“But it doesn’t count”

Like every school child, the Monster has homework most nights of the week.

I’m not sure I remember what homework was like for me when I was a second grader.  I wasn’t a typical student, but from what I can remember from second grade, it mostly involved working on book reports, basic addition and subtraction, things like that.

The Monster, with his IEP, works on a lot different things than I recall.

Which isn’t to say that it’s bad, just different.  I only really get sad about it when there are mornings – and there are a lot of those – where R decides he’s going to come over and “help” and can do the homework task without really thinking hard, which defeats the purpose of the Monster working on them.

Typically, on any given day, the Monster’s homework is concentrated on a single goal from his IEP or from the curriculum – working on basic math (they just moved into problems involving tens), or some sight-word recognition.  And, typically because we’re harried parents going in five different directions at once, homework is left until the morning, at the breakfast table, where I can get it done after he’s eaten and gotten his shoes on, and get it into the folder to go back to his teacher.

So yesterday morning, we didn’t get the homework done because we were just too busy.  And we went with the most awful excuse in the entire universe, one we’d never use with R – that the homework doesn’t “count” anyway.  His teachers have made this clear to us, that it’s really just reinforcement/repetition from the school day, that it’s not graded and they don’t quite track that he’s doing it, since they’re going to reinforce it at school the next day anyway, but… the principle is still there that we need to do these things with him.  (The principle being there is imposed by us, not by the school, because we know he needs the structure and repetition to solidify the skills.)  That left us with two assignments to do today – one being a math sheet (counting pennies, since they’re working on currency recognition at the moment) and one being a four-step story sequencing.

The math sheet, I knew he could get done on his own, and he did so while I was finishing packing his lunch.  The sequencing required a lot more work, since I wanted to hear him tell me what each picture was, and to try to put them in a logical order himself.  I know it’s very hard for him to come up with a story for four pictures about a boy building a snowman – remember, narrative language is not his strength – and with a little poking, he was able to describe the basic idea of each picture in an out of order fashion.  What did surprise me was that he had little trouble putting them in order when it was time for that (which makes me wonder if they’ve not already done a similar exercise, but…) and was able to talk through the basic story of the four images.  Homework for the week – done.

Slow and steady wins the race, even if “it doesn’t count”…

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