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How am I supposed to understand this stuff?

November 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

By Julie Davidson

You can ask most anyone who knows me, and not one of them would describe me as a Rhodes scholar. Or a genius. When people describe me, I have a feeling the intellectual part is skipped. I have five older brothers who were extremely smart, so I figure my parents even if only from a statistical point were okay with that.

But I got by. I had to. My parents were both teachers so there was no hiding from the whole school thing. They went to every conference. They met with every teacher. They got the mail before I did. And they opened every report card before I could get my hands on them.

My oldest son is in third grade, and I am blown away by the homework. The amount, the subject matter. Even the binder. It is clearly the largest size binder that is known to man. It broke (literally broke) my son’s new backpack. And by week four, the seam of the big red binder was already coming apart.

Our kids really like school, and I thank the school gods for that. I didn’t hate school, but for me it was a means of socialization. But this homework stuff brings me back to being a kid in school. I just sit there and think, How the hell do you do this? When did they start teaching kids to add left to right (not numbers in rows top to bottom)? I can’t add like that! I didn’t get a memo or see it on the ticker on the cable news show. I don’t even want to know how things have changed with division and multiplication.

That big red binder contains everything the kids need each day. Inside the big red binder is a calendar. Every day the kids copy their assignments off the smart board. The fact that the teacher gets them to do that is very impressive as I still can’t convince anyone to put the toilet seat down.

Besides the calendar, the big red binder is home to a notebook, four see-through file folders, and two pocket folders. The problem is I have no idea what each is for. Yes, they are labeled. I just don’t get if Fluency is under Grammar or Reading. Does the take home folder mean the stuff stays at home forever, or can we toss it out? Even more pathetic is the fact that I went to parent orientation to figure it out! Now I just call other parents in a panic to see how far off course I am.

I’m trying to figure out if I should categorize my homework difficulty under memory loss or admit that there are some things I never understood well. Either way, I have a big red binder I need to get real cozy with for a few months.

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