In the beginning, Lewie's homework was exactly how I described it above--simple. However, as the expectations grew, and I was informed my son's reading and math skills were not up to par, homework became challenging. Now, along with the ten-minute dittos, there were books to read, flashcards to drill, and math facts to memorize. Then, of course, the projects came too--make your own boat, make a gingerbread man, create a Leprechaun trap. (If there's one thing I learned from Pinterest, it's that I have not been blessed with a creative gene, and my son takes right after me in this department too.)
The creative projects, it seems, take the most time for us, and my son and I both lose patience when a piece of tape doesn't want to stay in place, too much glue spurts out all at once, or an idea for a trap door seems to work perfectly in our heads but not so well in real life. Convincing my son these projects are fun and useful is another challenge. In today's age of technology, my son would rather learn how to design a boat using Photoshop on a computer than glue a bunch of popsicle sticks in real life.
I'm not complaining. Homework is designed to teach important skills, lessons, and facts. Still, this new "homework chapter" has changed our carefree days of play into days of discipline and structure. This weekend, for example, was reserved for completing our geography fair project and Leprechaun trap. "The weekend went by too fast," my son complained when Monday came around. I agreed.
It's necessary, and yet, I'm not a big fan either. After coming home from an eight hour day of work, I open Lewie's book bag; sift through a sea of papers about upcoming activities, permission forms, fundraisers, and theme days; mark my calendar accordingly before the information eludes me; and then plot out our time to do work. What activities do we have tonight? Is there time for dinner? Can we manage to read a book or two before we go out the door? Oh darn, it's bath night.
The plain reality is that I/we have at least another eleven more years of this routine. I'm hoping my son will become more independent with his school work as he gets older, but for now, we've entered the age of "homework." Boy do I miss those carefree toddler days when we could spend hours just running around acting silly at the playground.
|Lewie's Leprechaun trap.|
|The idea, of course, is that the Leprechaun will be so mesmerized by the gold and the rainbow that he won't recognize that he'll be falling right into a carefully covered-over "pit of doom."|
|Lewie's older cousin showing off her geography fair project.|
|Our final project about Beacon Falls.|