A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Articles tagged with: homework

Why the guys have barely cracked a book all summer
Monday, 18 Jul, 2011 – 12:15 | One Comment
Why the guys have barely cracked a book all summer

I started out with good intentions, declaring as school let out that the guys would read for a half hour each day.
That soon devolved to bribing – they’d earn one “Mom Buck” for each 30 …

Helicopter, tigers and slackers, oh my!
Wednesday, 9 Feb, 2011 – 12:45 | Comments Off
Helicopter, tigers and slackers, oh my!

I am not a helicopter mom. In fact, once I get past freaking out at the amateurish nature of the guys’ “made it myself” art projects, I silently mock picture-perfect productions that scream parental micromanagement.
I …

Call 911 coz we have a grammar emergency
Thursday, 13 Jan, 2011 – 12:55 | Comments Off
Call 911 coz we have a grammar emergency

“I am heavier than him uh huh.”

“That is shinier than that yep it is.”

“I am happier than him OK right.”
Overlook the confusion about usage of he/him. I’ll work on that one later. Right now, I’d …

How to teach math? Beats me.
Tuesday, 11 Jan, 2011 – 11:35 | One Comment
How to teach math? Beats me.

It’s not that I had the “bad math experience” in school that a recent newspaper article talks about – though I’m not sure what a “bad math experience” is because the article never defines it.
At …

There is no good time to do homework
Friday, 5 Nov, 2010 – 13:36 | Comments Off
There is no good time to do homework

We’ve tried it first thing after school, hoping that will help keep his head in the game.
We’ve tried it later in the afternoon, hoping that giving him a chance to blow off steam before settling …

Homeschool not for the faint of heart – or me either
Monday, 18 Oct, 2010 – 12:49 | 2 Comments
Homeschool not for the faint of heart – or me either

The relentlessly cheery among us never have problems. Instead, they experience “challenges” or “opportunities.” It’s a “chance for growth.”
So, in that spirit let me thank our school system for giving me the “opportunity” to put …

The moon is made of …
Friday, 14 May, 2010 – 14:42 | Comments Off
The moon is made of …

There is not gravity on the moon. You can flot up in the rocket. The gravity can lif you.
It is not strong gravity. The moon have a slick gravity. Gravity is not hot air. Astonots …

Trying not to turn Air Force One into a helicopter
Thursday, 15 Apr, 2010 – 13:03 | Comments Off
Trying not to turn Air Force One into a helicopter

A funny thing happened on the way to the White House.
As he “researched” information for his first-ever report – one page on a historical site, with a picture from which he could create a drawing …

The household-object story challenge
Wednesday, 9 Dec, 2009 – 12:58 | Comments Off
The household-object story challenge

Used to be I thought the weirdest story assignment I’d ever tackled was in seventh grade, when the teacher told us to write about what life would be like inside a ping-pong ball.
That was before …

Sure, I’ll play along
Wednesday, 30 Sep, 2009 – 14:45 | Comments Off
Sure, I’ll play along

A few weeks into spelling tests and I was tired of dancing, though at least it burned off the calories from the fruit-snack math.
Even worse: Big Guy was a little bored with the homework boogie, …

If you can’t beat ‘em, teach them
Tuesday, 22 Sep, 2009 – 12:05 | Comments Off
If you can’t beat ‘em, teach them

Parental advisory: The following trick incorporates two great evils I usually avoid at all costs – corn syrup and artificial dye. It’s an awful, awful idea. Except it happens to work.
It’s hardly an original idea …

Why am I in grade school again?
Monday, 24 Aug, 2009 – 21:58 | One Comment
Why am I in grade school again?

It’s a statement as obvious – at least, it is to anyone whose kid has been in kindergarten for more than a few days – as it is unfair: “To help the kid do better …

Nightly homework hassles v one big lump of torture
Thursday, 12 Mar, 2009 – 11:42 | Comments Off
Nightly homework hassles v one big lump of torture

Six and a half months into kindergarten, it turns out that I’ve had Big Guy on the wrong approach to homework the whole time.
That’s what Best Buddy says, and if Best Buddy says it must …

Seeing stars and learning lessons about how to learn
Tuesday, 27 Jan, 2009 – 11:28 | Comments Off
Seeing stars and learning lessons about how to learn

Big Guy had big news Friday that he couldn’t wait to share the second Boots and I came to pick him up.
He told other parents on the way home. He told cousins and aunts and …

The anti-homework homework works for Big Guy
Thursday, 18 Dec, 2008 – 12:32 | Comments Off
The anti-homework homework works for Big Guy

Don’t tell Big Guy’s teacher, but I tossed the “suggested homework” list shortly after it walked through the door at the end of the semester.
Halfway through kindergarten, I’m officially sick of homework even though I …

Mt. Homework will only get steeper — oh, great!
Tuesday, 2 Dec, 2008 – 13:51 | 2 Comments
Mt. Homework will only get steeper — oh, great!

As of this moment, I will cease and desist griping about the amount of homework Big Guy is assigned.
OK, except for the occasional gripe about its busy-work nature. And I’ll sometimes whine that its focus …

9to5to9: Big Guy’s glory, Mommy’s migraine
Monday, 27 Oct, 2008 – 23:39 | Comments Off
9to5to9: Big Guy’s glory, Mommy’s migraine

It’s an honor Big Guy has coveted for a week, and that’s an eternity when you’re 5. He’s even been handicapping his chances.
“Xx was Friend of the Week last week,” he said. “We have the …

Win lose or draw is usually lose for me
Saturday, 27 Sep, 2008 – 0:35 | Comments Off
Win lose or draw is usually lose for me

A kindergartener’s homework assignment unearths deep maternal insecurities. She can’t draw if you spot her a ruler, and he needs help illustrating a book.

How early homework hell hits these days
Tuesday, 9 Sep, 2008 – 22:54 | Comments Off

“Whoever created Big Guy’s homework sheet for tonight needs to be drawn and quartered.
Strike that: That’s not sufficient torture. Whoever created Big Guy’s homework sheet for tonight should be forced to sit at the kitchen …

Avoiding a ride on the homework helicopter
Friday, 18 Jul, 2008 – 6:52 | Comments Off
Avoiding a ride on the homework helicopter

I seized up in sickened horror the second I saw the sweetie in the flowery pink dress holding a mom’s hand outside Big Guy’s classroom. The gold sequins on her frock mocked me as they flashed in the morning sun, her bright smile taunting.

Dear God, it’s only Tuesday. How could that kid have finished the week’s homework assignment already? It’s not even due until Friday.

A cacophony of guilt roared in my head. Slacker mom! Why didn’t you jump on it the first night? How could you even think of letting Big Guy color his own manilla folder gingerbread man when this mom had lovingly cut a fabric triangle to fashion a dress? Don’t you love your kids? Don’t you want his first homework assignment to look as cool as his classmate’s.

I

A bribe by any other name convinces Big Guy to read
Monday, 14 Jul, 2008 – 7:29 | Comments Off

Big Guy roared through the door with a fire up his fanny, barreling past me to the bookcase. He picked the biggest volume he could find — a 13-book Dr. Seuss compilation — and lugging it to the living room.

“”Mom, I almost forgot. We have to do a reading lesson every day now — teacher says.”"

His next words, though, wiped the Chester Cheetah grin off my face. “”I have to learn to read so they’ll give me a book.”"

Uh-oh. Four days of kindergarten under his belt and the school system already had corrupted him with one of my pet peeves: The bribe.

I readily admit I’m a bit — no, a lot — sanctimonious on this point. No one bribes me to do my job every day — the state of the newspaper business of