Friday, 2 October 2009

Deja Vu all Over Again

The Queenager is in her Junior year at High School. That's equivalent to Lower 6th in England. Typically, this is the hardest year as not only are all their grades through high school important for college admissions, they usually start taking their national exams (ACT ot SAT) at some time during this year. (The great thing about American high school is that by the time they leave, they actually have their academic results AND know where they are going to college. Talk about peace of mind.)

Queenie has determined that this WILL be the toughest year, not only of her life to date, but ever. In the history of academia. Despite my undergrad and Masters degrees, and the fact that as an accountant, her dad has to take exams and courses just to keep up his credentials, no one else has ever had it this tough.

Every day after school she comes in sighing loudly, asks where I am and sets about harranguing me. I have to listen for five minutes as she tells me, in stupifying detail, every homework assignment for that night. Then, as the evening wears on, she makes periodic appearances to update me on what she still has to do.

I know I'm supposed to be a supportive parent, and I wouldn't want to go back to that kind of academic pressure for anything, but PUH-LEEZE. I've been there, done that, got the sodding certificates.

And the worst thing is, she's the first of three! There's probably a lot more where this came from.


Expat Mum


  1. As the mother of not one, but two female high school seniors, I feel your pain.

  2. (Help! I need an Australian translation for what year of schooling this is!!). Have the opposite problem here. The 16 yr old, about to enter Year 12 (the last year of secondary schooling) is taking a very 'stress free' approach to her studies, and doesn't want us to know a thing about it. Especially her maths. This stresses her father (in particular) out more than his own secondary high school exams ever did.

  3. I wonder if my perspective helps a tad.
    Having left school after the 5th year - the now year 11 in Uk. I went to a Convent all girls school here, hated the school work, couldnt apply myself, the teachers didnt inspire. In fact as the majority were nuns, who were dismissive of anythng we did, said I dragged my feet and did apply myself even a little.

    I moved to live with some friends of my fmaily, the only girl in a family of 3 boys. In Upstate new york, Watkins Glen, and went to school there. I started in my Junior year, and was struck by the lessons immediately, english involved shakey of course and classics, but also drama, media studies?! and cretaive writing, Art (my baby) had a plethora of diverse lessons, Philosphy, and so much more, not to leave out the competive spirit, coming back to school in evening, weekends and hols, to watch and compete in sports, other school activities, I dont remember much homework, I remember keeping up getting my Regents? and on track for Senior year. The boy thing was a BIG distraction for a convent girl, so I did go a bit crazee there...

    in retrospect, I recall the diversity, the bringing of different abilities together so the us/them wasnt as huge as it is here...the community was wonderful...your kids are soo lucky, with this opportunity...the world is literally on their doorstep, and what a doorstep!!

    my daughter had a her US exchange trip 18 months ago and cant wait to get back...

    its pespective l know, grass is always greener, but for the us in the main its true...If I hadnt met Larry I wouldve got there by hook or crook....

  4. Put your eyes into soft focus; nod in such a way that it can be interpreted as a "yes", "no" or "oh dear"; and dream about that bar of chocolate or glass of wine you are going to have later as a reward!

  5. I'm with Rosiero who can always be relied on to cut to the 'I know dear' or a 'you can do it, hon' will earn you that reward.

  6. I'd pass you the Pinot, but with 2 teenage girls in High School (the eldest a Senior this year,)I've drunk it all! Just hoping that it's different with boys ;-)

  7. Oh my daughters are only 8 and 10 years old and I feel like you just gave me glimpse into the future. Eeek. I am most certainly not one of those women who wishes to do High School over again, i am also not one of those who wants to here my kids whine about it!
    Great post!

  8. Oh lawd, the stress that we mothers are in - I keep having to ask my Grizz, in the Upper Sixth (we used to call it) - now it's Year 13 (or something - 'unlucky for some!'). I keep having to say things like - Aren't you supposed to be applying through UCAS for University yet; What's the closing date for applications? When do you have to have your Personal Statement completed??! And more manic mama stuff, designed to lose me hair, and gain me wrinklies!

  9. I teach students of this age and you must be in the minority - mostly, their parents tell me they know nothing about their homework or lessons. You're privileged if your kids want to tell you!

  10. My 5 year old came home this week-end with THREE lots of homework. By Monday, she has got to make a poster all about herself.

    Luckily, she loves it and throws herself into it with relish. If she could read the instructions, she would do it herself without bothering me.

    I guess I've got more to come, though.

  11. Yes, well, the other teenager (the male) tells me as little as possible. However, they have all the homework posted on the web site WITH deadlines - so at least I can chivvy him a long a bit!!