Yin Mom, Yang Mom

So…. Homework

I never had homework when I was 5.  I really wanted it.  I craved it!  I had an older sister who had it, so it must be cool, right!?

Once I got it, I learned pretty quick that it actually sucks, but that’s a story for another day.

Today’s story is about my daughter.  She gets homework.  She goes to kindergarten, full day.  Kindergarten today, is not the kindergarten of my youth.  It’s no joke.  There will be reading!  There will be writing!  There will be 1 short recess, and not enough time to eat all of your lunch!!!

The first homework assignment was exciting for us both!  She got that s*** done!  We felt proud.

The second, not so much.

It came on Monday, and was due Thursday.

It went like this:

Monday:
ME: Hey Brooke, do you feel like doing homework? (I came on weak, I didn’t feel like dealing with it.)

Brooke: Ummm, no.

Me: (I don’t say anything, I’m tired.)

Wednesday:
ME: Brooke!  YOU HAVE TO DO THIS HOMEWORK TODAY.

BROOKE: WHY???  I did homework ALL DAY at school!!!

ME: It’s due tomorrow. DO IT.

BROOKE: No.

ME: You’re going to regret this when it’s almost time for school, and you’re scrambling to get it done, and your teacher won’t be happy with you.

BROOKE: (Ignored me)

Thursday, 7:30 AM:
ME: DO IT.

BROOKE: NO!

ME: DO IT.

BROOKE: NO!

ME: I’m going upstairs to do my hair.  Do it now.

10 minutes later, Brooke comes in to my room, crying.
BROOKE:
SOMETHING HAPPENED TO MY HOMEWORK!  WAHHHHH!

I could see how badly her heart was broken.  She’d let herself down.  I softened my approach, we go downstairs.  Apparently, she was so mad about homework, that she scribbled all over it with orange colored pencil.  Then, she tried to “re-rase” it with a damp rag, resulting in a huge hole in the middle of the homework paper.

You know, that kind of made me proud of her.  Like, “hey teacher, f*** you… and your homework, I’m FIVE!!”.  But of course, I can’t let her be that girl…yet.

So we fixed it up as best we could, and everything turned out OK.

And then the next week, we approached homework with a much more positive attitude, and finished it right away, instead of procrastinating.

Dear God: if I can teach my child not to procrastinate, I will feel like my life had true purpose.

I’ll let you know how that works out.

So, being as though I know we all love a numbered list: Presenting, my
5 Tips For Surviving Homework

(If you have a kindergartner, because lord knows,

I have no idea how to raise anyone over the age of 6.)

1. Be fun and playful!  Make it seem like, “OMG, this is going to be awesome!  Do you want to hear what we have to do right now?  You do!??  Look, let’s color this cute little bear on your worksheet, and then there’s a GAME, where you color these apples green or red, based on whether there’s a letter or number inside.  THEN, you can do this SUPER EASY part, where you right the letter E over and over again, as FAST as you can!  You can have a SNACK while you have all this fun!  READY, SET, GO!!!!!”

2. When it’s done, make a huge deal out of it.  Make them feel like their work is so good, their coloring looks AMAZING!!!  I am proud!  And you should be proud, are you PROUD???!!!

3.  Tell another person in the room about the amazing job they did. Reinforcement!

4. Let them do something fun like watch a movie or go for a bike ride when they’re finished. Reward (duh).

5. Ask them for help with something a little while later.  Let them feel that you trust them even more now, because you recognize how smart and capable they are.  It will reinforce that pride, and god-willing, feed their hunger to cooperate and do their best next time it’s a homework day.

Good luck, parents.

xoxo, Mere

8 comments for “So…. Homework

  1. October 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Wow! Lots of anticipation and planning, Mere! Never my forte. I had one who never did homework (insert apple doesn’t fall far from the tree reference here) and two that never had to be reminded. I think this was all predetermined at conception and totally out of my sphere of influence. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

    • Mere
      October 9, 2012 at 2:53 am

      Yes, I tend to write gospel truths for myself that are impossible to live up to, lol! I’ll keep your wise words in mind as I go. I’m pretty sure my son will not be so easy once school starts for him…

  2. Allie
    October 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    mere: this is a great post! i love it! your tips are so awesome! and i love your little chalkboard graphic. you really did a great job of rolling a personal experience and some helpful instruction together, along with a bit of humor!

    • Mere
      October 9, 2012 at 2:52 am

      hehe, thanks!!! Numbered lists seem to be a popular thing on Pinterest, fingers crossed, lol.

  3. holly
    October 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    This is going on in our house too! It has been a huge adjustment for Reid after going to a very play-based hippie half-day preschool. The real world is rough! My friend makes sure they do it on Sundays so it isn’t a pain after school when they’re tired, but I am way too much of a procrastinator for that. Good in theory but will never happen. For us, it seems to work better if we do it in little chunks here & there. He can focus for a bit, and even has a little fun with it (a little), but if he has to sit down and do it all at once, all bets are off.

    • Mere
      October 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      I have a few friends dealing with the hippie school withdrawal this year :) The real world is no joke! I wish the teacher would give us homework assignments on Fridays, but we get them Monday. :/ I probably would end up procrastinating anyway, I like to do nothing on Sundays, and I work on Saturdays. Anyway, thanks for sharing, doing it in little chunks sounds like a good plan!

  4. October 24, 2012 at 3:27 am

    I love how you write! Cuss words and all! I was crying laughing! I’m following your blog for sure! Simply because you cuss! Ha! Too funny!

    • Mere
      October 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      LOL, thank you very fucking much! 😉