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.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Second Grade Again

When La Nina entered 2nd grade, we heard rumors: "Be prepared, 2nd grade is tough." "Whoa, that was our hardest year in the program", "We barely survived 2nd grade." So, I felt some trepidation about this year.

The reason for these warnings: HOMEWORK. One month into the year, I feel the pain. Each week La Nina has 15 spelling words to memorize, 2-3 verbs to conjugate, 20 minutes of reading a night, plus a page or two of math every night. Here's the kicker: on top of all of this, this week she has a 2 minute presentation all in Spanish, complete with artifacts to support her presentation (aka props).

Her topic: A favorite hobby, sport or activity. Okay, from my point of view, talking two minutes on dance, this should be easy. Her perspective: talking in front of the class, completely embarrassing.

Well, she started writing the speech on Friday night and got about a minute of material. Saturday, she got the other minute and tonight she made her "props". (Pictures of herself at dance, mounted on construction paper.) Now, she's spent probably 4-5 hours working on this, and it isn't even her homework. And the amount of parental intervention required is brutal. We had to help her pick a topic-- her original idea was tennis: a sport she's never played or seen. We had to help her write the speech. "But what do I say?" to which we answered with lots of leading questions. Then, we had to talk about what a prop could be and help her narrow her options. While all of this occurred, we completed no homework. It's over the top.

Now, we're starting the week, with zero homework completed and a presentation nearly in the bag. I now see why all those parents were warning me. It's going to be a long couple of years. (The Magster does this next year.)


  • At 6:18 AM , Blogger Marci said...

    In my experience, homework is often more painful for the parent than the child. Brendan gets almost no homework over here, and I have to say I'm overjoyed. I also heard that middle school homework was rough. Here, they take the allocation of homework very seriously. C.J. is told to stop doing math after 10 minutes! The night he had a report due the next day, none of his other teachers assigned homework. That type of coordination just wouldn't happen at Hart.

    I almost kissed the teacher at Parent Information Night when she said that all spelling would be done in class. I have hated spelling since C.J. had to write sentences every week back in 1st grade -- talk about the worst form of torture for me -- no proposed sentence was ever good enough. 20 sentences could take 2 hours.

  • At 6:39 AM , Blogger One Lucky Mom said...

    I'm so jealous of no homework or only 10 minutes a night I could spit. This year La NIna has at least 45 minutes a night and the Magster has about 30 minutes if you include the reading. Our evenings are spent with each parent helping a child do their homework.

    I wouldn't have minded the speech assignment if she could have done it on her own. Don't get me wrong: The speech is hers: she wrote it, she picked the pictures she's going to show, she even typed it out on my lap top so she could read it more easily. And it's funny. We talk about the topic in English, she writes it in Spanish. So, really the content is all her, we can't help.

    But if we would have been unable or unwilling to help, so couldn't have put this together. And in my opinion, an assignment is inappropriate for the child's age if it requires this much coaching from the parent.


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