Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Maybe the Poet Laureate reference was an embellishment

The Working Mom is working hard….My house is back to school/daycare and though the hum of our routine is barely audible just yet, we’re getting there.

As I was packing up my 2 older children for the first day of school, I realized I had a tip to share with you fine folks….and when I began this blog, I promised tips every now and again…so here it is:

If your children require “nap” items for school or daycare…i.e. blankets, pillows etc., send them in to school zipped in the clear plastic packaging of a comforter or sheets that you’ve purchased.  It’s a clean way to neatly store them at school, plus there’s usually a little sleeve on the front where you can stick a piece of paper with your child’s name on it, for easy recognition in the classroom.

I started doing this a couple of years ago so now, I’m careful to save any kind of zippered plastic packaging…you might want to do the same.

Now that the tip is out of the way….let’s talk homework.

Is it me, or has homework changed?  When I was growing up….I had worksheets (or "dittos" as they were called) with blank spaces all over them.   My job was to fill in the blanks, in my room, with a pencil…end of story.

Apparently, times have changed…my first grader comes home with multi-media, seek and find, you may need to contact your nearest Poet Laureate for this….homework.

Ok, maybe the Poet Laureate reference was an embellishment but I’m telling you, my Journalism degree will only take me so far with this stuff and I fear that I can see the "so far" in my rear-view mirror already.  I’m telling you, we are cutting and pasting our way to whole new Homework reality.

After week one…really, after day 1, I knew we were in trouble (though my Husband has yet to fully admit this). 

To combat the Homework haplessness in my house (and by that I’m strictly referring to my husband and myself as our son has done really well with his part of all assignments thus far)…I’ve established a Parental- Homework buddy system.  I reached out to one of the Moms with whom I’ve become friendly, and was perfectly candid with her….the initial call went something like this. 

Ring, ring (really, I was calling her cell phone so it was probably less of a ring, ring and more of a snappy ringtone).  “Hi! May I speak to Lauren? (It was her husband)….it’s Heidi, Zachary’s Mom”.

Her Husband “She’s putting the kids to sleep….but let me guess,  this has something to do with Math Explorations”.

Me, ”You got it! Can I leave a message?  Here goes, please write this down.  If you don’t help me, help Zachary with his homework….we will never get out of week1 of Math Explorations—urgent assistance needed”. 

To which he responded (after he finished laughing) “Will do…us too!!”

So when she returned my call, promptly I might add as her Husband clearly passed along my message with the necessary crazed inflection I’d intended, she and I started a judgment-free dialogue (usually over email) that has since been shared with several other parents in the class…where we essentially “whisper down the lane” (But with accuracy) our way through the nightly homework assignments..

In the Math Explorations book, it says that we’re supposed to be discovering new concepts around every turn.  See…here…I DID make a discovery!!!! After talking with my homework buddies,  I discovered that I wasn’t the only adult relying upon a 6 year old to guide me through the “learning with my Adult” section of the nightly homework…and I felt better about that.

But…to be truthful, I have to tell you that even with this newfound support-system…I truly relish Fridays now because of our Teacher’s (and I say “our Teacher” because in my house, we are ALL learning from her) policy of “no homework” weekends.  It gives me 2 free nights to get geared up for what Math Explorations has in store for me in the week ahead J.


The Working Mom

1 comment:

  1. Homework should be about reviewing what was taught in class, not about the student learning something new at home, but this is not the case for many of our children. I liked the ditto's and fill in the blanks better!

    Planet Earth thanks you for your tip - Reduce Reuse Recycle!