Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Outted in the Produce Section

I was doing some last minute grocery shopping when a long time blog reader (and my personal spelling assistant) accosted me regarding my slacker writing habits. She actually knew the date of my last post, I didn't. Really, I go to bed early these days.

So, I promised I would post all my complaints about homework. As a kindergartner, La Nina has homework everyday. We typically stagger it so it isn't overwhelming: one session for the 3-4 work sheets, one session for her book report and then we read a poem everyday about five times to help her memorize it. And for us, this is all in Spanish. (I know, Spanish is my choice and I try not to complain about that aspect, but trust me, it's a complication.)

My gripe is simple, if she has homework, she should be able to complete it without my intervention. However, it's a given I'm going to help her with the poem and book report since she can't read. The worksheets she can do independently 80% of the time. I explain the work to be done and she does it, but she's five and sometimes she forgets.

I planned to bring this topic up to the teacher during our parent teacher conference, because I fear this dependence is a set up for future habits. A "Gee Mom, you helped me last year, aren't you going to help me this year?" type thing. As I was sitting at the meeting ready to voice my opinion, I looked at La Nina's report card and "Returns completed homework" was a graded item! That meant this homework thing is a district wide policy. So, I kept my mouth closed during the conference and decided I'd pick on a member of the school board I know.

So, there I am complaining in the produce section about homework, when who walks up? My daughter's teacher...well, actually, the co-teacher in her classroom, but still, the woman knows me and I'm griping about the exact same homework she assigns her class. (When will I learn I live in a small town?) She confirmed homework is a district policy with teachers required to assign a certain amount of homework by grade. Then she proceeded to say it's going to get worse: her third grader has ninety minutes of homework a night and it requires a great deal of parental involvement.

But seeing that homework grade on La Nina's report card validated something I've felt since homework came home the first time. The school district is actually grading me. Think about it, if a child never knows if she has homework, she doesn't remember when it's due AND she can't complete two thirds of it without intervention, then they're grading the parent, not the child. They're measuring how organized I am and how well I manage my daughter's time. So far, I'm doing okay, I'm meeting their expectations. Too bad in the area of "assigns age appropriate amounts work", the district is not meeting my expectation.


  • At 3:09 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Whoa, I'm scared for when Bobby starts kindergarten, even though we won't have the whole Spanish aspect! And love how you got busted by the co-teacher.


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