Humility

For the second time in as many years, it has happened.  Last week, we met with our kids’ teachers.  The one concern, out of all the meetings for both kids, was Zaphod’s algebra homework.  The teacher said that he tests well, but he turns in incomplete answers on his homework because he doesn’t properly follow directions.

(I should add here that the kids are doing just fine.  This was a singular nitpick)

Now, Zaphod does his homework in the car on the way home (in order to free up time for important things like video games), so my solution was simple: no homework till he gets, well, home.  Also, I would start checking his algebra homework daily. 

(Lintilla has already given up, because algebra wasn’t her strong suit 30 years ago – she doesn’t remember any of it now.  But, the stuff Zaphod is working on is about at the level I use every day in my line of work – that’s kind of sad when you think about it.)

Anyway, Monday was the first day of this new policy.  And just like last year, when he got his grade, he got more answers wrong on the homework I had checked than any homework he had done previously.

It’s not that I don’t know the material.  My work programs use much of the same algebraic logic, and they work just fine, thank you.  No, I think what’s going on is that Zaphod gets his habit of not understanding instructions from me.  Many of you probably already know this from episodes of my responding on your blogs to things you didn’t say.  For a man with a flair for spouting flowery prose, my comprehension skills are crap.

Now, I have to write the humiliating email to the teacher, explaining why my son is now on his own when it comes to math homework.  If I want him to get good grades, I need to stay as far away as possible.

It is a good thing to get knocked down a notch or two every now and then.  We often become so full of ourselves, we refuse to see that maybe we don’t know as much as we think we do.

I pray you get the same epiphany, no matter how painful it might be in the moment.

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2 Responses to “Humility”

  1. Susie Says:

    I have been at a loss as help to my kids for quite a while now…welcome to my world! LOL

  2. bridgett Says:

    I am resisting the temptation to “help” my daughter on typing the report she wrote. She needs to do it to learn it, even if I think that it’s absurd to ask a 4th grader to type a five-page report (on top of creating a PowerPoint presentation…)

    Sometimes they have to flail a little to build the muscles they need to swim. It’s hard to stand by, but we’re close enough to fish them out if they are really going under.


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