Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Her homework, my homework, we all have....


Rachel has mucho English homework.  She said the questions were boring her to tears.  But, wait!  "You are reading "to Kill a Mockingbird."  How can that be boring?" I ask.

So I grabbed my copy of the book and we started on the questions together.  We find that when I read passages out loud and discuss the questions and their meaning, she has a better understanding. I find myself leading her in the right direction because these questions are pretty probing. She's having to learn to probe into literature and think in a clear, concise fashion. This isn't easy. What probably makes it more difficult? The generation reading this book in 9th grade today is farther removed from the truths expressed within and which hit hard the generation of which it was published.

I have to work hard at not doing the homework - just discussing the questions and helping formulate ideas and then telling her "I can't write the sentence for you, talk it out and then write it down."  We don't do this for all homework - just the occasional assignments.  But this is one I really like so I find it fun to explore together.

I'm a huge proponent of "it's your homework, you do it.  If you are having trouble with things, the teacher needs to be aware of it." 

This view is especially important with Math homework in our house.  Yes, you have two parents who are CPA's but please don't come to me with any more math work - it will take me an hour to relearn what I've forgotten over the past 30 years and oh, wow, they sure teach it differently now.  "I used to do it this way."  Which is no help to your child who is already frustrated with the assignment.

But the English questions?  I told her last night we should have done more analyzing of the books we read as a family at night.  On reflection, we did do quite a bit as I always stopped to make sure they understood concepts, vocabulary, moral dilemmas, etc.... We just weren't up to the level of digging required for her "Mockingbird" reading in elementary school. 

So I'm prepared to enjoy this particular homework journey with her.  I do like reading.  Just a little.  Which I once spoke of;postID=4223352394207311657;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=191;src=postname">here Please ignore my lack of skillz with html commands and links - Blogger and I have been at war with one another for a while.

1 comment:

Judy said...

I sure don't miss homework! I remember we helped our son with math when he was in 4th grade so much that the teacher didn't know he was struggling because his homework sheets looked okay. I also remember helping my daughter study for a history test that I very much enjoyed and learned a lot from! She was learning about the Vietnam war -- I remembered it happening, but wasn't quite old enough to understand it all.