There’s just something sadistically satisfying to hear my nephews’ friend shush them and tell them to keep reading. He wants them to finish their reading homework so that they can play and every time one of the boys gets distracted it makes it take longer.
If you ask my niece and nephews why I am a horrible aunt, they will tell you many things, but right now my eldest nephew will mostly say it’s because I make him do holiday homework on national holidays.
I’m grateful for that homework, though, because it gives them something else to do when on some days they just stare at the ceiling because all of their friends are gone and they’ve all already used up their electronic time.
That and it’s good to keep that knowledge near the front of their heads so it’s not such a big culture shock when they get back to school.
School had a lot of interesting phases for me. Elementary school was a time of bullies and learning not to let the other kids get to me while also learning everything else. Middle school was about learning that people might still try to bully you, but that they lacked the imagination of kids in the younger grades (still don’t know why that was), but also learning that everything I learned in elementary school had a lot more to teach me while making me learn to accept that each teacher has a different set of rules. High school taught me that things are going to be hard, some times will be harder than others, but that it’s worth the end goal of being able to walk down that aisle with my friends and throw a cap in the air. (It also didn’t matter which cap you picked up from the floor at the end, because they were all the same, no one wrote their names in them. We were all the same in the end even while the cords on our robes were all so different.)
School was a fun learning experience and I really enjoyed it except for a few times and incidents, but I learned that even those will only last so long. There is always going to be more to life and it will come along at random and inconvenient times and I just have to live with it. Complaining takes too much time and energy, but it also has it’s time and place. I also learned that everyone can take a refresher course when their kids (or their siblings’ kids) need help with their homework.
There are all kinds of secrets
Found throughout the day:
Dishes not wash all the way,
Television on before dressed for the bus,
Brownies made and cleaned up after.
(Not everything is too much.)
Good secrets come and go,
Bad secrets like to crop up as well:
Homework hidden and not done,
People pushing things under the rug;
Ignore it enough, it’ll go away?
(No it won’t.)
Bad secrets aren’t the only ones hiding,
Good secrets jump out and brighten your life:
Kittens brought home when you needed a friend,
A first attempt at a child’s sewing gifted, made by hand.
Someone coming over just because, but managing to bring just what you needed.
(Woken up at night, given what you need to work from home.)
Secrets like to lurk and hide,
They like to make you stumble and your eyes go wide,
But at the same time, they can be quiet and sneak up on you.
A child waking their mother at night,
Seeking peace to sleep by talking something out.
“I’m always here if you need me, if only to talk it out.”
(She didn’t mind how late it was or that she had work in three hours.)
Families can be loud with their secrets,
Shouting them out and using the bright lights to distract
From the shadows lurking beneath.
They can also be quiet,
Barely whispering about the teeth and the heartbreak.
(Just because ‘everyone knows’ doesn’t mean that they understand.)
But will you listen as I speak my words?
Will you keep quiet to hear all that is in me?
My secrets are my own to share or silence,
But will you listen to them all the same?
Secrets can choke you, both good and bad, if you cannot tell anyone.
(Oh Lord, I pray, listen to my heart as well as my mouth.)
Partially prompted by a few things coming to light this morning: the children didn’t quite finish getting ready for school and one almost missed the bus, but they’d made brownies after everyone had gone to bed and yet had managed to clean up (almost) completely after themselves. This morning really needed those brownies.
The day was going along great!
No one late, no one sick,
No one arguing about what makes them tick.
The day is sunny, no clouds in sight.
For some reason, it doesn’t feel quite right.
Slowly my family starts to trickle home,
Children arrive first, at least an hour before Mom.
And suddenly that feeling is explained,
My niece has been avoiding homework.
*long sigh, let it out*
Hold in your anger, she’s just a teen,
Still trying to figure out her place in between.
Several hours later the other shoe drops.
I had believed she’d not finished somethings
Since the middle of Fall.
Turns out I was wrong,Wrong about it all.
Several packets undone since the first week of school.
Must not tear my hair out and scream,
It really won’t help.
I’ll just go curl up in a corner
And wait it all out.
I’m kind of drained, so the verses aren’t even. Yesterday kind of defeated me and this morning followed along. I’m just tired and kind of want to crawl back into bed, but I can’t. Have laundry to do so that we’ll have enough clothes until next week’s laundry day and maybe I’ll bake something. That usually helps.
You know what I don’t miss? Language Arts homework. You know, that thing that elementary schools give kids before they get to middle and/or high school and they start calling it English class? I hated Language Arts homework from elementary school more than I hated any other type of homework. (Including graphing even though I spent three years of math not learning it due to outside forces conspiring against me and then having to take a big test on graphing with a concussion and the inability to move my neck. At all.)
Anyways, I hated that class. Not the writing part or the reading part or the comprehension parts, just the language arts part. The part where they take a perfectly good sentence and then make you dissect like you’re in some kind of literary biology class. (Although actually dissecting frogs and stuff? Awesome.) Is there ever really a time during adulthood where I’m going to need to know what the difference between an imperative sentence and interrogative sentence are? outside of another English class that may or may not include that homework just for the sake of it? No. I haven’t run into needing to know that one single time since graduating high school and I have been through college.
Several of my siblings have been through enough college that they even get to have a couple fancy initials after their names and they didn’t need to know that either. I know this because I was one of the few that was really good at essay reading and writing and so got conned into double checking all of their homework to make sure it was correct. One of those siblings got a Bachelor’s in Accounting (she liked numbers a lot more than they liked her, but whatever.)
I’m going into this rant because my eldest nephew just spent 20 minutes going over some homework that demanded he know the difference between the two aforementioned sentences as well as a couple other things. I can get the spelling and the grammar (heaven’s knows that several of his aunts and/or uncles could REALLY use some help in that area), but I’m just not seeing the point in the other part.
If anyone else knows of a point besides giving the kids something else to work on (I swear, I’m seeing Algebra appear a lot sooner in their homework than it ever did in mine) then I am willing to listen because I’ve always wondered if there even was a point.
Side note: I am also incredibly grateful for all the effort that teachers put into these lesson plans. I take one look at it all in its entirety and am just in awe. I don’t think I could ever do that and then grade all of the work as well. My rant is in no way meant as being negative towards teachers. I’m aware that it is not really teachers that put together what is and isn’t required for a student to learn. I just wondered at learning the dissection of sentences as a kid and still do as an adult.