By Emerald Greene
I figured it up and I have attended 15 years of school – kindergarten through 12th grade and two years of college, obtaining my A.A. from North Florida Junior College. I feel like I paid my dues, and then joined the working force of America. I’m still paying my dues (and taxes, mind you).
But sometimes I ask myself, “When do I get to QUIT going to school?”
You see, when you have children in school you never really get to quit going to school — the quizzes, the tests, the homework and the projects. They just never quit coming. This year I am attending the 11th grade and I am beginning to re-live college, through Cheltsie’s first year at NFCC.
Proofing English papers, calling out science terms, solving math problems and attending class meetings; and the school year has only begun. But, oh, just helping with the homework is NOTHING compared to if I had to actually TAKE/DO all of these tests and projects. I try to remind myself often that no matter how bad, or hard, it is for me to stop what I’m doing to help with that homework, that at least I’m not the one actually HAVING to do it.
The thing that tickles me the most is “You’re not going to understand it. You can’t do it.” This is always said when referring to math homework. Mind you that I LOVE math and my children know that. I’ve even heard (a few years ago), “You won’t understand it. My teacher even said you wouldn’t understand it.” FYI, I did.
However, I am finding it harder to remember all the math equations; Algebra II and College Intermediate Algebra are the two courses “I’m” taking this year. It’s been 24 years since I graduated high school. However, it’s been 26 years since Algebra II. I’m doing well, however, considering the circumstances. The problem is I need time to sit, read and remember. Given time, I can remember. But, the girls don’t seem to like waiting on me to figure it out. I have found that they prefer to just skip me and go straight to their aunt for help. This is fine with me, for she helps them understand far better than I can.
The thing I’m the best at, I guess, is proofing English papers and/or projects. My mother was an English teacher and I feel like she taught me a thing or two through the years. It really bothers me to see how many young people are not being “taught” correct grammar. I understand grammar is primarily taught in the elementary grades, but shouldn’t it be enforced throughout their high school years? I truly don’t feel that it is. I feel that more and more teachers are putting emphasis on reading books, doing projects and looking things up on the Internet, but yet these teenagers do not know the proper way to make a subject/verb agreement, don’t know the difference between “there” and “their” or “to” and “too,” and not to end a sentence with a preposition.
So, I try to read/proof most of the girls’ papers before they turn them in. Cheltsie has never minded my help in this department; in fact, she wants me to proof her papers.
Brooke, on the other hand, has always seemed to think she can do it without my help, thus the arguments begin. “I don’t need you to proof it.” “Yes, Brooke I am going to proof it.” Then I proof it, hand her back her paper with all the red marks, and then she has to correct it and reprint it. New day – same argument.
But this is the life of a mother. And I would not trade this life for ANYTHING in the world. The life of a mother is second to none. No man will ever understand that and no mother will ever argue that.
Being young is not easy. I think a lot of us “old” folks forget that. We look back and know that it (being in school) is easier than working, paying bills, being in debt and raising children. But before you laugh at your child’s problems, please take a step back and actually remember what it was like to be that age.
I remember tests, quizzes, homework, housework, after-school work, peer pressure, pimples, teachers, rules and the hormones. Life is not so grand at 16, when you are 16. Just remember that from time to time when dealing with your teenager.
Have you hugged your child today (and told them you loved them)?
Until then….see you around the town (or schoolyard).