Homework (2198-2208)


I never thought I’d say this but … I can’t wait for the weekend. Asking a mom how her weekend was is like asking a nine-to-fiver how his Wednesday was. I’m all about Monday. Usually.

It’s been years since I’ve looked forward to weekends because having kids means that work has just begun. The house gets trashed and I get nothing done. I can count on my living room becoming overtaken by pillow forts and I have to kick it into high gear if I mean to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to not having the TV on all day.

I’m fighting the battle against screen time and it’s getting harder. My boys (7 & 6) have friends that have Gameboys, iPads, iPods, Wii, PS2s, their own computers, etc. I’ve yet to hear a compelling argument as to why it would be good for my children to have computers so I’m holding off as long as I can.

They are going to play around on their friends’ devices when they are at their houses and that’s okay, I loved my friend’s Atari when I was a kid. But more than likely they will end up watching their friends play MineCraft. Great playdate, huh? I can’t judge, that’s what kids do. And then there are the other adults to deal with. The ones who automatically hand over the iPhone when they see my kids coming.

I get it, they don’t want to interact with a child, or maybe just my child. I certainly didn’t before I had my own, but really? Ask me if it is okay because you know what? It isn’t. I’m happy to put my kids on my side of the table or set them up with Legos or books or coloring far away from you. Really.

If you let your own kids play with video games, that’s okay. They are your kids, you are the decider. And you are probably not as into ruining perfectly nice dinners out as I am. I’ve always been a glutton for punishment.

But back to why I’m looking forward to the weekend. Simple. I want two days to handle the homework situation. I won’t say my son has a learning disability but it takes a little more time to get it done. He’s in the second grade and the average night for him involves a three-stage homework process that takes at least an hour, all of which I need to be in the room for.

I’m not a helicopter parent but I believe that children, at least up until a certain age, need some guidance. I remember being in elementary school and coming home to an empty apartment (latchkey kid, single mom) and looking at my homework like it was written in a different language. It didn’t get done. What’s the point of homework if you don’t understand it? So that’s where I come in; I help. I don’t do it for him (please) but I try to explain it.

But I have to be careful because FYI, math is taught differently these days. Like adding and subtracting. Who knew? Kids don’t start out by learning to carry the one and all that, they do it completely differently. Having always struggled with math, I sort of wish I had been taught this way because it is pretty cool. They end up in the same place eventually, but the new methods are designed to create a deeper understanding of the concepts. Great. Awesome. Do it. But it means I have to relearn basic mathematics.

Do you remember asking your parents to show you how to do some mathematical problem and they show you a way that is different than what your teacher taught and you are worried because you want to do it right but your mom/dad insists that your teacher’s way is “stupid” and “here’s a better way” and is getting kind of worked up about it?

I do, and I don’t want to be the mom that causes more angst in my kid about homework than he already has.

So I’m trying to be patient (not one of my strengths) and that’s why I am psyched for the weekend, because homework is stressing me out. Before you chime in with “it only gets worse” comments, you can shove it because I know. My youngest hasn’t even started getting homework yet. I believe in public school. I believe in homework. I believe in hard work. I just wish I was a better and more patient teacher.

Time to cut the crap.

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Today’s offerings: More Books.

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More dinosaur magnets I found under the stove plus a spatula I never use because it is curved funny. DONATE.

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Viv’s Notes on Momma Zen: Parenting sucks. Get used to it.

And I don’t need A Book for Couples because my relationship cure-all is nookie.

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Why do I have these books? BOOKWORM.

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Secret Life of Bees is a good read. You want it?

The Emporer’s Children made me feel like a loser but was engaging except for the pretentious way Messud would write paragraphs that were pages long.

The Areas of My Expertise was written by an insane person, I’m sure of it. BOOKWORM.

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Do you feel like reading a crushingly depressing book? Come and get it!

Featured image courtesy of http://www.studentsoftheworld.info

9 thoughts on “Homework (2198-2208)

  1. My boy is in second grade too so I totally relate to having to relearn basic math…via him. But you’re a better mom than I am.. I’m pretty sure I have declared Mr. G’s techniques as ridiculous at least once! 🙂

  2. Love your blog and have been reading it ever since I saw the Daily Camera article. I totally agree about weekends and the mountain of housework that always follows!

  3. Homework is why my old host family hired me back as an after-school nanny, and I actually really like helping the kids (7 & 11 year old boys) with it, but gosh it is hard to motivate them some times. Trying to make an 11 year old understand that it’s easier to just do things right (nice handwriting, full sentences, showing his work in math) the first time than half-assing it and having me erase it for him to do over again – that’s the hard part. Hopefully your kids will never get there, because it’s a bitch to try to change once they’ve started doing work that way..

  4. “fighting the battle against screen time…” has got to be among the toughest jobs a parent takes on, at least any parent with sense enough to face the problem. the pressure comes from all sides,
    it never stops, and the stakes in guiding & forming habits in kids re. use of technology are huge. this forum is not the place for a lecture from an unrepentant technophobe, but I hope the post makes everyone who reads it think about the subject in terms of their own kids’ habits. kudos, and good luck…

Really? No way.

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