels so out-of-the-loop with everything at school.

      As I said, she can't get notes on anything from anyone. Aren't the teachers there to help the students? I do remember when I went to high school, I'd be given notes to catch up when I missed a day or week of school from all my teachers when I tracked them down... not have them tell me it's considered cheating.

  2. If your neice done the right thing and ask for notes from teachers, they shouldn't decline on her offer. Never trust a classmate to get them because they don't care. It would be best if her parent/s contact the school to make a complaint to the school's principal or DP. It shows the teachers aren't doing their job properly or they don't care about their student's needs.
    I had afew issues in the past with things that happened to my girls. I just went straight to the top...principal or DP to sort out the matter myself. I found some teachers aren't doing their job properly.

    1. Here's where the whole school system falls down where she is. She has asked her teachers for the notes and they are the one who told her that if they gave them to her, it was considered cheating. I said that she couldn't get notes off anyone - this includes the teachers. Nobody would give her the missed notes. And the teachers won't tell her what she's missed... because they think this is considered cheating.

      How this is considered cheating when really they're not giving her all the information she needs to pass her subjects, is beyond me. But she has told me similar problems with other teachers. I've spoken to her music teacher once - last year - when she had problems keeping up with the rest of the band and he was non-committal. He said it was up to her to keep up and make sure she understood the music the way he wants her to... but it's up to him to make sure she knows what he wants.

      And this is a school which is ranked at a top district state school! I don't understand this.

      Another time, I remember my niece was given an assignment. She did it to the best of her abilities and handed it in. The teacher told her she got it wrong, e-mailed it back and ordered a re-write.... um... excuse me??? Just put a grade on it and let the student worry about why they got it wrong like we used to. Or put a few little hints on why... don't make them go back and forth and pull blood from a stone when it's not going to happen.

      The school my niece goes to runs their system this way... it's stupid and ludicrous but it's how it goes.

  3. Her parent/s must see the school principal because their (teacher's) system isn't right.It is not call cheating! All the student needs to know hat work was learnt on their absent day off. For eg, if the student had learnt, about perimeters of shapes for Maths, she just got to know it the formula for each perimeter of each shape in question. Ready for exams!! If she was supposely been given an assignment to do, the teacher should not decline on not giving her assigment question. EIther that, change her to a different school if possible. To me sounds like this school isn't as top rep as they say it is. No student should have to go through this crap!! You need to voice your opinion to the school, otherwise they will walk all over you.