First grade has not been... exactly what I thought it would be. Since the very first day of school Sam has had 45 minutes of home work PLUS 20 minutes of reading. That seems like a lot! I asked him if it was because he wasn't doing anything at school, like if he was goofing around so he had to finish it at home, but he said no, he did a lot of work at school! He has one sheet of math which is super easy for him. The front side of the paper is all writing numbers on a small line. This part is hard for him. He has very sloppy hand writing and doesn't seem to care one bit. So though he knows how to write already, the practicing of it is hard for him. On the second page, half is tracing a pattern the other is finishing a pattern. These are fairly simple but it takes time, especially since I make him erase when he gets sloppy. I keep telling him, "You always have to do your best work even if it takes a long time." What a jerk I must be to him, but I want him to learn self discipline and patients from the very beginning. Passion and perseverance are two of the most important things in life. You must use both in every area of your life, especially any sort of family life. I digress.
The second page is writing. Writing is not his strong suit. Basically he's writing a little story or answering a story problem. Last night this took about 15 minutes. In a kid's life, that's a long time!
Finally he has 25 spelling words. He's supposed to write them 3 times each to practice them. The spelling is not the problem, again it's the writing. No surprise here, this takes him the longest.
After that he had 20 minutes of reading which after homework last night, I decided to read to him instead since that still counts. We're reading The Indian in the Cupboard, one of my favorites from when I was little.
I asked our neighbor, who also has a first grader what kind of homework he is getting. He has a different teacher and she said he has a home packet where it just says what he's supposed to work on. She said it takes him about 15 minutes a day plus his 20 minutes of reading. I don't believe life is fair, but I do think that kids should have the same amount of homework per grade level and that it shouldn't be decided upon by each teacher.
So after the kids get home from school they have a snack immediately. I've found it helps them perk up and be civilized-ish. Then they're allowed to watch one movie. After that we have dinner, bathes and reading time. When they little kids go off to bed we start on homework. I try to make it fun by sitting with him at the table and making popcorn. When he's done with his homework I let him play 30 minutes of computer. At first I was thinking, ahhh I'm not going to bribe him! But I also don't want it to be a reward... more like a calm your brain down. Like on the sims when their fun level is down and you have to raise it back to green... why yes, I did just compare my son to a Sim.
Joe on the other hand has had a great time at school and is saddened that he has no homework so I make stuff up for him. He comes home every afternoon with his hands covered in marker and his backpack full of work.
I am always impressed with this kid. He is better already at writing than Sam is (ooooh don't tell Sam I said that!!) and he is doing a really great job getting his work done. Starting in October I'm going to be in his classroom one full day a week. I'm super excited to be able to see him working and making friends. It's amazing how the boys are so polar opposites. Everything that Sam is, Joe is not and vice versa. Joe is artistic and creative and has no boundaries to his imagination. Sam is contemplative, literal and very structured.
Needless to say, if I don't get myself organized I will be buried under school work and papers. It amazes me how many fliers, calendars and freaking release forms I have to sign. WHAT!? You want him to paint a dead fish? What-ever! I don't want to sign for it. Sheesh!! (AND YES! They paint a dead fish and use it as a stamp onto a t-shirt. Gross!!)
Molly is also loving loving looooooving preschool. I've added a button on my top bar under preschool to take you there, incase you care to follow or you can go to www.thebackperch.com/preschool.