Monday, April 26, 2010

Half Day at School- conspiracy?

Today we have one of the dreaded half- days of school. For those in 4k, that means no school at all. For those in 1st grade, that means you go to school until 11:00 am.

Some time ago, I started to wonder about these half days. They seem hardly worth the effort, the bother. For the teachers, they have to compress the day into short little classes. They have to adapt their lesson plans to crunch up into the shorter time slot. The buses all run. Then for the kids, why get the kids up and dressed for just a few hours only to send them home again, all dizzied up over the change to their little schedules? This time, I'd like to point out that our ELEVEN day spring break only ceased draining my brain earlier this month!

For one particular kid, the half day is not just one change. Oooooh no. It results in about 100 changes, of which she likes to have exactly zero changes. Therefore the half day is about 100 changes too many. We. No. Likey. Change! How many times do I have to say it? Genea has the rest of her life scheduled to be exactly the same as yesterday come your hell or your high water. Why do they mess with her like this?

Although I have to say, she has gotten  much better about a change in her life of scheduled events. It used to be that any change knocked us out with a double whammy. See, say there was a half day on a Monday. This would suck giant athletes toes. It would suck for the many days that led up to the day of the change, the day itself would be better (why? Right, like I would know!), then the many days after the change would suck as well. But then, remember my favorite phrase, Genea has the rest of her life scheduled to be exactly the same as yesterday. I don't just say that for fun (although it cracks me up). She will include the half day thing in her repertoire. Then, when the following Monday is a regular day, that is another change and all together now... We. No. Likey. Change! See how the half day got included in her permanent rotation of events and then changed again?

So as I was wondering about this half day business, a few things started to click into place. Then it was like exploded hot lava smoodging across the landscape it decimates. I got it. Work with me here a minute.

When school starts in the fall, the kids in our district actually don't have a full week until about a month and a half has gone by. After 2 months of school, the district has a half week off. Right at Halloween time, the kids get 2 and a half days off while the teachers go to inservices or whatever it is they do. That cannot be a coincidence. After 2 months of school, parents start to ask questions. Why does my child have 40 minutes of recess? I KNOW there are only 4 food groups, stop telling my kid there are 5. Why can't my child say any words that start with T? What's with the 56 state capitals? You teachers made up all those new dinosaurs, tell the truth! Who is that brat distracting my child and ruining her chances at an Ivy League college?

I think these scattered half and full day breaks are specifically designed and strategically planned to knock parents on their asses with all of them there fancy questions. I have figured this out. These little breaks are the Department of Public Instructions way of saying "Hey you, Mommy with the big mouth, you think you can do it better than us? Go ahead! Try!". Then they all giggle hysterically for hours and go to Vegas on vacation.

It's either that, or the half day is the invention of Satan. I am 50- 50 on that.


  1. Princess has that change thing going on, too: if we eat lunch after the therapist's this week, then darnitall, we had better eat lunch after the therapist's next week, too, even if the appointment is at 9:00 or 3:30. Veeeeery hard time flexing.

    And yeah. The school district makes "breaks" so that we appreciate the teachers and bake them more cookies.

  2. You are making the assumption that school districts exist for the children they teach. They are NOT out to get you- they don't care about you or your kid. They are a large employment corporation and Genea is collateral damage. :(

  3. Brilliant theory! i am embracing it. From now on, I will just ask MORE questions. Bwah hah hahahahahahah.

  4. yep, there is nothing good about the half day, in fact I often just keep them home, it is easier that way.

  5. I feel your pain. We "transition" back into school after breaks by starting on a Thursday, followed by a three day weekend. We do this after summer and Christmas. This year we are transitioning out, by having a four day weekend for Memorial day followed by three days. YUK.

    I used to live in a district that IF we had a full week, the kids would get out two hours early on Thursdays and the teachers would do inservice then, unless they stayed late to make up for a snow closure. I nearly lost my mind wondering if this Thursday was early or late, I could only imagine what that would do to my RADish.

  6. As a recovering elementary teacher, I LOVE your theory! It sounds like a good plan to me. :)

  7. I think "transition" sounds like code for- Suck It Parents!
    I've thought about keeping Genea home on these days, and we often go out of town if there will be a few days like this- you know, since it all was going to change anyway- and I keep her out for that. Somehow though, I think since she knows there is school happening she will need to be in it.

  8. Your school district and mine must be cohoots...this week is "State Testing" boys are in kindergarten. they really need 5 minimum days to "test" them?
    Oh, and just to add insult to injury, next week is "parent-teacher conferences". 3/5 of the week minimum days...just another excuse to get money from the state for "attendance" and not do anything except drive parents and RADishes insane.
    And no...I'm not bitter...Me. No. Likey. Change. Either!

  9. I absolutely Hate 1/2days.. I wont even rub it in that our school district no longer has 1/2 days. Instead we go 30mins late Every.Wednesday.. It only took me 3/4of the year to get that straight in my head.. blah

  10. lol
    sorry about the half day!

  11. Ah, the "minimum days"....I loathe them! Forget how they mess with the kids who love continuity and routine....what about US MOMS??! I have to make notes to myself to remember the odd pickup times during conference weeks, testing periods, inservice days, and other random days to be named later. Even the last week of school (and by "week" I mean Monday - Thursday at noon)they get out early!

  12. As a teacher, I really hated half-days, too.... AND the days in the week before vacation. Mainly because most of the other teachers for some bizarre reason seemed to TRY to get the kids riled up, disoriented and over-stimulated, by movies, extra recesses, special events, etc. I HATE that stuff!!!

    I'd be the one teacher who actually TAUGHT STUFF the week before Christmas. As far as I could see that rigorous focus on OUR REGULAR SCHEDULE was the only possible way to keep that ship aright. But, it was hard when we could hear, during our spelling test, that all hell was breaking out next door.

    A nice, regular schedule, the CONTENT of which is exciting, engaging and interesting - that's what I like. Then you don't need the breaks.

  13. You are so right. It seems like kids hardly ever even HAVE school anymore. There always seems to be a day off or half days for whatever reason. That's going to be real fun for me as a single working mom once my 2 year old gets to be school aged. Ugg...

  14. My daughter's school doesn't have half days. They do have a handful of "early release" days that are ONE HOUR. Stupidest thing ever. And then I forget about it and she shows up an hour early and I'm like, wtf? Oh yeah....stupid school. This is her last year at that school though. It's one of the few benefits of having a teenager. There's finally an end in sight.

  15. Oh yeah, I forgot to even mention how I ALWAYS forget. Seriously I have remembered maybe 20% of them ahead of time. My kids are more likely to tell me than I am to remember or check the schedule or whatever.
    I did just realize that these days probably are all about money and attendance. Does it still count as a day of attendance when they just briefly show up? I bet it does. Bus companies get paid too. Huh.
    I can't imagine maneuvering all this as a single parent! When we just had Teena and she was in day care, one cold threw both my husband and my schedules out the door and we had to spend the next week making it all up. Take on regular childhood colds and flu's and then half days and breaks and teacher inservice days..... When DO they get educated?


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