AP Classes: Why do our kids work so hard?

Study, study, study . . .

Study, study, study . . .

My husband and I trudged back and forth across campus last night at back to school night. Six teachers attempted to dazzle (or perplex, depending on the teacher’s personality) all of us parents with how much our wonderful kids were going to learn this coming year. The main theme for the evening seemed to be: Junior Year is the Hardest!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is our second child, tell us something we don’t know. This, our second child, seems to be trying to outdo her big sister because she is taking AP physics and an honors advanced math class, which were new to us. She is also taking an AP history class—which we were familiar with—although, sadly, we didn’t recognize the teacher even though he taught our older daughter. She decided to forgo the AP version of Spanish, and I have to say, halleluiah.

Why do our kids feel compelled to take all these AP classes? I’m certainly not pushing it. As a matter of fact, after walking in her shoes for one evening I felt anxious and was flashing back to my own high school experience. Believe me, I did not push myself like my daughter is doing. Honestly, if I had to compete in today’s high school, I don’t think I would do very well.

Part of me wants to tell her this is high school, just relax and don’t push yourself so much. Live a little. Laugh a little. Stop working so hard. Really? Is that the message I truly want to send? Become an underachiever? Well, no, not that. But there has to be some balance, doesn’t there? Unfortunately, I don’t have any great advice for achieving that balance. I guess we’ll just have to remember Junior Year is Hardest! and hang on ’til it’s over.



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