Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In which I say, “…oh…”

So there I was. Banging my head on the wall, micromanaging Danger Mouse, wailing about her ‘distractibility issues’ and worrying endlessly about the whole homework thing.

My worrying had gone from whether or not Danger Mouse was able to keep up with the second grade world to whether or not she had been prepared as well as we had thought for second grade and fretting about what our lives were going to be like this second grade year – we do, after all, have gymnastics on Wednesday nights which has us gone from home for almost three hours all told. If Danger Mouse is going to need five hours every single night to do her homework, well.

This is a problem.

I mean, it’s a problem regardless, but what, WHAT I ASK, are we to do on those (numerous) occasions when Something is happening midweek which eats a hole in the Time Available For Homework.

Yessir, I was real worried. I fretted about it last night. Like a terrier with a rat, I growled about it, shook it every which way, threw it in the air a few times, and bitched about it endlessly to anyone with the bad fortune to be near me.

“Will that be paper or plastic, ma’am?”

“FIVE PAGES of math problems, and then a bunch of spelling and I’m going to tell you what – it just isn’t human! Is she supposed to do that every single night?!”

“Uuuuuuuh…I’ll just…plastic, then?”

So this afternoon, it was with a sense of terrible dread that I asked, “Did you turn in your homework?”

“Oh, yeah, about that. She kept saying ‘Friday.’ Apparently, it’s due on Friday.”


“She said homework is due on Friday.”

“Uhhhhhh…did you get new homework today?” I think I understand what she is saying, but I can’t quite believe it yet.

“No.” She is now looking at me sideways with an expression which clearly says, My mother is an idiot. Film at eleven.

“Wait, are you telling me…Danger Mouse…are you saying to me that what you did last night was supposed to be your homework for the entire week?!”

“I guess so. She said it’s all due Friday.”

“You mean to tell me you did an entire week’s homework last night?”


“You weren’t supposed to do all that last night?”

“{giggle} Yes.”

We made you do four night’s worth of homework in one sitting?!” {In case you missed it, the transition from ‘worry’ to ‘guilt’ happens right about here.}

Danger Mouse is laughing brightly. She thinks the whole thing is highly amusing.

She is a noble soul.

Personally, I’d’ve been plotting serious revenge around this point.

Being as I am a descendent of Cormac MacCarthy, genetically imbued with eloquence, scion of bards and warriors, I immediately rejoined with the following proclamation:


Smooth. Real smooth.

But now I’m feeling kind of proud. My kid? Week worth of homework, in one (1) night.

Not too bad for a highly distractible kid with attention issues, huh?!


Tola said...

*whew* ! except for the fact that she still might think about revenge, i'll bet you feel a bit relieved. my daughter's 4th grade teacher didnt believe in homework at all, something that endeared her to us greatly. she was a seasoned teacher, and knew what she was doing.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it (didn't when my kid had this either). Why give them a whole week's worth at once?
How can they learn from what they did if they're not going over it the next day? and what are they doing at school,
More importantly -- WHY isn't the due date made clear?? (like in a note home to mom/dad for the first one explaining the process??) hmmm???

I loathe bad communication from school. Of course, there's also the problem of the teacher sending home notes explaining everything, which notes either stay in the kids' desks at school or in the bottom of the backpack until long after they're relevant.

Yarnhog said...

I love, love, love weekly homework. It makes possible the rest of my life. The only year we had it bad was my first son's kindergarten year, when his teacher would give assignments like: "Read book. Write a five page summary. Make a motorized diorama. Produce a short play based on the story, integrating classical Greek themes. Due tomorrow." I did a lot of homework that year.

Science PhD Mom said...

Perhaps you could also put your mind at ease about her distractibility issues--it seems likely that she hadn't actually been TAUGHT some of that in class yet, no? So, she was actually having to LEARN it for the FIRST TIME...some of it, anyway. So you did a good job teaching, Tama! Hehe.

froggiemeanie said...

Way to go Danger Mouse! As for the guilt thing...isn't that just the normal resting state for a parent (or is it just me)?

Barb said...

Oops! Well, at least she's ahead of the game this week.

21stCenturyMom said...

I wish I had read your 'worried' post because I could probably have figured out for you that she has the new, new thing in elementary education - the homework packet. Specifically designed to let your kid do 'drill and kill' on a workable schedule. Beats the hell out of forced nightly work. Hopefully she will make a habit out of knocking it out every Monday night so she can skate the rest of the week. Skating through school rules!

MadMad said...

In answer to Helen's question above, I believe the teachers do this sometimes so you can spread it out as you need to (in case you do end up with midweek events, etc.) But not knowing ahead of time... aw, man, that's awful!

21stCenturyMom said...

ps - I'm a huge fan of 'drill and kill' for mundane things like arithmetic and spelling. It's more about memorization than fun learning and the best way to do it is to just cram it all in your head by dull repetition.

Amy Lane said...

hee hee hee... that's one great kid!!!

Jen said...

A weeks worth in one night? Ouch! At least she can take the rest of the week off.

I hatez homewerk. :)

HDW said...

Man oh man!!! Isn't that ridiculous!!! :) So sounds like something that would happen here......You know one time before a school play (the day of no less) my 6 year old daughter came home from school and said...."we have to wear silver and gold......" OK so we live on an island off the coast of Maine, the last boat leaves at 3:45 and does not return until 10:30 the next morning...hmmmmmm I don't think so alvin!

Anonymous said...

I can completely relate to the ADD. I generally got B's in school without too much effort, but all my report cards say "Claire would be an excellent student if only she would stop daydreaming".