I Did What Any Father Would Do

…I lied.

 OK, backstory.

Trillian is burned out from her summer reading list (she has to read 4 books), and her summer math workbook.  She asked me how much I had to do when I was between 3rd and 4th grade.

I wasn’t about to tell her that we didn’t have to do such things back in the stone age.  No way would I tell stories of lazy summer days, wading in the creek, playing baseball, building forts, and sweet sunsets interrupted only by my mother’s sweet voice floating on the warm summer breeze, calling me and my brother home for supper.

No, I told her I had to read 20 books and do a whole 8th grade math book.  Uphill.  Both ways.

Seriously, I don’t remember any of this when I was young.  Part of me wants to rebel, like those hippie-wannabe parents who are going to send their kids to school in cutoffs and flip flops to protest SSA.  But no, being the compliant corporate type, I’ll go along.

But I remember summer as a glorious time of having nothing in particular to do.  I hate that I’m playing a part in stealing that from my kids.  They’d better  both end up in high-paying, satisfying careers.

They’ll need the money to pay for the therapists who will tell them it’s OK to hate me for taking their childhood summers.


8 Responses to “I Did What Any Father Would Do”

  1. Rachel Says:

    I’m a firm believer in the need for unstructured play for kids. That said, what books does she have to read?

  2. Rachel Says:

    Oh, and uh, I love math. 🙂

  3. Slartibartfast Says:

    Rachel, she has to read 3 books of her choosing from a level-appropriate list they gave her, plus they all have to read “The Pictures of Hollis Woods”, which kind of seems like a dark story for a 9 year old, but that’s what I get for having two advanced readers.

  4. nm Says:

    How many books has she read on her own this summer? Quite a lot, I would guess, based on what you tell us about her. She prolly would have read those three anyway. And she’s the math fan, right? This really doesn’t sound to me like a work load that should have kept her indoors all summer, or have interfered with her fun much. Am I missing something, or does your daughter know how to make you feel guilty about nothing at all?

  5. Slartibartfast Says:

    nm, I think you’ve got her figured out 😉

    Sometime last year, she learned that I was wrapped around her finger. She’s slowly learning how to manipulate that fact.

    She has a high aptitude in math, yet last year she told me she HATED math. It’s probably due to the fact that last year the 3rd/4th grade math teacher gave out more homework than I’ve ever seen a teacher give to kids that young. And she seemed to be a learning by rote type.

    Maybe things will get better this year.

    Also, she doesn’t read for fun (that’s her brother).

    But mostly, I think she was just feeling lazy the opther day. 😉

  6. nm Says:

    She may hate the homework because it’s too easy for her: doing a bunch of problems to test something you get just like that is a drag at any age. But I have to say that when I was in school we didn’t get any homework at all until the 4th grade, and I’m not sure that giving lots of it is all that good an idea.

    Oh, and who’s the learning by rote type, your daughter or her teacher? If it’s the teacher, then all the more so on my first sentence.

  7. Slartibartfast Says:

    Yep, it was the teacher. And I agree totally. I’m not putting up with it this year. Both my kids went from loving math class to hating it. That’s just wrong.

  8. nm Says:

    Here’s a suggestion (and I don’t really know your kids and I certainly don’t know their school, so feel free to tell me how stupid it all is): first, ask your kids whether the math homework problem was amount-of-homework or I-already-know-tis-dumb-stuff or something else. Then, if it’s the I-already-know-this problem, ask the teacher if they can move a lesson ahead of the rest of the class, so that they’re sitting quietly in the classroom and not distracting anyone, but reading/learning on their own, at their own pace(s). They’ll still be responsible for the homework, but they’ll have done a lot of it in class so it won’t be an afterschool burden. It’s not an ideal solution, but it fits in well with most math teaching methods.

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