Last night Gameboy's future school had a parent's initiation night. A hazing if you will, of what's to come for your child in 5th grade.
I realize things have changed quite a bit since I was in 5th grade. I don't even want to calculate the years (20...cough cough) but surely things couldn't have changed that much. I'm obviously living near the river of denial.
The first thing that struck me was the school is only for 5th and 6th graders. I think this is great in it's own weird way. This allows them to get accustomed to switching classes like jr/high school with out fearing the upper class men. They get extra responsibility and feel independent at the same time. I think it will be a great first step to maturity for Game Boy.
They also get their own locker, they do have to earn it since it's a privilege not a right. This is supposedly a really big thing to the upcoming 5th graders. Something tells me though, that a locker probably isn't a necessity hence why they have to "earn it". Another great lesson in responsibility though. I have nightmares of my awful experiences with the first week of school with my out of the way, old as the hills, always jammed, locker in 7th grade.
Next is that dreaded TAKS testing thing. I don't get on my soap box to often, but the TAKS will forever be a knife in my soul. Let's just say I'm not a big fan of how it's handled. That being said, 5th grade is the big year of no pass test no pass 5th grade. I don't know how I missed this bullet in 3rd for Game Boy but somehow we did and obviously it was no big deal since he passed. I do appreciate that tutoring is readily and freely available right away when a child shows the need and that helps them prepare to succeed on the test. Which makes sense if the school wants their special status and funding.
Then the jaw dropper; they are already preparing these kids for college and PSAT's in 5th and 6th grade. AP classes already begin in 6th. College recruiters come and talk to the kids to help them decide what career they'd like and what college they'd like to attend. Woah Nelly! I'm a little bit unsure about that. Do they really need to pressure kids to make that kind of decision at 10 and 11? I don't know if that would have been helpful or hurtful for me at that time. I guess since I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, the sooner the better for my kids may help.
I'm guessing this means I gotta get crackin on that college fund.