Just the other night, I had admired my daughter's creative way of coloring yet another homework sheet. Ever since her teacher decided to place the best homework up on the wall, she painstakingly colors the tiny, annoying little pictures, even if its not required.
She used to never really care about the damn coloring part, just grabbing whatever crayon she could find just to be done with worksheet #47 of the day.
And honestly, I didn't blame her.
She's been able to color in the lines since she was about two and a half. She's a ridiculously amazing artist. And she can color in the freaking lines like a champ.
So when the very paper that I had commented upon, the one where she colored half of each shape using multiple colors - some of them rainbows, some of them alternating stripes - with "USE ONE COLOR PLEASE" on it in big red letters I was pissed.
I didn't see the "Use only one BORING color for each shape" anywhere on the paper.
Because it wasn't there.
I've had my issues with the ridiculous grading system, like the 78 Quinlan got on a handwriting assignment that required her to write no less than 15 lower case letter "f's." I'm not surprised that by the 7th one she got sloppy. I'd get sloppy after writing four of them.
But even in the areas that she's doing well, I question the grading methods. How does a Kindergartener get a "98" in Science?
I didn't show Quinlan the paper because she didn't need to see it.
And I don't hang over her when she does her homework to be sure that she carefully writes every fucking letter so God forbid she doesn't get a red circle around the part of the "t" that went too far over the bottom line.
I shit you not.
This is not how I want my daughter to start her entrance into the exciting world of organized education.
It can be exciting and invigorating to be a part of an amazing learning environment.
And I admit that at the beginning of the year, I had mixed emotions as to whether she'd get it at this particular school.
But given our options at the time, it was our best, feasible choice.
I'm thankful that she enjoys it. The ridiculous worksheets. The coloring inside the lines. Her job as "bathroom monitor" where she gets to tell her teacher who talked.
She gets to exercise her inner tattle tale, apparently.
But I'm realizing that just because she enjoys it, doesn't necessarily mean it's the right place for her. She's got an amazingly creative mind - from her dress up clothes, to her imaginative play, to her insanely cool drawings.
There's just got to be a place that doesn't limit her to just one color.