academically challenging and domestically unproductive.

That would be our weekend.

I came out of it understanding how and why some parents do their children’s homework FOR them. It would have been so. much. easier.

These children are SO ready for summer. Homework is actually painful. For all of us. In addition to regular homework, this weekend FavoriteSon was working on an outline for a research paper on McCarthyism and PinkGirl was working on a “shoebox book report” on killer whales.

In the end, PinkGirl typed EVERY word of her own book report – WITH her fingers on the “home” keys, thank you very much. (use your left middle finger for the “c” key, use your left middle finger for the “e” key. – repeat.) She also cut all her own (ocean looking and seaweed looking scrapbook) paper, stuck all her own double sided stickers on all her cut paper, stuck her own paper to her shoebox and decorated the box all by herself. I say this because the finished project looked too good for a second grader. But I SWEAR all I did was cut out waves from the lines SHE drew with a wave stencil and put glue on a few pieces of paper for her. She did all the sticking. She’s the crafty one in the family. Regular readers know that crafting makes me break out in hives.

After a weekend that included a Friday night high school district track meet (he’s in middle school) where he placed 6th in the 400 meter dash, (got home after 11:30 p.m), a Saturday morning basketball game, math homework, science homework and yearbook homework (puh leezz), I cut FavoriteSon a break on the research paper outline and typed for him, with him sitting next to me, dictating every word. When he got stuck, FirstHusband or I would ask him a leading question and he would be jump started again. Turns out, the kid knows a heck of a lot more about Joe McCarthy and McCarthyism than I do, he just had trouble organizing all his information.

Domestically? The weekend was largely unproductive. By Sunday evening, our house was trashed. Only patches of carpet visible in places. The contents of both kid’s backpacks strewn from one room to another. The kitchen counter 4 inches thick, the kitchen table covered with craft paraphernalia, library books all over the living room floor, the dryer full of dry clothes, the washer full of wet clothes, the sink full of dirty dishes . . .

FirstHusband and I left it all and fell into bed, exhausted. I got up this morning and, after going to take care of a friend’s cats while she’s out of town, spent more than 2 hours “finding” my house. The kitchen counter is clear, the floors are clear, the washer AND dryer are empty, the sink is empty, the dishwasher is full and running. ahhh. I HATE it when my week starts “in the red” like that. I was finished by 10:45 a.m., just in time for a little coffee/Bible study/prayer journal time before my trainer arrived at 11:30. Then I walked two miles, sauna, shower, lunch and after school pickup.

After school today was intentionally orchestrated. First thing in the door, everyone got a snack and the kids unloaded the dishwasher. Then exactly 15 minutes to do anything they wanted, 15 minutes of homework at the (clear) kitchen table. We rotated that 4 times and all homework was done except for FavoriteSon’s rough draft (due Wednesday). We ate dinner together at the table, all four of us folded the dry laundry together, and we sat back down at the kitchen table, PinkGirl, to show her dad her math, FavoriteSon to work on his rough draft, me to read a book while keeping FavoriteSon on task. Both kids went to bed on time.

I’m ready for summer too.

6 thoughts on “academically challenging and domestically unproductive.

  1. Amen. Some of these projects are ridiculous. They teach nothing but irritation.

    Mocha – I’ll admit, I don’t see the point of the shoebox art with the report pasted onto the side, but PinkGirl really got into it, so . . . (by JSM)

  2. Wow. Makes me reach for the bottle of Ibuprofen.

    Stephanie – Thankfully, no headache, but muscle aches from the workouts and walking. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with Tylenol. For some reason, no ibuprofen or naproxin for two weeks before the surgery. Or alcohol. Something about thinning the blood. I’ve discovered there is a very big difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen. (by JSM)

  3. Oh, girlfriend! I’ve had days like those! (You know I have–you’ve read my blog!) 🙂 Good for you for getting back on top of things. And for letting PinkGirl actually type by herself. That takes patience!

    I swear, some day I have to meet you in person!

    Tina – I still want to go to the Hershey and Crayola factories! If and when I ever get there, I’ll make sure to let you know. (by JSM)

  4. Sometimes I wonder if the reason I never had children is because I was afraid of homework. 🙂 I guess you relearn it with them from Kindergarten through high school.

    My house exploded this past week, but we’re still in the red. Good for you for getting it finished before noon on Monday.

    Kristin – I’ll admit, I don’t think I EVER learned about Joe McCarthy. And did you know killer whales can swim up to 30 miles per hour? Most of the time they swim only 4 to 6 miles per hour. (by JSM)

  5. My daughter got some homework vouchers for good behaviour and good homework. She could use them to get an evening off homework. I was really looking forward to ME having a night off homework too!

    But….she exchanged them for House Points for her House Team at school instead! I was devastated!!!

    JanMary – Proud? But devastated? Showing some great character there, mom. But still. I understand.

    FavoriteSon gets “homework passes” from his math teacher when he demonstrates competency in tests and quizzes. But the last time he used one, he said he was “NEVER using a homework pass again!” I asked why and he said, “Because it isn’t grace when she (the teacher) gives it that way.” (One of my sayings is “it isn’t grace when you give it that way.” I say it when someone is making a sacrifice for others but makes sure EVERYone knows what a pain it is to do so.) Turns out, the teacher says things to make them feel guilty for using the passes, so FavoriteSon would “just rather do the homework than have to listen to her.”

    I have to agree. If she doesn’t want them to use the passes and gives them a hard time when they do, she should just KEEP the passes and be quiet. (by JSM)

  6. Wow your weekend sounds just like mine, and your house sounds like mine also!! Son had a baseball tournament on Sat. and Sun, 2 games Sat. and 3 on Sunday. Daughter had 2 soccer games on Sunday and we visited with my parents on Sat. It’s hectic, and my house has been hit by the busy tornado. But I had to get up and go teach school on MOnday, no time to get out of being “in the red.” UGH. Yes I too am already yearning for those simpler summer days!!!! But…….I also love going to all my kids sports events, where do you draw that line?
    Thanks for helping me to feel better about my house! 🙂

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