Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Learning is not a spectator sport

I'm not a teacher. I'm not even real smart. But, I've always believed in teaching my boys as much as I can at home. Stomp and I worked hard at animal sounds, body parts, colors and ABC's at home long before he started school. Plus I was one of those kids who loved school. So, it's really no surprise that I generally love helping with homework (well, most homework). But this year, the teachers announced that they wouldn't be sending homework home but would still be expecting the kids to do between 20-30 minutes of homework a night. And they sent home a note about how detrimental it would be for your kids to not do their 20-30 minutes of homework a night. To which I said (please listen carefully so you don't misquote me): "What the?!" Hey, I am not a super lazy mom. I will be happy to help fill out worksheets, practice spelling words and read until I simply cannot read "Oh Say Can You Say" one more time. But you have to help me out by sending home the worksheets and the spelling words. For one, I have no idea how they're teaching math these days and I didn't even really get it the first time around 100 years ago. For another, I have a very young baby at home and most of the time am too tired to remember to brush my hair, much less scour the intrawebz for suitable math problems for Stomp. But still we tried. He helped write grocery lists, and we added and subtracted how many items we had at the grocery store, etc. But, nothing that could really be counted as "true" homework.

Eventually, they did start sending home spelling words (that, I'm good at!) and they sent home a practice clock, which proved a good way to make me suicidal for 20 minutes every night practice time-telling, which Stomp struggles with. But then, then they sent home a notice that we could log into the school's server and take practice tests for the very tests Nathan's working on at school! So now, nightly, we do 10 minutes of "math facts" on the computer, rehearse our spelling words and work with the clock, in addition to our nightly reading. When we had parent/teacher conferences a month or so ago, they told me Nathan seemed to be "stuck" on level 2 of his math facts. In the two weeks since we've been practicing from home, he's gone up 3 levels. Nathan is learning that practice and hard work and stick-with-it-ness pays off and Mama is off the hook for trying to teach math.

1 comment:

  1. I just can't let me kids near my new computer. Math facts be damned. I know, I know. Bad Mom. If I had a dime for every time I heard that...


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