Since completing college I have had limited homework. I would say the majority of my homework since receiving a degree has come from taking additional college courses or extension courses in French and Italian. I will admit I did well with these classes, but note these homework assignments were mine as I signed up for these classes by choice.
Fall 2011 everything changed for me when Malina started kindergarten at the local Catholic school. That summer before we were given a homework assignment to pick a butterfly, other than a Monarch, and do a complete workup on it. I did not complete the assignment during the summer. The first day of school we were given the packet again and when the due date approached I began my homework. How can you even expect a 5 year old to this project – they cannot even read yet! I ended up learning everything there is to know about Hisperia comma, also known as the Silver-spotted Skipper (the common name). To Malina’s credit she did write everything I told her to onto her paper to hand in.
That was the most intense homework assignment that I have had to date. We actually both had fun in kindergarten with “homefun” as they called it. I particularly liked the first half of the year when she had a babysitter / tutor that helped her with her homework four nights a week. I stepped up my responsibilities the second half of the year and oversaw many more assignments.
Fast forward to the first grade and here we are now. Luckily school did not assign me, oh I mean Malina, another mega-homework project in 2012. Thank goodness! What we did get though was real homework, no longer called homefun. It is organized nicely with:
Math assignments given on Wednesday due on Thursday
Early literacy (reading) assignment assignments given on Monday due on Wednesday and
Writing assignments given on Monday due the following Monday
I love that Malina’s school has all assignments online and if it is lost we can print it out; if I remember that it is due. Max has helped some with the homework, but I am the primary homework checker. And yes, not only must I help and check homework I must also sign off that I been involved with Malina’s homework. Through all the assignments I have just made one mistake thus far, a silly math mistake. Okay, I messed up some fill in the blanks too one day, but overall my track record is pretty good.
I have to return to the topic of Max helping with homework. He tries his best but English is his third language and sometimes it shows. He has never had a formal English lesson so now I suppose he is learning quite a bit about the language in addition to learning about American culture in the school system. That makes me the primary teacher in the house for most homework. It’s okay, I now know that I have homework twice a week and am up for the challenge of doing homework for the next 14 years. I only fear the days when I have to learn things again that I have forgotten over the years.
My biggest concern is keeping Malina inspired and excited to do homework. She already does not always want to complete her homework!! With that being said I am glad that she loves to read and truly is a smart child with a great memory (which means she doesn’t have to study so much for spelling tests!)
I have talked with other parents who have told me about their children’s homework assignments too and I hear that the older the child is the more involved parents become finishing the assignments. Now I have one set of assignments to complete (one child) – before I know it will be two sets (two children) of homework assignments and I am ready to take on the world of homework again!