Monday, November 19, 2012

Boy, Do I Need A Vacation

I am so, so, so very glad that Thanksgiving break is almost here.  I am exhausted by school.

.... which is confusing, I know, since I last attended an academic class in May of 1993.

No, I'm exhausted from my children's school .... and it's endless amount of spelling words, math facts, tests, quizzes and projects.  When I pictured my children's school careers, my fantasies never included such large quantities of parental participation.

Each day, after I've helped the kids with their daily homework assignments, we move on to the supplemental work.  For Georgia, that means practicing her multiplication facts:

Quick!  What's 7x9?

Are you sure?

What's 7x7?

Georgia and I have a system where we start at the zeros and work our way up to the twelves.  When Georgia misses one from the group, we do that group over until she gets them all right.  We are still working on accuracy, but some day - good Lord willing - we'll move on to speed.

Georgia and I use my box of home-made, multiplication flashcards.  

We are required to practice multiplication facts, because last year, we did not and said multiplication facts were not really learned.

Oh dear.

Lesson learned.

I present to you, Exhibit B:

After I finish up with Georgia, I move on to Josie.  I am determined to help Josie achieve her addition/subtraction fact goals.  I do not wish to repeat my mistakes.

Josie, it turns out, is not as determined as I am.

I never had these issues with Henry.  He has academic challenges to be sure, but math facts are not one of them.  Henry has an amazing memory for spelling, vocabulary words and math facts.  

But don't worry!  Henry is still getting his share of my personal tutoring services.  After Josie and I finish up with her flashcards, I move on to Henry and today, for example, I spent over an hour quizzing Henry on Demography, Systems of Government and Economies and the GNP etc.  

See those hand-written notes on the left?  Those eight pages are the ones I took on Sunday, while Henry read aloud from the two chapters in his geography book.  Henry reads and I write down the parts he thinks are important.  I do the writing since penmanship is Henry's worst subject (and yes, we used to do additional daily handwriting work, too, until I realized that it was going no where).  See how much academic work is involved in parenting?

Henry refused to be photographed for this blog.

He says his studying is no one's business.

I know that I don't HAVE to do any of this and I know that some of you are thinking that it would be better if I did nothing at all - that my children would be forced to learn by learning on their own, but I completely disagree.  Very few children know how to study and our public schools do not have the time to teach them study skills.  Some children might naturally be motivated to do all these things on their own - and they might succeed - but my children need a little extra prompting.  And sometimes, they need someone to quiz them on the material to make sure that they actually have learned what they are supposed to.  Teachers don't always have time to personally explain every concept to each child.  It's up to the parents to pick up the slack.  I want my children to have academic success and if that means putting in a little (a lot) of extra time, I'll do it.

This isn't a new problem either.  My mother quizzed me on my spelling words in elementary school, helped me study and proofread all my essays in middle school and helped me type almost every paper I wrote in high school.  

I'm not complaining, really, I'm just ready for a break.  

This year for Thanksgiving, I am thankful for four days off from seventh, fourth and second grades.


Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

You are a good mom!!!

Martha said...

Thank you. And I'm a straight-A student in 7th, 4th & 2nd grade!

P.S. - so are you!

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