This is a pretty good article about school life these days:
The Parenting Trap
Forget all the advice. Forget the special tutors, camps, coaches, and therapists. A father of four argues that the biggest problem kids face is the byzantine education-industrial complex known as school, which ruins the most carefree and memorable years of their lives.
Under no circumstances are you to cut this out and stick it on the fridge door. Or put it in the file marked “Kids’ Stuff.” There’s nothing here for you. Nothing to do, nothing to act on. No consciousness-raising or attitude-flipping. No strategies or slogans. There is no help. And absolutely no solace. Because, really, what the world doesn’t need now is any more advice on raising children. We’re done with the finger wagging and the head patting. We’ve tried everything and we’ve read everything. We’ve asked, tweeted, blogged, prayed, and read it all. We’ve sat up at night and commiserated with other parents when we should have been having sex or at least paying off the sleep deficit. We’ve done everything, and still it’s like a cinnamon-and-lavender-scented Gettysburg out there.
Why don’t we just stop trying and do nothing? Because nothing can’t make us and the kids feel any worse than we feel now.
I have two lots of kids, a boy and a girl and a boy and a girl. They neatly bookend my responsibilities as a parent. The elder girl is in her last year of college. The youngest two are just starting the times table and phonetics, and the older boy is somewhere in Southeast Asia, on what he calls his “gap life,” collecting infections and tattoos of what he thinks are Jim Morrison lyrics written in pretty, curly, local languages but in fact probably say, “I like cock.”
This is pretty much how I feel about school. It’s boring, overly competitive, and just not fun at all for kids. And it’s high school I’m really thinking about. It’s a pretty toxic environment actually.