Wednesday, January 23, 2013


When Jessie first started school, I was very hands off about homework.  She started getting it in first grade, which seemed ridiculous to me, but my assumption was that I wasn't supposed to help with her homework.  If she asked for assistance, sure, I'd help out, but hand holding and correcting?  Nope, I didn't think I was supposed to do that.  

I was wrong.  Which her second grade teacher helpfully pointed out - oh no, Mrs. Cohen, you're supposed to be correcting the homework and double checking it and overseeing the whole process.  Which is fine, I'm more than happy to help her, she's my daughter.  And since every other parent apparently already got the memo on how parents are supposed to supervise (to an unhealthy degree, I believe) all homework and take home projects (don't even get me started on how Jessie's handmade valentines looked ridiculous compared with her classmates - because hers were done by a six year old and the rest of the class had serious adult assistance), I didn't want her to be left behind.  So, okay, I'll help.  I'll be INVOLVED with homework.

But we quickly fell into this whole routine whereupon I nag her, she procrastinates and complains, and eventually, after a while, sometimes taking time out for a sobbing fit about how much we really, really hate homework, we manage to get it done.  And on the upside, I'm learning all kinds of things that I'd managed to forget, about how rocks form, and how to reduce fractions and how to correctly form letters in cursive (turns out I do most of it wrong).  But homework sucks - to be blunt.  I feel like most of the time, there's far too much of it, it's just busy work that adds an unnecessary imposition onto her already limited free time, and gives us something to fight over.  

Yesterday afternoon, she was hanging in her bedroom, watching television (yes, I know, a television in her bedroom - I agree, horrendous idea, but if I'd had a playroom, I'd have put it in there, and with five kids here on the weekend, a toddler who naps in the bedroom (thus rendering one tv unusable) and a husband who firmly believes that he is morally obligated to watch whatever football game might be on without interruption - having a tv that I can send cherubs to go watch occasionally is a lifesaver). I went in, sat on the bed and began the homework battle.  Then I stopped, paused... "hey, how about if I don't nag you at all and you just assume total responsibility for your own stuff?"  

AND SHE DID.  Happily.  Packed her own bag, even.  Which is another issue, frequently, Jessie would get done with her homework, throw down her pencil and run as far away from me as she could get, so I'd always be trying to repack her folder and make sure nothing got left on the table or thrown away.  But she not only did all her homework (coming out twice to ask for help briefly) but then she packed it all neatly, and then asked if she could please pack her own lunchbox as well.  

I think I'm really going to like having a ten year old.  She's still a few weeks away, but thus far, I'm loving it :-)

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