14 March 2011

More Griping About Homework & Schoolwork

On a regular basis, I get all bent out of shape about the second grader's homework. Herewith, three examples:

MATH

@Magpiemusing
When Mommy has to dump all of the change out of her wallet in order to play the math games homework, Mommy will be grumpy.


The instructions were to roll a pair of dice and then to take that many cents out of the kitty. We were to take turns, until one of us got to 50¢, swapping out coins to end up with the fewest number of coins possible. Honestly? Not a stupid game, and I was happy to see that her change-making and adding skills were pretty good. BUT. First I had to find a mess of change, and then I had to raid the Monopoly game box because who has dice sitting on the kitchen table, and then I realized that in more than a dollar's worth of change, there was not one single quarter. Without the proper tools, it's hard to support the kid's homework, but if you don't know what tools are going to be required, it's hard to have them on hand.

SPELLING

She has a spelling test every week. That's great. Last week's test came home marked "Perfect"! That's awesome. Unfortunately, the girl wrote down PRIASE when it should have been PRAISE, and the teacher failed to notice. So out of my mouth is coming praise at her for doing such a good job, until I realize that the teacher screwed up. So what do you do? Undermine the teacher, or keep your mouth shut? Oy.

GRAMMAR

In class, they do quick little grammar tests - drills for things like capital letters and nouns and punctuation and contractions and verb tense. The tests come from a published workbook - this isn't something that the teacher whips up in her prep time. Because I'm a diligent mom and a cranky nitpicker, I always read through the questions (and answers), and recently found one of the worksheets that really annoyed me - three of its ten questions had no right answer. I think that second grade grammar worksheets ought to be black & white and not subject to interpretation - which means that the answer should be present tense or past tense, not both! Save interpretation for a discussion of Mrs. Cantrip's motives in The Kingdom of Carbonel.

11 comments:

Kelly said...

That worksheet would annoy me as well! I completely agree. The answer should be either right or wrong, and not subject to tense interpretation. Either answer seemed fine there.

the sandwich life said...

The other night I spent forever cutting out pieces of paper to make numbers for multiplication bingo. I just have no patience for that stuff...hats off to the mothers that do but geesh....

FreshHell said...

I actually went to a drug store recently to buy a set of play money (warning: way too many bills, not enough coins) so that Red could practice her money skills. She was thrilled to see the money and scarpered off with the bills and put them in the play cash register (single best toy I ever bought). The coins have been used but I'd be hard pressed to know exactly where they are at the moment. Yeah, I hate homework that makes assumptions like that. I rarely have anything but the jar of pennies we collect on hand.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Totally annoying. Did you mention it to the teacher? I'd love to hear the response.

Heide said...

Last week Zeke brought home his spelling test and I said "Good job ... OH... she missed one!" He had left the final "e" off "coffee." Zeke: "How did she not notice?!?" Well, I explained, she has to grade a lot of papers, so she has to go through quickly. (I'm actually fairly astounded when I think about the amount of pages of homework Zeke's teacher has to grade each week, for each of 25 kids.)

Life in Eden said...

What drives me crazy is the variation in the difficulty. The other week he was to "find shapes in his home" -- uh, didn't we do that in PRE-SCHOOL?! Then there are others that seem down right ridiculous in time and challenge. Others are just a pain in my a**. I'm dreading 3rd grade!

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

We have a perpetually-full coin jar and also a couple little bowls of foreign coins. The only use I have for coins is homework -- no tolls, no subways, nada. I'll send you some of mine!

Bee said...

Your dilemma about Praise reminded me of a letter that a friend recently forwarded to me. Her son's teacher had managed THREE misspellings in one short note. Yeesh; the blind leading the blind.

leanne said...

I'm reminded of a homework problem my son had one time last year. A problem that couldn't be solved because of an incorrect setup. He was nearly in tears until I noted that he was right -- he would not be able to come up with a correct answer.

Last week when we were walking home he mentioned that he had homework and needed to measure things at home. I immediately thought of you measuring things just steps ahead of your daughter and cringed inside. Fortunately, my son only needed to measure distances with his feet.

Homework. Ugh. Somehow, my son still likes homework. But he's only in first grade.

Kyla said...

Blurg. Homework.

MDTaz said...

Who knew, when we thought it was a good idea to have these creatures, how much extra work they'd be? I thought about diapers and sleepless nights, chasing after them while the toddle for two years, enduring their rotten teenager years. But I never considered the burden of their homework (especially in the 2nd grade!) Bah.