Friday, March 28, 2008

We done read good.... (An Adventure in Parenting, Part I)

I tried to be a good parent. I really do. It's important to me to be as involved as possible with what my kids are doing. There are some things, however, that I admit are hard to really get into. Here are two of those things:

1) School sponsored family activities

Every once in a while Hannah brings home fliers from school for activities at school to promote families learning together and getting parents more involved with their child's education. Nothing wrong with that, right? Except that I think we do alright doing things with Hannah, and I just don't think we are the target group of such activities. The other night was something called Family Literacy Night. Hey great, the family reads together is a family that stays together, I get that. I already read to the kids, I thought, we read before bed every night. The kids love to read and look forward to new books. I think we do a good job promoting literacy...The excellent promotional work by Hannah's teacher, however, really convinced Hannah that this was a big deal, and therefore it meant a lot if we attended, so I begrudgingly went along to see what the big deal was about...

...And boy was it everything I thought it would be. The idea was good, there were different stations ran by teachers to promote certain aspects of reading. My critical eye, however, quickly noticed alarming things. First, Hannah was coloring pictures that accompanied different Haikus. At first I thought, "Oh great, never too early to teach kids what a Haiku was all about." Then I tried to read it...


You obviously can't read that, so let me read it for you:

"Shooting Star
For the First Time

Now I haven't written a Haiku since probably the 7th grade, but I'm pretty sure those words above does not constitute a Haiku. Maybe in its original Japanese form this would be correct? Anyone? Help?

If that wasn't puzzling enough, on the back wall of the cafeteria, there were butcher papers full of words that supposedly came from children's books. The point was to see how many of the words your kid can both say and know the meaning. I started to go through them with Hannah, and we came upon this list:

What are we teaching our kids?

Now you can return the favor and read it to me. Chirped? Ok, I guess that's what it says. Curiois? Sounds like an illness the Man with the Yellow Hat caught from a diseased monkey. Ohey? ok, bad penmanship. Gracefully. Clumsy....I have no idea what the next word is. Peculior? At that point we left. Hannah went home with a few new books. And you can bet I will proofread them before I let her have at it.

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