I think I've frightened my mother off forever by bringing up the specter of Mr. Marshall which frees me up to discuss my crazy educational protectionism without fear of giving my sweet mother an aneurysm as she suppresses the urge to tell me off in front of the entire world.
ANYWAY...I met with V's two teachers last Monday after school. They had a nice neat rubric, with the smiley face, :), the flat line face :|, and the frownie face :(. They were certain that if they explained that the frownie face meant something other than "I'm mad/I don't like you/You have displeased me" that I'd say "OH! Thanks for explaining that. Whew! Glad we got that cleared up." Um, sorry, I'm crazier than that. A smile is a universal symbol for friendly acceptance while the frownie face is the universal symbol for "unable to complete assignment as given?" I think not.
So they kept saying, "Well, that's what we do."
And I kept saying, "Well, you can do it, but not to my kid. You aren't allowed to make her cry. I don't care if it is wimpy and silly that she cries over a frownie face. She's six, my friends."
Finally, I bent a bit. "OK, you can put a frownie face on her homework, but you can't let her see it. You can mail it home to me or stick it in an envelope and I'll get it," which was an unacceptable solution for them. They want the child to understand that they didn't complete the assignment correctly. Okey-dokey. More negotiations ensued until finally we settled on "1" = :( . Whew, glad we got that cleared up.
[OK Crash Test Dummy this next sentence is for you.] Nevermore shall my darling receive massive sorrowing visages marring her pulchritudinous, puerile endeavors toward scholarship.*
Then I told them I hated their reading program. That went over really well. I asked if there were any alternatives. Nope? OK...moving on then.
V's attention-seeking behavior? Ah yes.
Did they want to keep trying what they have been doing or consider other options? My suggestions? They could have her move to a different classroom when she is seeking attention inappropriately, they could carry her in a baby backpack all day, whispering sweet words of encouragement and affection, or they could try something of their chosing that didn't involve frownie faces.
So then we discussed district standards for first grade which are the state second grade standards moved down a grade. That was fun. We discussed the wisdom of high pressure learning in the lower grades which led directly into the V's only attending their school because I need her out of the house during the day. Poor ladies, trying so hard to be nice to the crazy woman who pops this HORROR on them!
I offered reassurance. We totally follow their little homework routine for the hour and a half it takes to get done, roughly the same amount of time we'd spend on an entire day of homeschool. We parted on reasonable terms, but I would have paid hard, cold cash to be a fly on the wall for the conversation that followed our meeting.
In summary [that's also for CTD] they did not harm me, I didn't really stand on the desk and do a Tarzan yell, and security was not required to drag me off.
The end. For now. Until I get my knickers in a twist again.
*Translation: No more huge frownies on my V's beautiful, immature efforts at worksheets.