Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Annie started having homework this week.  This isn't "choose something to bring for show-and-tell," either; first grade homework is real-deal homework:  writing math patterns, reading aloud for ten minutes, singing songs in Spanish.  She's supposed to practice her math facts, which we fit in by doing flashcards while she's in the bathtub at night.  There's a weekly Mystery Bag to fill with a secret item and bring to school so others can hypothesize about its properties and guess at its contents.  She's supposed to "work with the star words" a few days a week, too, a vague instruction that I think might vex me if not for my stash of teacher-ideas from years past.  So we dumped the Scrabble tiles into a bowl on the coffee table where they're always available, and yesterday she picked five "star words" to make with the tiles and played around to discover which other words we could make by changing just one letter.  Today we're going to write them in shaving cream.  Before bed, she reads the family a chapter from her current book.  We all sit on the couch and listen as she flies through the words.

Ten minutes a day?  I think it's more like twenty, or twenty-five.  And guess who else wants to "do homework"?  Jemma threw such a fit on the first afternoon that Annie was sitting at the kitchen table, creating a repeating pattern and a growing pattern, that I had to stop making chicken pot pies and create a sheet of "homework" for her, too.  She practiced writing the letter R (her choice) and showed it proudly to Jason when he came home.  Every day, I make up a new little activity for her, too.

I guess this is our life now, October 2010 until . . . May of 2025, when Jemma graduates from high school.  But I am totally going to make Jason take over with the math starting in middle school . . .

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