Tag Archives: homework

Homework Helper Needs Help

11 Sep

If I had to grade myself on how well I help Nia with her homework, I would give myself a C.

It’s funny because I never really minded homework as a student. I followed the directions, showed my work, wrote complete sentences and studied. I did OK+ in school. My parents could’ve had one of those honor roll bumper stickers that some people love to hate. I graduated in the top 20 of my high school class and magna cum laude at college. None of that matters though when you’re book smart. Everything I learned, I learned for the test. After the test, my brain couldn’t retrieve the info that helped me get smiley faces and A’s. It’s like it all got pushed out of my head to make way for useless movie and music knowledge.

Because I managed to wing it and get laughed at for being flighty, I was never really concerned about the missing parts of my mind. It wasn’t until I had to start helping Nia with her homework that I realized it was going to be an issue.

I’m so lucky she has a super smart brain in her pretty, Second Grade head. As I’m trying to help her, she usually tells me how to figure it out or explains the directions to me. What’s even worse is when her homework – that I helped with – comes back with the teacher’s red pen marks on it. I feel like I failed or let her down. When I quiz her on spelling words, she gets impatient waiting for me and starts writing the words off her memory. One recent homework hurdle goes something like this:

Me: The next word is where, I mean were, I mean we’re, I mean…
Nia: Momma! It’s where!
Me: Well, you have the word were on here too.
Nia: I know but where comes next. Which one do you want me to spell?
Me: What do you have written so far?
Nia: W.

Oh, Sweets, we have a long homework history to battle through ahead of us. I’m sure you will be teaching me a thing or hundred. I’m also very grateful for the genius brain I married. Andrew always knows the answer and jokingly advises Nia after hearing me try to explain something, “Yeah. Um. Nia, maybe we shouldn’t ask mommy questions about science.”

Fail.

Breeding Homework Haters?

24 Aug

I’m sure there are not many of us who will say they actually enjoyed doing homework. I’m not saying we didn’t have projects, assignments or subjects that we enjoyed occasionally or more than others. I just think finding many homework lovers would be hard to do.

As of now, Nia is a homework liker. She will work on it as soon as she can after school – even voluntarily doing the extra credit section at the bottom of the page that the teacher didn’t assign. Homework in Second Grade isn’t that time-consuming, extremely complicated (for her anyway – for me, it’s a different story!) or disagreeable. It’s spelling words, math word problems, comprehension and grammar. Nia doesn’t mind it. She does it because she’s supposed to. Because it will help her learn. Because she gets check pluses and smiley faces on her paper. She hasn’t learned to hate it – yet.

I’m afraid the negativity around it may soon start to grow because of a new reward system by her teacher. Apparently, the students are divided up in groups and they get blue strips for things they do well. When they get five, they members of the group get to skip a night of homework.

On the surface, it seems like a good way to encourage good behavior and productivity in the classroom. When I think about it though, I feel it could teach students to consider a night without homework as a good thing. After all, it’s being billed that way.

I told Nia I think it would be a great idea and beneficial to her brain if she does the homework even though she wouldn’t have to. She was actually excited about it, adding, “Maybe we’ll get another reward for me doing that!”

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