Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Is Why I Do Homework

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Every Monday, Little Miss's kindergarten teacher sends home a packet of homework. It's generally six or so pages of things for them to practice - from grouping numbers to figuring out the first letter in a word and the like. I sort of like it, as it allows us to do the homework throughout the week when we have time and Little Miss is in the right mindset to work.

Granted, it's in Spanish, so it takes Little Miss a bit longer than I'd expect to complete it, but it's not rocket science yet. And thankfully, the teacher provides the vocabulary words so that I know that "ojo" starts with and "o" and not an "e" like it does in English (that would be an eye, by the way - I'm learning a bit of Spanish, too!

This week, the homework didn't come home until Tuesday. With Mister Man's OT session on Mondays, Little Miss and I usually knock out the majority of it while he's there. And Tuesday and Wednesday this week, we were occupied doing other things. Thursday my husband kept Little Miss at home while I took Mister Man to tae kwon do. I requested that he be sure Little Miss does her homework, including the vocabulary words (colors and all sorts of things related to apples and trees).

When I arrived home an hour and a half later, I was informed that everything was done. My husband was sitting on the floor in the homework room, essentially napping, and Little Miss was paging through books. I nodded, thanked him, and proceeded to make dinner (yes - I was gone for an hour and a half while my husband was at home after school and I still made dinner).

I noticed yesterday morning that Little Miss's homework was still sitting on her desk, and that it was open to the last page. I took a quick look at it to see what she was doing this week... and I sighed.

On this page, she is supposed to write the first letter of each word in both capital and lowercase. They are focusing on correct formation, meaning they need to start and end at the proper places on the lines, for instance. Interstingly, only one word had both the capital and lower case letter. And few were written properly (she's fully capable of writing them properly, so this is not asking too much).

I decided that maybe I should flip through the rest of the packet. That's when I noticed this page.

It's simple enough - simply write in the missing numbers - and Little Miss loves to count, so knowing her numbers is an easy thing for her. Note that she simply forgot to complete one of the numbers. It wasn't because she didn't know how; she simply didn't see it.

Now, I'm not a parent who believes in doing homework for my wee ones, but I absolutely believe in looking over what they've done and pointing out where they need to fix things. Doing something for the sake of doing it rather than to reinforce what you've learned just doesn't seem to make sense to me - yet.

I'm somewhat entertained that my husband - who is a teacher - simply points her at the homework, tells her the directions, and then assumes she's done when she says she is without veryifying anything. Once the wee ones are older and should have proper study habits developed, I'll likely go much closer to this route.

But for now, with Little Miss and Mister Man in early elementary? I'll be making sure they do their homework - and do it right.


Pat September 25, 2010 at 11:07 AM  

LOL..dads! I think women are more detail-oriented than men. I'm glad you caught those things. The K classes I help in also send the HW packet home on Mondays (or Tues if M's a holiday). Most moms are very conscientious about making sure their children get their homework done regularly, but then there are others...*sigh*... who don't seem to care, or whose lives are so chaotic that they are overwhelmed and don't pay any attention to what comes home in their child's backpack. Those are the kids who never do homework in jr. high or high school, as I've seen from my own experiences as a h.s. teacher.

WeaselMomma September 26, 2010 at 5:17 AM  

I have enough trouble trying to help my kids with homework in English. The Spanish thing would kill me.

Michelle September 28, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

Pat - I was talking about the homework packets with a friend of mine the other day. Apparently last year, too many parents couldn't get the packet done in a week, so they moved it to a monthly packet (four weeks together). Because giving people longer will help.... (It didn't.)

WeaselMomma - Oh, it's killing me. On the plus side, she's going to develop great study skills because she's going to have to do it on her own REAL soon :)

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