Dumbing it Down

The Monster’s homework is checked on Mondays, so we’ll admit that there are times that we slack a little bit in getting it done ‘on time’.  Since he only has homework from Monday through Thursday nights, it’s easy enough to spread out four nights of homework over seven days and get it done in doses that he can cope with.

On the other hand, though, as we mentioned, his homework’s not really being adapted for his level.

What ends up happening is that we end up having to adapt it ourselves.

This week, I’ve been tackling a lot of his math homework.  If you give him an exercise to count a set, he’s very good about it.  (Because he’s good at concrete facts.)  So those aren’t so bad.  But on the other hand, doing exercises to get him to think more abstractly about math – ‘come up with as many ways as you can to express 9’ or ‘show three different ways to communicate 10 and write number sentences…’ – seems to fall on deaf ears with him.

So we’re doing a lot of prompting.  I’m setting up things and encouraging him to do it a certain way, but I just feel like I’m doing his homework as much as he’s doing it, which is not the goal of the operation.  The goal of homework is to reinforce what he’s learning at school, and well… I know these things already myself.  I don’t need reinforcement.

On the other hand, when he’s getting a bit of prompting, he’s doing okay at getting through most of the assignment.  He’s stronger at math than he is at his literacy skills, but he’s still getting through both with our prompting.  (A note – his homework’s not really ‘checked’, per se, on Mondays, since his teacher assumes we’re doing that.  She’s just looking to see that it’s been done.)  I do wonder, though, what will happen, and what adaptations are being used in class, to evaluate what he’s really learning.

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