Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Worse than the GLITTER!

I picked up Landon from school yesterday only to find out that his homework load is now a daily load, a smaller daily load, but daily, as in given on Monday due on Tuesday, given on Tuesday due on Wednesday...etc. etc.

I'm pissed. See, I pick up Landon at 6:15 - And yes, I could pick him up earlier, but he gets mad if there are more the 3 or 4 other kids left when I pick him up - he wants to stay as long as possible. Which, I think, is a sign that he likes the place, which is what I want. We get home about 6:30. I can hopefully get dinner on the table by 6:45. He take for-freaking-ever to eat, and at 7:30 I can finally persuade him to either shower or take a bath. That generally lasts until 8:30 or so, and then we settle in and snuggle and bond and try to get him to settle down enough that he'll be able to sleep.

Oh, and let me explain homework with Landon so you can see why I'd prefer to do it in one big chunk instead of spread out over 4 days. First, I get the paper out of the folder and grab whatever writing utensils we are going to use (I generally go for the markers, because YAY! COLORS!) I sit him down at the breakfast table and show him the homework. I tell him the instructions on the first page. He sits there and thinks for a few minutes and then does the letter tracing with his finger instead of the marker. And if there are multiple pages, we must look at all of them before starting anything. And then he chooses the color he wants to use, provided they didn't give certain color instructions. And then he decides that it's prolly not the best color and chooses another. And possibly a third one. Then he talks about how he holds the marker and who told him to hold it like that. And after a good 7-10 minutes of stalling and coloring waffling, he finally makes his first mark on the page. When tracing letters, he expects some form of applause after each letter. If you don't do it, he will. If he has multiple sheets the second through fourth ones go much faster, because he's already in the mood to make actual marks on actual paper and the assignments take roughly 2 minutes each. So a 4 page assignment takes us 10 minutes + 2 minutes per page about 18 minutes. But over the span of 4 nights, we would have to do the 10 minute warm-up each night giving us 48 minutes. I like my extra 30 minutes. I WANT my extra 30 minutes.

Last night I managed to squeeze the homework in prior to dinner, but that's just because I had dinner ready to go and was just waiting for Clinton to get home to put it on the table. On nights when dinner take a little more prep, I won't have that luxury.

As I read the sheet that tells me what the week is about, I also found that they want him to dress in certain colors on certain days, when I can't even get him to agree on a shirt I pick out for him. And also to bring something pink or that starts with the letter L for show and tell DAILY. I'm picking my battles, I can ignore the dressing in certain colors business and the daily show and tell - especially since it appears that not everyone in his class was participating in that before. So I'm starting with the daily homework crap.

This morning I approached the curriculum director and asked why we were giving three year olds daily homework. And her response was looking at me like I had 2 heads and saying "you don't approve?" And I explained that no, I do not approve. For one thing he's three. And for another, I barely have time to feed him and bathe him before he has to go to bed each night, and God forbid we have something else that has to be done that evening.

Her response was that I could speak to his teacher and ask her to put all his homework for the week in the folder on Monday and we could just do it when we could, and not to stress out about it. That they were just trying to prepare him for public school. To which I said "Yes, but he's three."

So I got about half way to work and I thought I needed to conduct a survey. So I called my friend Myra. She teaches first grade now, but has taught kindergarten, first, and second grade in public schools and taught in at least 2 different area school districts (and other grades too, but those are the ones of interest to me.) And I asked her if she gave her kindergartners homework. She said she did, and I asked how she implemented it. She said she sent it home on Monday and wanted it back on Friday. And there were usually like 4 or 5 assignments that would take 5 minutes a piece. She said she did it similarly in kindergarten, first, and second grades. And I got to work, and my neighbor has a little girl in Pre-K in public school and their homework situation is similar.

I waffled back and forth on how to handle it, but I did end up calling the school, asking to have the teacher call me when she got a chance and then typing out this post to get my anger out so I could be nice to the woman who teaches my kid most of the day. And then I just have to wait for his teacher to get a moment to call me.

And you know what sucks? There's nothing worse than getting all uppity and on my high horse and then having the situation resolve itself before I can even hit publish and tell everyone how mad I am! I mean, dude, it's a pretty high horse - it requires ladders and pulleys and stuff. I was finishing that last paragraph when the teacher called me back. I was totally prepared to fight about this with everyone there. She totally understood that our time is crunched, so Landon will now get a week's worth of assignments on Monday. And I think we're all happy all the way around. I just can't believe that we are the only ones with that kind of time crunch in the evenings. Especially since we're pretty lax on the bedtime thing, I mean, he doesn't have a set bedtime, I can't even imagine if I had some 8:30 or 9:00 deadline to put him to bed in addition to all the other stuff we do. So now I'm kind of concerned about the children whose parents haven't called to complain. Because I need something to worry about.


kbreints said...

LMAO! Nothin like resolving the problem before you publish the blog post!

Glad it worked out-- though my kids do NOT have homework yet... and I will not be puching for it anytime soon!

bernthis said...

I'm sorry but that is ridiculous. I thought homework every day in Kindergarten was a bit much.

doobylove said...

Dude, I would be mad too. Good to know what I have to look forward to... You know what I did after school when I was in kindergarten? Ate, played, and picked my nose.

Carol said...

homework at 3 is ridiculous...my guess, some that don't complain just do it for the kid which is setting a BAD precedent.

glad it all worked out, and hoorah for having friends to go to with experience in the area...

Mama said...

Ok. I would wager that at least 30% of the parents in the class just ignore the homework. Unless there is some kind of review/reward for the homework in class that my kid would miss out on if I didn't do it, I personally would not do it. I might - MIGHT- make use of the better assignenments on the weekend IF I deemed them worthy of our precious time. I would probably do the show and tell because Natalie would love that, but dressing in an assigned color would be totally out of the question for us. But then, I was delinquent from another session of "Mommy and Daddy University" at our school on Tuesday night, so I may not be the ideal parenting measuring stick.

Aunt Becky said...

Homework? AT THREE?

Dude. I would be flying off the freaking HANDLE. No WAY.

Glad it's resolved because no WAY. Alex would be PUNCHING me in the neck.

Someone Being Me said...

I would tell the teacher that my kid would not be participating in any homework assignments. Whatever they can do during the day is fine but daycare ends when you pick him up. There is no way I would be coming home from a full day of work and doing homework with a 3 year old. Your 3 year old should be getting dinner, family time, and bedtime. I think homework below 3rd grade is crazy.

STQ said...

You guys all rock...my thoughts exactly. My kid is 12 and in 6th grade, and I expect homework every night for him, but I gotta tell ya...he never had homework in preschool. I don't think he had DAILY homework until about 3rd grade. Preschool is FUN. If they manage to learn a letter or two, great, but c'mon folks. Let kids be kids while they have time.