Thursday, September 4, 2008

Monkeying around with Homework

I am an involved parent. I try to help as much as possible with homework while the littlest baboons are slinging poo and wrestling each other- which is usually accompanied by this ungodly shrieking. The first week of school Kiera comes home with her instructions for studying- Mrs. Brouse says I need a quiet environment to do my homework in- no tv, radio or any noise and I have to sit at a table. Hmm. Well the sound proof booth is currently being renovated, so the kitchen table will have to do. Phillip locks himself in his room and tries to ignore the continual knocking of the baboon babies- egging him to come out or let them in. He is more independent and self motivated to complete his homework. Kiera likes the one-on-one guidance- aka- she wants to manipulate someone into doing it for her. Her father is particularely vulnerable to this and it brings her great joy when he is available during homework time. I watch from a distance as she bats her beautiful little eyes at him and he has no idea that she is masterfully pulling his strings with every move. It did not help that her teacher last year was also male and during the first parent-teacher conference he informed me that Kiera needed a lot of individualized attention. I shook my head and explained to the young man- she is a master manipulator- do not be fooled. After that she seemed to need a lot less attention. Last night I took the female baboons for a walk around the block , Phillip had to stay at home to finish his homework. When I get home, I am presented with 3 pages of Algebra problems that are mostly finished, but mostly incorrect. So I proceed to tackle explaining to an almost 9 year old the basic tenets of algebra as they relate to his homework. All in all, we spent a solid hour going through it and I am convinced if we spent another 5 hours on it, he would still not understand a darn thing- I mean he's in 4th grade for crying out loud(which I was really trying not to do). Kiera and the girls were in bed- after all she had completed her homework right after school, eating apples and peanut butter, Bella in her lap, with Lily watching tv, while at the same time helping her friend Eliza with her homework so they could play together.

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