It’s finally spring and this year, for us, that means lacrosse, soccer, soccer, and yes, one more time, soccer. I realize that I have only 3 children, and that 4 sports means I am going against a personal belief that children should play one sport per season. But that conversation is long and convoluted and we can discuss it another time.
In addition to the sports frenzy, it’s also the time of year when kids heading to middle school take tests for next year’s “challenge” classes, our district’s designation for honors classes during the middle school years. Conveniently, this testing coincides with the time of year when the sun hangs low in the sky well beyond bedtime, tricking children into believing that the school year is already over.
Last spring, SusieJ wrote a convincing post about not taking honors classes. Her son, as I recall, was nominated for honors math but took a look at the additional homework requirements and thought the better of it.
My son, hmmm…I’m waiting to see what decision he’ll make. I worry that he’s overly enticed by the “brand,” by the status, by the elitism, really, that honors classes proffer. It’s not that he thinks he’s too smart for the regular classes, not at all. It’s simply another one of those middle school identifiers: Which soccer team do you play for? Where do you sit at lunch? Which challenge class(es) are you taking?
It’s a quandary, though, because by all means he should take some challenge classes. The past two years have been a bit too enjoyable in the classroom, because it’s come a bit too easily. It’s one thing to skate through upper elementary; it’s an entirely different manner to head off to high school unprepared for the rigors of college prep. He’s ready for some challenge.
The question, though, is which one(s) and how many. My son enjoys learning. He also enjoys soccer, football, basketball, hanging out with friends, reading, and playing with his brothers. He most certainly does not enjoy mounds of homework. I'm fairly certain he's not wired to have 2-3 hours of homework every night. I mean, really, who is?
And so as the flowers push through the ground and the days grow longer, as they alternate between rain and sun, we run from event to event, practice to practice, game to game, and contemplate the year to come. No matter which choice he makes, it will be a year of growth, don’t you think?
photo credits: psmithy and me