A Whole New Realm–Homework

As I mentioned, our oldest, Caitlyn started kindergarten this year.  That has brought lots of new things.  This weekend it brought…homework.

The teacher provided brown and green construction paper for us to make a family tree.  Daddy commented, when he saw the information for the project, Caitlyn, you have a big family, your tree will be very full.  Our girls have lots of aunts and uncles and cousins.  Lots.

But we had limited room.  The base of the tree was tracing her arm from elbow, up and around her open fingers to make the limbs.  We did that, then I sent her out to get a leaf we could use to trace to make ours.

I think the ones we made look like oversized sperm, but the jury was split on this.

I had Caitlyn help me with tracing and cutting.  She did not do all of it, but she did at least half.  I wrote the family names on the leaves. (I only went to the aunt and uncle level) She did all the gluing, and loved it.   And we talked about who was on each leaf, as she will have to present about it at school this week.

The whole time I stressed.  Was I having her do enough?  Too much?  Should we make it fancier? 

And I sent this tweet part way through:

“I am headed down a slippery slope. I’m looking at daughter’s homework and realizing it is not going to be as good as the work other ppl do.”

I was, sadly, not clear in what I was trying to communicate.  My doubts and struggles are not with her work.  I know she definitely at, if not above, her grade level in her arts and crafts skills.  My concern was with me.  Was I having her do enought, too much?  Would other parents do more of the work so she would feel like hers was not as good? 

Honestly, I still don’t know.  Hubby had some questions about it today when he saw it.  He’s concerned she might not be able to talk about it.  This could completely stress me out.  I want to help Caitlyn get off on the right foot.  I want to do this parent-of-a-school-age child gig, perfectly, but I don’t know what that is, so we will all have to learn together.  And in the learning, we will Just Be Enough.

I am linking this post with Just Be Enough.

Survive til you Thrive!

11 Responses to A Whole New Realm–Homework

  1. Oh I can so relate to this whole homework thingy! My son is in Kindergarten too and he too start bringing home well homework lol. I used to worry too because he doesn't feel like coloring the pictures sometimes from his homework. He'd do the work but he just doesn't feel like coloring them. You know I was worried the teachers would think "His Mommy is so lazy not to encourage him to color it". But then I realized I'm just worrying too much. He's doing perfectly fine. I'm sure your cool project will do great! 😀

  2. Emily @ My Pajama Days

    My children are 9 and 13. We have been to a lot of parent/teacher nights and open houses. In the beginning, I would peruse all of the classwork and projects and think, "OMG! I didn't help my child enough!" or "OMG! That looks so much better than ours!" until one day I happened to hear a couple of teachers talking. They said to one another, "You can always tell which projects the students did and which the parents did. Sigh." And I realized, the teachers want the student's best work, not ours. They know from their classwork what they are capable of, and they want them to take ownership. So – it's okay to guide them in the right direction, but in the end, they will be more proud of the work that they did, than the work you did. Great post.

  3. bridgetstraub.com

    As the mother of older kids I can tell you that some parents get stupidly competetive when it comes to projects. I can remember kinder when parents would bring in the most detailed work that no high school student could have done, let alone a 5 year old. It ewas crazy. You sound as though you balanced it out, which is great.

  4. purposefulpracticesproject

    Since I inherited an independent teenager, I rarely have to help with homework. I can understand your concerns, but from your post you seem to have balanced the work very well for both of you. The bigger question is, did you and your daughter have fun together and did she learn something about her family. After all, wasn't that the goal of the assignment? 😉

  5. Robin | Farewell, Stranger

    My first thought was, Oh! So fun! But I can see how homework would be challenging. I think if you treat everything as a learning opportunity rather than focusing on the end result, you'll all be okay!

  6. My first thought was oh fun, and it was fun, it was like craft projects we have done, but now there is this whole other element…

  7. This is a tough issue and sounds stressful! I'm not sure I'm a fan of a school who sends home homework that can't be completed in full by the child – it's not YOUR homework to do. And it seems like you accurately assessed that this project was too big for a Kindergartener to do on her own. It had to be frustrating.

    Visiting from Just Be Enough.

  8. Thanks for the visit Missy. I just asked her, as I read this if they have done their talks about their family tree, nope…I wonder when it will come up?

  9. Kate F. (@katefineske)

    Yep. That is a hard one to get over – the great homework "debacle." My oldest is in third grade and my middle just started Kindergarten too. I think as long as the child plays an important roll in the assignment and understands what they are working on – especially just in Kindergarten – that that is ENOUGH. Really! It sounds like you did a fabulous job of getting through the project WITH your child. (regardless of the "sperm-like" leaves LOL)

    Great Post!

  10. Jenn@Fox in the City

    Homework . . . in kindergarten . . . oh dear! We haven't had any arrive home yet but I am not looking forward to it.

  11. Thanks ladies, they are spermy, aren't they? Glad you all enjoyed my post! I really appreciate you stopping by!

    Yup, homework in kindergarten! Next project is a memory box.

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