Saturday, October 29, 2011

Talking Points: Homework Edition

Me: Jackson, I had a look at the story you wrote for homework. It's fantastic.

Him: Yeah.

Me: One tiny thing,  you might want to take a read and put in some capitals after the periods.  The only capital is at the beginning of your story.

Him: I'm finished.

Me: Look, here's the eraser and pencil, I bet it won't take you 2 minutes.

Him: Mommy, I'm finished, you're not supposed to help me with my homework.

Me: Oh and I checked your math homework, are you doing all the math in your head? You didn't show your work. I put a tiny mark beside the questions that are wrong. Do you want to correct those today or tomorrow?

Him: Mommy, I  am supposed to do the homework, if you give me all the answers, it won't be my homework.

Me: I am not giving you any answers, I just checked it and I'm telling you to re-do the ones that are wrong.

Him: Well if I get an "A" because you gave me the answers, that wouldn't be fair to the other kids, would it?  That would be cheating. Are you telling me you want me to cheat?

Me: Parents are supposed to check homework.  That is why we sign your planner. That's how it works.

Him: That is not how it works. That is cheating and I am not changing any of my homework.

Me: The point of homework is to help you master a skill. If you're making mistakes, you're not mastering the skill.

Him: What about the other kids that don't have parents checking their homework? It would be totally unfair to them because if I get an "A" it will because you helped me.

Me: They don't usually mark the homework.  I'm trying to help you learn.

[in the interests of brevity I won't give you the real time transcript as we each repeated ourselves 68 times over the weekend before I realized I needed a new approach.]

Me: Okay, we will go to school early and talk to Mrs. K about this tomorrow morning.

Him: Fine.

[the next morning at school]

Him: [extremely reluctantly and at my insistence]  Mrs. K, my Mom and I have a disagreement about my homework.

Mrs. K: Okay.


Me: Jackson thinks that he should do his homework and that we should not look at it because if we find any mistakes and tell him, that would be cheating and would be wrong.  I think that homework is to help the kids learn a skill and the parents should review the homework and the kids should make the corrections.

Mrs. K.: Jackson, your Mom is absolutely right.  I can't sit beside you when you do your homework. You parents are like an extra teacher.  So your parents should look at your homework and you should be making the corrections.

Him: [silence]

Me: Jackson, let me make sure we are hearing the same thing.  Mrs. K is saying that we should be looking at your homework and you you should be making the corrections.

Him: [trying to dissolve into floor] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[after school]

Me: Did you get bring your math so you can make the corrections tonight?

Him: No.

Me: Why not?

Him: Mommy, Mrs. K didn't say to do that.

Me: WHAT?!?!?!!?!? Weren't you there? Don't you remember what she said about the parents being the extra teacher and that you're supposed to correct it???

Him: Mommy, did Mrs. K actually say to fix the homework from the weekend?

Me: Not in those words but ....

Him: See! She did not say to do it.

Me: That is only because we did not ask the exact questions 'should Jackson correct his homework from the weekend'. But that homework is not due until Wednesday and we talked to her generally about how to approach homework.

Him: Mommy, that is a new rule and since we heard about it this morning it only applies to future homework and I should not have to fix the homework from the weekend, which is from before that rule started.

Me: [utter silence]

I did not learn about 'grandfathering' of laws until law school.


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Sarah C said...

O.M.G. I can totally see me having the EXACT same conversation at my house... let me know how it goes!!