Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Helping with homework

As parents we do what we can to help our kids learn. We send them to school with all the right supplies, attend back to school nights and parent teacher conferences. In the case of my youngest, which I homeschool, I carefully selected his curriculum.

Then the time comes when you have to help with homework. It all starts innocently enough, making sure they color the right numbers in the right colors. Studying spelling words is fun, and let's not forget our times tables. All easy come easy go. Then they hit Junior High, it seems that everything goes down hill from there.

Of course I speak mostly here tongue and cheek but if you see where I am coming from you know where this is going. The worst question in the world “mom can you help me with my homework?” followed by the “sure” , that's where it starts. Where it ends is usually something like this, “Your not doing it like my teacher showed me”, with the response “it worked when I went to school!” So in the end all communication breaks down you have a full scale fight on your hands and you not sure how this happened.

This happens to parents all over the world. I am sure that there are wonderful parents who can help their kids without it ending in disaster but I have to tell you, after listening to stories from my friends who also parent teenagers I know I am not the only one to have this wonderful bonding experience.

Of course then I blame the teacher, the new math, or even the whole darn school system. It can't be just me. Then I spiral down to maybe I am just not that great of a parent. Which turns into, how the heck did I graduate and become a productive citizen when I can't even help my child with their homework. The last step for me is, and what am I doing to my poor son whom I home school. This can't be good.

Well after our last homework issues I have decided that I am a smart woman, my children are getting a good education and, the teacher, school district and the funky new way they teach stuff is not to blame. I have come to the conclusion, that as a parent it is just part of the way things are. There is just something about the interaction between parent and child that makes it hard to help your own child do their work.

Lucky for me my teenager seems to be mostly self sufficient, other than proof reading the occasional paper, and vocabulary flash cards, I am pretty much off the hook. Math I pawn off on my husband, at great cost to his blood pressure I am sure, and the rest seems to get accomplished with any great input from me.

So I feel a bit of freedom and a little sad as yet more time seems to fly by and they grow up way to fast. At least I am secure in the knowledge that I am not alone, there are other parents out there who have dealt with or are going to feel my pain some day, maybe just maybe one will read this and take that deep breath and see it for what it is, just part of raising your kids!

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