Homework headache


Doing homework with Rose is very challenging sometimes.  I know I am not the only mother of a first grader who feels the need for something stronger than a cup of tea after working on the weekly homework packet.  I remember the same issues with Dillon, it felt impossible to make him concentrate on the work, rather than drawing rocket ships in the margins or whatever.

Yesterday, though, I felt like Rose and I were doing great – she was really attentive and into the work and we were making excellent progress.  But the material on some of the pages was ridiculous.  (Disclaimer – I know our teachers don’t have prep time anymore and they probably stay late after school finding appropriate worksheets.  This kind of thing isn’t used in Montessori schools during the day but the packet is strictly designed to teach kids how to pass standardized tests and think in the box, contrary to the work they do at school.)  Here’s a couple of problems from the homework:

Directions: Circle the word in each row that is most like the first word in the row.

bag             jar         sack        box
(ok, circle ‘sack,’ Rose totally gets it.  But then-)

cat             fruit       animal    flower    
(wait.  what?   The web definition of synonym is: two words that can be interchanged in a context.  A cat is an animal but they aren’t the same thing.)

apple         rot          fruit         cookie    
(again, while fruit is inclusive of apples I wouldn’t call it a synonym)

around      circle     square     dot
(this is just plain lazy – they aren’t even the same parts of speech)

bee             fish        ant           snake
(really?  really?)

So the lesson here was – how to pick the answer that they want.   Which is an important lesson for a Montessori kid to learn.  Though it would have been okay with me for Rose to not get that for a while.   She chose all the ‘right’ answers, though.


One Response to “Homework headache”

  1. Chris Mildebrandt says:

    It’s tempting to put an appropriate answer in the list, circle it, and provide a sentence that explains why the “right” answer just doesn’t work. And then staple printouts of http://thesaurus.com/ pages to the homework. So tempting….

    Circle a synonym of around?!?!? Really?!?

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