15 October, 2009

School x2 (Warning! Rant Enclosed)

My turn for school. I have enrolled in basically the only course vacancy I could find - emphasis on "basically", because it's a basic course. This is the third time I've started from the beginning. So far I'm enjoying it. Not really learning anything new, but it is still good to shake out the rusty brain and practice the things that were trying to disappear from my neurons. I'm almost to the end now and have enrolled for the continuing course. And almost at the point where the material is new. :)

The children, on the other hand, are annoying hubby and I. Or more precisely, their schooling is much cause for concern. After a month at school they came home with their first exam papers, and to my horror, it was nothing but "write the name of the item under the picture". ARGH. An entire month and all they've been taught is the words for mouth, nose, run, jump? For Pete's sake.

I wrote a rather terse email to the teacher to advise him that the darlings know how to conjugate verbs and that perhaps they could come home with the so-called "daily homework" he had promised and which I'd yet to see even once.
Fast forward one week and Aria presents her new school textbook; she's almost in tears, because she was expected to complete a certain page. On looking at the book, the work is way beyond what she understands. It was chockablock full of complex grammar and tenses, using vocabulary she couldn't even attempt to guess. Hell, it was way beyond me, and I'm supposedly way beyond her. Hubby was aghast.

I think I must have asked poor hubby four or five times: Is it too much to ask, that her TEACHER should know her level? Have a vague idea of what she can and can't do? Know, regardless of his level of English, how she is at FINNISH? You know, by doing an ASSESSMENT?

I know school is different here, but I thought that was a gimme! Teachers assess pupils, right? How can you know whether a child is moving toward a goal if you don't know where they started and whether they're progressing from one level to the next?

Today the maths exams came home. Aria scored abysmally on one of them, chiefly because the questions were all written out in words - in Finnish. I know they have to learn to do their exams in Finnish, but when nobody tells you what the words say, it's grossly unfair to merrily score them 7/24 on MATHS. There's a space on the page where I'm expected to sign my name, and return the page to the teacher. If I have to send that paper back to the school, there will be more than my signature in that space, let me tell you.