Five Lessons I’ve Learned From Helping My Boys With Homework

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2014-09-17My boys just started first grade, and at their school, first grade means homework. I’ve been dreading this day since they started at their school three years ago. I even considered putting them back in one class, just to make things easier, because I’d heard from other moms of multiples that the classes often had different assignments. I was dreading having to figure out three sets of homework nightly in a language I don’t even understand (they go to a French school).

We kept them separate them in the end, and in the month since they’ve started first grade, this is what I’ve learned from supervising their homework.

1. My handwriting sucks. The boys are learning how to write properly in both print and cursive, and they have let me know in no uncertain terms that my handwriting is incorrect. I write in an illegible mixture of uppercase, lowercase, and script that appalls my children.

2. Cheap pencils are a false economy. I remember being so happy when they’d get cute pencils in goody bags at birthday parties. I was going to save a fortune on school supplies! But no. Character pencils are crappy pencils. Best to splurge on good old fashioned yellow number 2s, preferably Ticonderogas. Did I ever think I’d know the ins and outs of pencil brands? No I did not.

3. I still don’t know what Common Core is, but I know I should probably have an opinion on it.

4. Spelling tests aren’t as fun as I remember. I won third place in the East Baton Rouge Parish spelling bee in third grade (pause for applause), and my nerdy younger self lived for those weekly spelling quizzes. The boys don’t share my passion, so helping them study is…not as much fun as I remember.

5. You’re not actually supposed to do their homework for them. Yeah, I know, seems obvious, but it’s so hard just to sit there and keep your mouth shut when they make a mistake. This has probably been the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn so far.

Who knew that homework was as much as a learning experience for me as it is for the boys? Now, I’m off to read up on Common Core.

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My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)

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