If you have a school age child, there are eight words you dread hearing.
“I don’t want to go to school today.”
It’s even worse hearing it from your child who normally loves school because you know you’re not going to adequately resolve the problem in the time it takes to finish getting ready for work.
When Lexi said it this past week, I was unprepared for it. She’s been enrolled in her new school for one month, and by all appearances, it has been going well. New book bag, new friends, riding the bus, two recesses a day, etc…As a working mom, I was overjoyed by the smooth transition so I was thrown for a loop when she shared that she didn’t want to go to school.
“I’m bored, mommy. The work is too easy. I miss CLUE.”
CLUE was the program she attended twice a week in her previous elementary school. It allowed her time to spend with a mixed group of kindergarteners, first graders and second graders in a creative learning environment that kept her fully engaged. She’d enjoy her regular class knowing that for those two days, she would have the chance to research, explore and create.
My husband and I knew that when we moved, she wouldn’t have the same learning opportunity since the state of Washington doesn’t have such a program until students reach the third grade. We had hoped that the work would be challenging enough for her and that she wouldn’t notice the difference. That sounds lame doesn’t it? She noticed, and she’s not happy about it.
Fortunately, her teacher was very understanding when we posed Lexi’s concern to her, and is working with us to encourage more learning opportunities at school and at home. That means I really can’t afford to be tired when I get home. It may have been a Ferris Bueller kind of day for her, which might be okay for a day, but not for a lifetime.
My friends back in Memphis, TN, are advocating for the CLUE program to continue being funded. There are some who don’t believe that it is valuable or necessary for children that young to have a separate program, and that they will be fine until the third grade. Those parents dread the idea of hearing their engaged children say, “I don’t want to go to school today.” Or tomorrow. Or ever.
How do you help your child through these moments?