Op-Ed: What happens when public schools lose students?
At the beginning of the school year, my kids are usually out of school for about three and a half weeks, leaving only a week for summer school. During that time, our first priority is to start the summer routine.
We have an important goal this summer to create a sense of community within the family. As they spend more time outdoors, the boys have been making a lot of friends. As they play together at recess, they make new friends. This year, my wife and I were given more freedom to spend time together than we have in the past. We now have the time to enjoy our leisure activities.
But with all this new time to spend together, a funny thing has happened with our kids this summer. No matter what kind of activity they are doing, they are always talking about the “crazy kids in Texas.” In recent weeks, as the kids have been out of school, they have been telling their friends and family about them, and how they are different, how they play outside, how they are so creative and have so much energy.
Most families tell stories of children who are outside all day talking non-stop like crazy kids. And although I enjoy hearing children’s stories, I have to admit that at the same time, I had a little bit of a laugh. Then I got the phone call.
My son was telling his new playmate that he was going to show her the big green box that he had found outside, because he hadn’t told her yet what it was.
I thought it was a typical teenager thing to say, that he was giving her his secret – that he wouldn’t be able to give it to her until he got home after school.
I was shocked when he returned home and told me, “We got in trouble because we kept telling people about this big box that we found.”
I wasn’t sure if I should laugh with him and be happy that he had found a box of his own or be mad that he had been kept in the dark.
I did the latter. I tried to give him some advice that I had learned in my years of teaching children about being open and honest. I told him, “You told your little friend, ‘I won’t tell you until you get home.’