It seems like everything about children and their lives revolves around school. They get a three-month “break,” during which you can bond and try to have fun as a family—though in my experience, it takes more than three months to re-bond and deschool. The brief time Wood Sprite went to the Early Learning Center made her scarily nearly mute and reserved, and it took months for her to get back to “normal.” And this was a center I actually liked and approved of!
Kids get back-to-school clothes—I guess it’s okay for them to wear potato sacks for three months? (I’m joking here—I think you could make pretty cool clothes out of potato sacks if you’re creative, actually!) There are free back-to-school haircuts—because kids’ hair doesn’t grow during the rest of the year, of course!
OK, I know I’m being silly. I take advantage of “back to school” deals as much as anyone else. But life really does seem to revolve around school for kids—and their parents. I challenge you to talk to any child, any day, and not mention school. “How’s school? How do you like your teacher? What’s your favorite subject?” I wonder if you can do it. I’m not saying you’re an evil little imp because you do it; it’s just the way we treat children as a culture. Try asking a child what he’s reading right now, or what he’s “been up to,” the way you ask your friends and family about their lives. Find out what she’s interested in, what her hobbies are. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia