Sunday, January 2, 2011

School Anxiety

Dylan goes back to school tomorrow after his holiday break.  But I'm the one with school anxiety.

He's eager to be around other kids.  And he says he is eager to learn.  He does like school and likes most of his subjects.  But liking something does not make it come easily.  And certainly does not make it quick to get through for a distracted learner.

As with most breaks, I started off well-intentioned to encourage Dylan to do something academic while he was home.  I did suggest several times that he read (and Santa provided several books for just that purpose).  And I had planned to get Dylan onto some educational websites.  Santa even put some multiplication flash cards in Dylan's stocking, which could have been turned into a fun game.

But none of it came to pass.

Yes, we were busy, with two grandmas staying in the house, and a variety of activities planned.  But the biggest factor was that it was nice not to have push him to do something academically.  It was nice not to have that struggle. 

All that will change tomorrow.  It's back to the required 20 minutes of reading per day.  Back to math homework.  More social studies; more science.

More stress.

It's hard for me to understand, really, because it all came easily to me.  I'd zip through my homework and get everything right.  No one stood over me to encourage me along.  I just did it.

Of course, I'm sure I had much less homework than Dylan does.  I don't even specifically recall homework, although I'm sure there was some.  But most of the work - in third grade, at least - happened in the classroom.

I don't know if we are better or worse this way.  But I know that it's tougher for us.  I dread walking in the door at 5:00pm and finding out that homework isn't finished and, in fact, it's not even half done. 

So I have school anxiety.

I hope that this quarter is different.  That Dylan "gets it" more easily.  That homework is easier and quicker to complete.  But hoping doesn't take this anxious feeling away.

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