Friday, February 22, 2008

More About Homework

Usually homework isn't too bad for our family anymore. I don't know if the schools are starting to catch on about the current findings about homework (that they don't actually help the kids), or if we've just been lucky, but yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

It started with my 7-year old. He's been doing fine up until this week with his spelling words. He just studies them a little, and gets them all right on his test every Friday. This weeks words were obviously much harder. They went from "bad, sad, mad" to "bright, blaze, truck". He could not get them. He acted like he hadn't seen these words all week. He had a hard time telling the difference between bl and br words. We spent about two hours on his homework! He was crying. Yes, we took breaks. What do I do? Let him fail his test? He also had a short book to read. It took him 1/2 hour because he got stuck on every other word. I decided to email his teacher and tell her about this. I told her that he will need some extra help in school each week with his spelling words because he's struggling with them. I don't mind going over the words with him a little, but I simply don't have the time to spend hours on it! My youngest one was upset because she wanted some attention. I haven't heard back from her yet. I'm expecting her to tell me that if he can't keep up with the class, then he'll need to be placed in a remedial class. I want to be a helper, not his teacher. Shouldn't the teacher recognize that a student needs a little help, and help him? This is not helping with his "hating school" problem.

Next, daughter came home from ski club in tears because she's so behind in school because she missed the day before for being sick. Can't an 8Th grader be allowed to stay home when she's not feeling well? She tried to do her reading on the ski bus, but it was too dark, not to mention LOUD. She still wasn't feeling well last night, but sat down at 9:30 to do her work. I had to help her look up ALL her answers for math. I had to help her finish her social studies. She has a test on Monday, and doesn't understand what they're doing. She has a major Language Arts project due next week. She was totally stressed out. I ended up writing her social studies teacher a note telling her that she couldn't find the rest of the answers on her crossword puzzle and needed some extra help understanding the material (we're hoping she'll give her an extra day for the test). My daughter is going to tell her language arts teacher that she didn't have time to do the reading and that I will write her a note about that if she needs one. She's also has to talk to her math teacher too. This much stress in the 8Th grade? At 14, she has to spend the entire weekend doing homework? Now don't get the wrong impression. My daughter is very good about getting her work done. She gets good grades. That's why she's so upset about it.

I'm hoping for a good weekend. Tonight we were going to go out for dinner, but my babysitter couldn't watch the kids, so we'll go out tomorrow (Texas Roadhouse!). So, tonight we'll take the little ones to bingo night at the school. They're very excited at least. Tomorrow is the last two basketball games of the season. Sunday is already sign ups for baseball! I hate to think about being involved in more sports again, but the boys really love it, and I actually enjoy watching.

I'm also thinking about the money everyone owes us! I think my daughter lost the $10 I lent her. My son lost his library book at school. My daughter lent money to two boys. One keeps saying he'll pay her back, and the other doesn't want to because he said they're poor since his mom just left his step dad. OK, I feel bad for him, but enough is enough! This boy has an expensive cell phone and is in the expensive ski club, and that was MY $2 he borrowed from my daughter. I think I do more than my fair share by driving the kids in the neighborhood everywhere and feeding them all. I just think when you borrow money from someone, you should pay them back, and not try to get out of it because they think we can afford it.

I think a nice warm spring day would brighten my mood. Hope we get one soon!


My Ice Cream Diary said...

ACK! I shouldn't have read this today. We just decided last night to put my son into public school and I'm trying to keep the bad thoughts out of my head. It can be so hard to watch kids struggle, even though it can be good for them. I hope it gets better.

Kitty said...

Oh dear Maria ... not a good day in your world. I really hope it improves very soon ((((maria and family))))


Leah said...

wow, and I thought my daughter being diagnosed with croup yesterday was a real bummer, but WOW, talk about some major stress and chaos at your house! I hope everything settles down soon! HUGS

Bia said...

We have those horrible, no good, very bad days, too!

Thanks for the nice comment on my seems we have a lot of family traditions in common. I'll be thinking of you this Sunday at your mom's house!

God bless.

Kellan said...

Yes - I know these homeword woes only too well! I wasn't happy going through school when I had to do it myself and now I find I am having to do it all over again - 4 times more - YUK!

Have a good weekend Maria - see you later. Kellan

Dawn said...

I'm so sorry things are going so badly for you right now. I hope you have a great weekend and have fun going out with your husband tomorrow.

Amy said...

It is so stressful, isn't it? I can't tell you how many nights end in crying and frustration because there is just SO MUCH homework, if they miss even one day it's like it sets them back a week. I think it's way too much stress, I mean why can't they just be kids? and the science project...oh my..good luck...try here
they have great ideas here, with directions...:-)

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Hi, Maria!

It is really frustrating, We've been through it, and are still going through it to an extent, so I know how you feel. My son Brian's second grade teacher had a great system (she also has nine children of her own, so I trust her!). She said the homework should not exceed 10 minutes per grade. So, if your son is in first grade, his homework should not consist of anything that takes longer than ten minutes. 2nd grade, twenty minutes, 3rd grade, thirty minutes, and so on. It's good that you are communicating with your son's and daughter's teachers. Sometimes I think they are unaware that there is a problem, hopefully that will help. Try and have a nice weekend and relax! :)

Amy said...

sometimes i seriously think that teachers do this on purpose to US! like perhaps we didn't get enough homework as kids!!! do they really think we will get any smarter now?!? lol

Jen said...

"I don't know if the schools are starting to catch on about the current findings about homework (that they don't actually help the kids),"

Glad I'm not the only one going around citing this research! A lot of schools are going away from it just because of plagiarism concerns too. I wish my sons school would follow suit. I especially hate homework directed at the parents, like costume making, etc....

Hope tomorrow is better. *hugs* to your little one.