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Impatient Mommy Has Homework to Do

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: My boy started kindergarten a few weeks ago. Turns out it's going to be a learning experience for both of us. 

Mother assisting son is his homework

Unlike his developmental preschool (read: all play and hope they end up learning by instinct), his new school is highly academic. He has 45 minutes of homework a night. Mostly it involves tracing numbers, learning to recognize letters that form the word for a color and then coloring a flower or a bird that color. Pretty basic. To watch him struggle through it, you would think he was deciphering Morse code. The first few days were painful. For me. I wanted to grab the pencil out of his small hand.

Come on, let's move this along ! How hard can it be to stack a couple of o's on each other and call it an eight for god's sake?! I don't know where I was rushing to. Even after all these years of living, my impatience is always at the ready to undermine the value of an experience.

Fortunately, I haven't ripped any writing implements out of my son's hands yet. I have even come to appreciate our work time together.  I make him laugh when he writes outside the lines and cheer him on when he says he couldn't possibly write his name in lower case letters like they are asking him to do AGAIN. I am actually enjoying this time now. Beats watching "Star Wars" for the 900th time.

Dani Klein ModisettDani Klein Modisett is the mother of 1-year-old Gideon (pictured) and 5-year-old Gabriel. She is comedy writer/creator/producer of the show "Afterbirth...stories you won't read in Parents magazine." An anthology of stories from this show will be published by St. Martin's Press, in stores in May 2009.


next: My One-Year-Old is NOT 'Sexy'
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous September 29, 2008, 11:53 AM

Why do kids in kindergarten have homework? And 45 minutes of it! LUDICROUS!

Charles September 29, 2008, 1:08 PM

Studies have proven that homework has no benefit until high school, and even then it is minuscule. Sounds to me like the teachers don’t want to teach, so send their kids home to have the parents do the work.

Jami October 21, 2008, 4:15 PM

I know what you mean about impatience. I am doing preschool with my oldest child. I do get very impatient at times but I am also learning how much fun it is to see how happy she is when she does something right without help. It is worth every minute.
I don’t like that they are giving homework in kindergarten, but you have been given a great chance to be part of your child’s learning experience. I am glad that you are learning to enjoy this time with him. Good luck with the patience thing. I know some days are harder than others, but soon these days will be gone.

Uly December 3, 2008, 7:14 PM

Both the national PTA and the NEA say that a child should have no more than 10 to 15 minutes of homework per grade, per night.

45 minutes is too much for any child younger than the third grade, and can be detrimental to their education.

Does his teacher know his homework takes that long?

Wendy January 7, 2009, 12:59 PM

I’m actually looking forward to the time when my 13-month-old hits second or third grade and has homework. For ME. I could use the mental stimulation. I can’t remember anything about dinosaurs or the atmosphere or the Pilgrims. Or much of anything I used to know. Maybe I’ll accompany him to college.

#hartson23[IPIIGIIPIIII] June 1, 2011, 11:27 PM

Hi - I am certainly delighted to discover this. cool job!


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