Okay, that's kind of a lie. By "good," I mean, I let the teachers do their jobs and stay out of their way. I'm not a hovering helicopter mom, and I'm able to keep my mouth shut that the kindergarten curricula used in public schools (which, generally, is formerly a 1st grade curricula that they sped up for testing purposes), even though I think about 90% of it is ridiculous and creates a bad experience for the kids who are "not advanced" (aka "average.")
Because, truth be told, I'm a Crabby School Mom.
This week, I'm SUPER CRABBY SCHOOL MOM.
My kindergarten sons are basic boys, bright and active, but their attention spans and learning capabilities reflect the fact that they are indeed 6-year old boys.
For a fascinating read on gender differences in learning read Why Gender Matters. I wish the educators in my children's school would. Because then they could untie the knot they get in their undies over the fact that one of my Haitian Sensations only uses the green crayon. Get over the green crayon, preachy school people.
It's not a trauma thing. It's a Perfectly Normal Boy Thing.
Another great book that every parent and teacher should read is A Mind at a Time.
So, I need some advice from other people.
Keenana Banana (his nickname because he always writes an extra "a" at the end of his name. Why does he write an extra "a?" "Because I like 'a.'" He'll explain.) and his kindergarten class are participating in a Living History Wax Museum with the 1st and 2nd grades.
Each child is assigned a historical figure. They have to come to school in a costume and give a 30-second speech in first person (as their historical figure.)
Just like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Now, I should tell you. I think this whole thing is STUPID. I have a SUPER BAD ATTITUDE about the entire project. Because my kid, and many of the kids, don't get this.
I personally think the school does this because it's cute to have little kids with cute little learning impediments get up on stage and say words like "his-tow-icky im-poh-tent" in lieu of "historically important."
I think it's a HUGE OLE PAIN IN THE A$$ for the parents and a wasted opportunity for my kid and a way to fill in time at the end of the school year.
So, guess who Keenan is? You know who I'd like him to be? A strong black man in history. I don't care who. There's a whole bunch to chose from. But a strong black man with whom he could identify himself in by skin tone alone. That in this white bread, feel good, stupid-ass school we sent him to, they could have given him someone with whom he could identify, and even if he truly doesn't understand exactly who the person is or what they did, he would have been exposed to, at the very least, at least one black man did something important in this world. Because thus far, at school, he hasn't been exposed to anyone other than President Obama.
Because, news flash: schools don't promote a whole lotta diversity at times other than funding "Diversity Club" or "People of Different Culture Celebration Day."
But you know who they gave him?
Barf. I will stop my rant right there.
Anyways, here is my problem. Here is the "speech" they sent home for Keenan to memorize (in two days, no less, because this is happening on Thursday):
"I am Walt Disney. I created the first animated musical, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I also created the first amusement park, Disney World. I was born in 1901 and I died in 1966."
Here's the thing. No kindergartener talks like this. Keenan can't say "animated" to save his life.
I can explain to him over and over what the words mean. But he'll spend so much time focusing on pronunciation, he won't grasp the meaning. He's freaking 6, for God's sake.
So, is it horrible if I rewrite it to this:
"I am Walt Disney. I made the first music cartoon movie, Snow White. I also built Disney World. I was born in 1901 and I died in 1966."
Because that he grasps. He knows what a movie is, what a cartoon is, and what music is. He can't say amusement park easily, but he can say Disney World.
So what do I do? Do I "dumb down the speech" to make it kindergarten appropriate? So that my son can kinda sorta understand what he is doing?
Or do I just try to get him to rattle off the big words so all the other parents can awwww, and did you know he was an orphan from Haiti? Isn't that just amazing? his performance?
Or maybe I'm just making too big of a deal of this. But the whole thing just irks me.
So what would you do?