Hold the phone a second here. I already did homework. I already survived the fifth grade, and the first grade. I already learned compound words and relearned long vowels (thanks Kelly!). I already read ALL the books, discussed them, found themes the author probably never intended, and character threads and then I diagrammed them.
Why do I have to do more?! Why?
Right now, the little one is having a screaming, insane FIT because she has to do homework. I told her that she should just get used to homework. Because homework is like work, we all have stuff to do and that’s just all there is to it! That wasn’t helpful apparently.
Right now we are struggling. My big girl hates math. And the teacher where she is getting another not great grade? Well I have sources that allow me to lay a little blame at his door, just the tiniest bit. My girl has just emerged from my closet, a sniveling, shrieking mess. She hates me, and her dad, and MATH. She is DONE. Cue slamming door and more sobs of rage.
I get the frustration, surely I do. I wasn’t good at math either. I have friends who are math teachers (I know, right?) and they say that I never had a teacher who engaged me and who helped me the first time I struggled. I never, for example, knew there was a formula to solve an algebraic equation. Ask me about books, ask me about themes, ask me to write you something, that I can do. Ask me about LCM and GCF, and I have no idea what those things even are.
Right now we are supposed to be reading, as an entire community, an entire village. I hate being the rogue parent, especially when my five year old is so mad that she didn’t know the answer to the book question at school today, but I don’t want to read a book about a big egg. We were working through The Chronicles of Narnia! How does a silly story about a big egg compare to that?
Well, it doesn’t.
At conferences last fall I was shamed, gently, just a little bit, for not being a super Powerschool user. I’m sorry. I do not feel the need to log in to yet another program to discover how my child is or isn’t doing her schoolwork. I really don’t. I spend all day in myriad programs working and working… can’t this be organic? All the rest of my family life and my relationships? Do you, as a teacher, and I, as a parent, need to not communicate but for me to log into Powerschool more often? Can’t you just email or call me if you have a problem?
I still don’t know how to log into Powerschool. It was one of those things where it didn’t work in the first ten minutes and I gave up. If it has to be this much of a, I’m sorry, pain in the ass, well, it probably isn’t worth it. To me Powerschool is like the 24 hours news cycle, a series of small crises that mean not much in the long run. I don’t need up to the second news. I really do not.
So now I have potatoes on to parboil and am ready to make my sister in law’s famous scalloped potatoes with ham for dinner. My girl has emerged and is working
patiently with her dad to figure out the LCM of some random numbers (I still don’t know what LCM means). My little bit is laying in the dog’s new bed while he looks on, longingly, and reading a book on her Kindle. A chapter book, this is big stuff for someone who is five but imagines herself to be much grander than all that five is.
And what I have to remind myself of, in this ongoing cycle of people wanting me to be up to the minute on all the crises, is to breathe. How is it possible to leave a very stressful day at work and come home to ten times the stress and drama?
I will not read the book about the ginormous egg, I just will not. We will return however, to Lantern Waste, with all of the children in tow, all of the children who are set to turn Narnia on its ear. Through bravery, love, and more love. I think these lessons, these themes, are more important than what is in that egg.
Casey and my girl have completed the arduous journey to homework completion, and both have lived to tell the tale. My big girl has disappeared into the only thing that means anything to her right now, and that is music, which, if you know me, she comes by sort of naturally. Ave is actually wishing for more homework, I don’t know who she belongs to. I am exhausted from the sheer ordeal of the last hour.
At some point I would like to take a shower and put on different pajamas than the ones I wore last night.