“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

I try and find my weekly inspiration from my interactions as they happen from parents and kids.

This week’s comes from an eight year old third grader, Jonah, who told me he was not a big fan of school.  In fact, he was clear in stating that he “hated it.”

I pressed Jonah to tell me why.

“It’s all this testing,” Jonah started.  “It’s too much,” he said.

I asked him to clarify when his mom interjected, “Here, look what his week is like.  He’s all stressed out,” as she hands me a week’s schedule for Jonah’s class.



  • Rocket Math Multiplication Level S (a timed exercise in rapid math facts)
  • Math Chapter 8 Check My Progress Quiz
  • Vocabulary Quiz


  • Spelling Test
  • Grammar Quiz


  • Rocket Math Multiplication Level T
  • Reading Unit 3 Week 5 Test

So, let me get this straight. This eight year old got three quizzes and two tests, not to mention his performances on “Rocket Math” (timed stress exercises presented in the guise of being fun) in three days!!!

Jonah didn’t stop there regarding his negative feelings toward school.

“Also, the worksheets are really boring – they really get on my nerves.  I try and stay as focused as I can be,” Jonah explained

Jonah didn’t even have any learning problems, no signs of dyslexia and this was how he was feeling.

Takeaway Point                    

Three quizzes and two tests in a three days for an eight year old is hard to justify, not to mention the red ‘X’s’, failed grades and frowny faces at the top of a worksheet.

Wait, did I tell you he was eight?