I am unapologetic in NOT sending my middle schooler to summer school and this is why
“Alexa, play Alice Cooper’s School’s Out For Summer”
“Okay! Got It! Playing, Megan Thee Stallion-Hot Girl Summer”
Trending on TikTok right now is something called “Hot Girl Summer” created by rapper Megan Thee Stallion. I always think I’m up to speed on the hottest trends, but just the words “Hot Girl Summer” made me think this trend isn’t intended for the 45 and over crowd. That was until I stumbled upon an article by The Observer Everyone should have a ‘Hot Girl Summer’ explaining it. Now that I know, I fully support this trend and you should too. This is the no F’s given lifestyle we need in our lives right now and it applies to our kids as well!
Based on my new knowledge, there should be another trend going around. I haven’t found it on TikTok yet, so let’s call it Hot Kid Summer, and this is the mentality that I’m taking with my middle schooler this summer.
Hop on board the Hot Kid Summer train. It’s slow-moving, serves a lot of crappy snacks, margaritas for the grownups, and is large enough for everyone to ride
This spring I was told that my 7th grader would benefit from attending the middle school’s summer school program. My instant initial thought was no, no, fuck NO!
These are the parental situations that I HATE. I hate confrontation and this was shaping up to be a no-win situation.
I’m usually in total agreement with the team of teachers that work on my kids’ education plans since all 3 are students with learning disabilities and on IEPs. Teachers are educated and experienced in the field and I’m just a mom struggling to understand new math (whatever that is) and mastering the art of screaming L.F.G We Are Late!
This past year and a half has not been conducive for learning, regardless of intellectual abilities, so of course, any extra help would only benefit a kid like him with an IEP- right?
Let me take you through my thought process of weighing my options
- Send him to summer school – he needs the extra support
- He’s going to protest and HATE me
- How do I tell the teachers no? They ARE the professionals – he should go
- He’s going to HATE me
- No, he should go this is only going to help him for next year
- He’s going to flip out and HATE me
- I can’t be the reason that he struggles again next year – he should go
- Wait….what IS he going to learn? It’s summer school and he won’t even want to be there and he’s not going to give any effort – probably stare out the window the entire time thinking about how much he HATES me for making him go to summer school
- Dear God how do I say no to the professionals
The answer is no! No summer school for my kid. This is Hot Kid Summer.
I don’t blame the teachers, I really don’t, not in my situation anyhow. Our team did an excellent job this year communicating often, expressing candid and true concerns, and backing off when appropriate. Frankly, I was one of the lucky parents throughout this pandemic learning experience. They didn’t create this disaster and as easy as it is the blame them for the results, their situation was no better than ours. They were playing offense and defense this year and if they didn’t quit during this shitshow, they deserve a raise.
I don’t blame the principals, their hands were tied. They were all given a vague set of ever-changing plans and told to execute them. God forbid they ask questions, nobody was going to answer them because this was a do as I say, not as I do year. This year it didn’t matter if there was money in the district or not. No school was going to come out of the last 15 months ahead, so that argument doesn’t work, although I read it 9 million times.
I blame the system. The system failed. It failed the educators, the students, and every family involved. They had no clear plan and what they did throw at the people working in the classrooms was an underdeveloped plan full of irresponsibility and zero accountability. They took no responsibility for their failure and now the only ones left to pay the price are the kids. The “it is what it is” attitude doesn’t fly when it comes to our children in the classroom, they deserve better. Teachers, parents, and students needed answers and they received nothing but poor excuses and a blame game.
I’m not going to allow my child to be punished anymore.
He paid his dues. Did he flourish, no. Did he keep his head above water when he should have drowned, yes. He deserves a break. We all deserve a break. A time to reset, relax and rejoice in what is left of their short childhoods. A wise teacher once told me not to put my child in summer education programs because children need downtime. They need to relax and do other things. Take a vacation, find a new hobby, even a job, but not school work.
So why should this year be different?
Because the lack of planning on the system’s part should constitute an emergency or dire need to extend the school year for my kid? I think not.
The kids will recover from the lack of education they got this year. They will all catch up and level off. I know this. I’ve seen it happen firsthand. I had one kid limp through a school year while going through chemotherapy treatments-he’s doing just fine now. I had another take year off from college to get his feet back on the ground- he’s better off now than ever.
I used to worry, but that got us nowhere but further into depression and resentment. I’m not going to worry anymore. I’m not going to pass blame or judgment anymore, and neither should you.
Enter Hot Kid Summer!
It’s over! Time to move on and move ahead. Time to realize that life is short and this is all going to be a blip on the radar before we know it.
The pandemic has taken a lot away from all of us, but it can’t take our summertime too. Summer school is not happening this year! This is guilt-free Hot Kid Summer, 2021!
Eat the ice cream for dinner. Go jump off the pier and swim with your friends by the moonlight. Sleep in on a Tuesday morning. Knock something crazy off your bucket list. Throw the bedtimes, homework, and schedules out the window. It’s summertime, not summer school time. That’s Hot Kid Summer!