"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homework: The Darkness Dispels


Anyone seeing a theme here? Something entitled "Homework Sucks at My House?" I'll tell you right now, my list of complaints about Laundy is waaaaay longer. We'll discuss laundry another time.

September began a new year with a new teacher. I reviewed my options, and selected "proactive" over "let's see what happens." I spoke with Princess's teacher, reviewed Homework Sucks at My House in gory detail, and we developed a plan called Anyone Who Doesn't Turn in Their Homework Thursday Has to Finish it During Recess on Friday. I love this plan, because the main part is Mommy Doesn't Have to Fight About It.

So far, so good. Of course, so far, review work. This week was Rules and Arrows. Now, let me say, I have the utmost sympathy for Princess, because when Buddy came home with this last year, I did not get it. Yep. I am freely admitting that I did not get second grade homework. That was when I started keeping the notes they send home to the parents explaining how to do the math problems. Yep. For instance, this week's note would inform a parent that for this series of numbers: 2 4 6 8, +2 is the rule. So Princess had some trouble, but kept it up until the "challenge" question that involved filling in blanks and figuring out the rule. Blank, 20, 30, blank, 50, blank. Princess decided the rule was +20 and went from there. She worked on it remarkably long without attitude. I sat by her the whole time reading pretending to read a book, and saying only, "check that one," and "show me how you figured out 30+20=20." She started to disintegrate, spouting, "but I did that"s and "I need help." Both secret code for, "where is someone I can trick into doing this for me while making them thinking they're teaching me?" I said satisfying things like, "of course you do! That's why I'm right here," "huh, that didn't work, did it?" and, "I wonder what the problem is."  I found it interesting that she figured out if she counted by tens it came out right, but didn't apply that knowledge far enough to figure out she needed to change her rule. I geared up for the explosion, rehearsing in my head how I'd handle it.

It never came.

Taking a risk, I said, "Hmm. It seems to be working when you count by tens. I wonder what you could change to make that work."

She changed the +20 to +10.

I stared at her. "Princess! Do you know what you just did?"
"You finished it! Correctly! Without a fit!"
She stared at me.

Princess about jumped out of her skin.
Then a h-uge smile spread across her face in slow motion.

Go play.


  1. Woo hoooo!!! Way to go MOM!

    Mary in TX

  2. Even small breakthroughs are worth celebrating. Woohoo! Hooray for Mom and hooray for Princess!