Lucky Mom

Sep. 20, 2008


My son Alec is now bringing home real ‘homework’ which means, I have to put down the wine bottle glass for awhile every Sunday and pay attention to my son’s academic needs.

I mean, I’ve always been impressed with what comes home in his work bag from his Montessori school here in Austin.

But “It’s” already happened.

Alec came home with homework that included something I didn’t know and couldn’t help him with until I looked it up on the internet.

He JUST turned FIVE.

Now, there’s nothing worse that parents that drone on about how smart their kids are. That’s not my point here. It’s what is being taught at some (all?) schools.

I mean, how many 42.9 year old college-educated moms barely five year olds know what the Protist and Moneran Kingdoms are? And what five year old knows the difference between Palmate or Pinnate leaves?

Or, what to do with ‘remainders’ when doing long division?

Reading, math along with subjects such as Botany, Chemistry, History, multiple languages to include sign and Zoology are just a portion of what’s being taught at my son’s school.

But, I'm worried the stakes just keep getting higher and higher and kids are learning things at earlier and earlier ages.

Especially the whole preschool gig. Maybe enrollment numbers are high because of the work that parents see their kids bring home. Is there a competition to it?

Now, I’m only talking about private school at this point as I’m not educated as to what goes on in public schools – yet.

It’s kind of unnerving really and it makes me wonder, uncomfortably, if those kids whose parents can afford these private preschools will be pushed too far ahead. Or, do they all pretty much even up at a certain age?

Though it’s putting us directly into the poor house, I’m happy to see my son get such a wonderful education, mainly because he loves it.

What I’m ‘troubled’ with is that I need to consult the f’ing internet to help my son complete his homework.

Do I really want to admit to him that I have to ‘get back to him’ when his homework is too hard for me to help?

7 Comments Posted (Add Yours)


They all usually even up around 2nd or 3rd grade. My daughter just went into Kinder not even knowing her ABCs (granted she had some speech issues we were too busy dealing with plus she's a stubborn little wench). My son went in starting to read. There are so many different levels for so many different kids. And each kid is different. You still have some kids that will struggle as they get older and ones that won't. It's normal. I guess (don't hate me) that's why I'm not a big believer in the montessori schools. They do, in my opinion, push too hard.



I agree that Montessori's push academics which is why I don't think they are for everyone. My son loves it (go figure) so it works for him!

Thanks for your comment.


So what happens if a kid starts out in a private school that pushes the academics but then, for whatever reason, needs to transfer into the public school system? Would they get bored and unmotivated? Just curious?

By the way, I had no clue what those things are either. Kinda scary!!


Even after reading the descriptions of Protist and Moneran, I'm still baffled as to how you'd explain this in simplified terms to a 5 year old. Or maybe he doesn't need it simplified! Sheesh. Seems a bit over the top to me, but what do I know? I'm sure the idea of the school's methodology is that he won't grasp every detail, but it will be at least somewhat familiar when he gets into the sciences later on. He'll retain a certain percentage of the material if even only touched upon. Just a guess. Bottom line- he's having fun with it. That's cool.


W - I don't know the answer to that though it has concerned me a bit.

If Alec didn't absolutely love it, he wouldn't be going there. I only WISH I could get him more athletic v. academic but at this point, that is what he digs.


We considered Montessori. I think it is great!


I took a break to view your article. I found it very engaging

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