Cursive-ed and other news from Back-to-School Night

The first time I ever attended a Back-to-School Night at Lily's school, I got in trouble for chewing gum. I proceeded to blow bubbles and text message with my friends.

Ever since, I've enjoyed the intensity and confusion that accompanies the open house for us parents. It is part show, part lecture and part voyeurism--as we peak into our children's classrooms and their teachers size us up in equal measure.

Tonight I smeared on some NARS lipstick and went to hang out with the teachers all fancy in their pantyhose.

Here is the breaking news from Back-to-School Night 2013:

  1. The lack of cursive education makes many, many parents angry. At the crux of the discontent is the concern, fear, utter hysteria that this generation will never, ever be able to read the Declaration of Independence.
    • (I am assuming the protester was referring to the Dec in its original colonial cursive format; not in the format available on approximately 507 million websites and in various out-dated text books at schools across the country.)
  2.  Further, our children may take "Talk Like a Pirate Day" to the next level, by only being able to sign their names with an "x."
    • Argh xxxxx
  3. Spelling tests are graded. However, most weeks there will not be time for working on spelling words in school. Therefore, my kid will be graded on my ability to teach her spelling. This will in turn lead to me drinking obscene amounts of Chianti.
    • I smell a teacher-chianti producer partnership. Can you spell shenanigans? (I can. With spellcheck).
  4. The mother who wore a pink bathrobe over skinny jeans at morning drop off wore the same outfit to Back-to-School night.
    • It is like her name tag.
  5. When you raise your hand and ask how science is taught – and then question why hands-on science activities are not part of the curriculum, everyone assumes you expect the children to build volcanoes in a laboratory with Frankenstein and that Beaker-dude from the Muppets.
    • Let's face it – Beaker and Frankenstein are not even real. You, lady-who-wants-her-kid-to-learn-science, should go hang out with Pink Bathrobe Lady and drink Chianti (don't mind if I do. . .).
  6. Homework should only take 20 minutes. The unit of time, "minutes," is subject to scientific interpretation. (You can read about time in a book.) Since "homework time" is subjective, 20 minutes can often mean 12 hours or 400 minutes or something. If it seems homework is taking more than this flexible 20 minutes, minus the time it takes to teach spelling and read with your kid, then you can write a note to the teacher, in cursive.


 Trish Adkins is a South Jersey mom. This post is adapted from her blog, Yoke.

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