Well, besides growing up and having to do all of my own homework, I have had two years of practice doing homework with Emma to prepare for this year. A well oiled machine? HA! First off, this is the first time I have felt like my children regressed during the summer on their knowledge and own personal skill levels. So, it's really important that they practice to improve by completing their homework.
Can you say "nightmare"? Emma argues about which books to read and always tries to pick the ones with two words on each page. It's great that she's willing to read and that there are things that she feels confident in doing but I'm trying to explain that in order to be a better reader she needs to try books with more vocabulary... Then we have a new teacher with new methods and new ways of completing homework and Emma argues with me that I'm telling her the wrong way to do it. She wants to do it how she had to last year. She tries the,"Mom, I'm getting Izzy her blanket for her. Can you write the rest of my title for me?" And then she's furious when I tell her I can't do her homework for her. Furious is what Emma seems to be a lot lately. She's indignant about many, many things. Maybe I need to obsurve how I'm responding to her...
Then there's Aiden. Homework is new to him. He's only had it twice now and it is not every day. He was actually very excited to receive his first piece of homework and talked about how he couldn't watch any t.v. or anything when we got home because he had a LOT of homework that he needed to do first. Once he got inside, however, he changed his mind. I finally got him to come start his work and he wouldn't follow a single set of directions I gave him. He tried to do the exact opposite of anything I asked and then when he was convinced he needed to color the picture part first I didn't have the patience to sit there and watch him color... very slowly... But, if I leave the table, he quits! He got me so irritated I ditched the homework. It was a Friday so there was plenty of time. Needless to say, it was too painful to get him to finish it and he was forced to tell his teacher he didn't complete it. When the next homework came home it went like this:
I ask him to bring his homework to the table which takes him ten minutes with multiple requests and multiple t.v. turn offs and steering away from the computer. Then a request for colored pencils which he swears they have to use. He can't find them. I have to get them. We sit. "Okay write your name here." "I can't remember how." "Copy this ." He falls off his chair. He doesn't write his name yet. "Trace this letter." His pencil drops. "Trace this." He flips the paper over and around and upside down. "Start right here. Trace these." "Izzy, what are you drawing?" "Aiden, focus on your homework!" Traces one. Traces another one and tries to switch pencils. "First trace all of them with one color. Then switch." Traces all 3 letters then gets a new color. Starts to color the picture very, very particularly and slowly, changing pencils very often. I stay watching however pained I feel. He can't finish coloring 'cause his hand is tired. We move on. He has to draw his own picture. Then he colors that with at least five interruptions. He moves to the last page and finishes after a total of 45 minutes at the table. Completed: 7 traced letters, 3 of his own letters, and two pictures mostly colored...
When it was time to read together he was being ugly about it and I told him he would have to lay on his bed while we read if he kept it up. Where was he when I was yelling over and over for him while the others and I are waiting on the couch with our books? He's on his bed! "You said I could lay on my bed if I didn't want to read!"
Screw it, man!