Homework Hangover

I’m a little frazzled today. I have all of these things I want to write about bouncing around in my head but nothing seems to be coming out in any sort of clear concept. Nikki and I had an intense homework session last night and so I never really got to “unwind” like I try to do. I basically brought her home from the bus after work, went and got groceries, picked up Wes, started cooking dinner and helping her with homework and we did that for about two hours. We did curl up and watch one sitcom before bed, but my brain was in SUPER SURGE mode from trying to A) remind myself how to work with scientific notation and B) how to teach that to her. So I went to bed a little high-strung which meant my sleep was restless and my dreams were strange and now I’m just staring at the screen feeling like I can’t stop any ideas from moving in my brain enough to put them onto paper.

But it’s National Blog Posting Month! So I have to write something!

My Dad had weird thoughts about homework. He felt like we should do “homework” every night for at least an hour, but most of the time more, no matter WHAT. If we didn’t have homework? He would give us homework and it did not take me long to learn THAT WAS TERRIBLE. He was a genius engineer who SUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKKEEEEEDDDDDDD at teaching so he would write down these math problems that he thought related to concepts we were studying (they never were) and then he’d get super-frustrated when we couldn’t do them and when he lost his patience he gained his voice (he normally was a quiet guy) and he could yell about Math like nothing you’ve ever seen.

So. I learned to make up homework.

Yep, I would fake homework every night. Most of the time it was “handwriting homework” because that was the easiest to fake but sometimes I’d bring home a history book and just say, “I’m supposed to write down all of the vocab from this chapter,” or some such busy work. I never wanted it to look like I needed homework. I AM FINE, DAD! NO NEED TO MAKE UP MATH PROBLEMS! I HAVE REAL HOMEWORK!

When E first got to the “homework” stage of school I learned: OH, SHIT. IMPATIENCE IS HEREDITARY. I realized I had absolutely no patience for school work. Luckily, I did not counterbalance that with an urge to GIVE school work, so E never became terrified of me like I was of my Dad, but he did learn to only ask me for help when he REALLY needed it. Now, he did learn in high school that I’m good at helping with Math, thanks to years of earning money as a Math tutor. But everything else I lose patience on and so I just distanced myself.

This year Nikki has needed help almost every night as her program is a lot more intense due to age and the nature of the magnet school she’s in. I’m okay with this if it’s something I understand to begin with, but a lot of times she comes home with stuff I either (a) don’t remember and (b) don’t understand. So sometimes we struggle just helping me understand the assignment, and then how can I help her with that assignment.

It’s exhausting and I suck at it, is what I’m saying. I’m not TERRIBLE, but it takes a lot of effort to me to be SUFFICIENT.

But I do pat myself on my back because she’s not inventing homework to avoid me and the only tears she sheds are frustration at school and not at me. So, YAY!!!!!

But shit, I’m still super frazzled and exhausted. I would have been better off running 12 miles last night than helping her with her math homework with how crappy I feel this morning.

4 thoughts on “Homework Hangover

  1. Julie says:

    Homework is the bane of my existence. I hate it. Due to anxiety she may be experiencing at the time she is paralyzed and can’t even do the four problems she is capable of doing because we have stressed over the two that she feels she “just can’t do!!!!’ “I’m so stupid!!!” She sat and cried as I held her last night saying she just wished she was in kindergarten again and not 5th grade. I told her to go watch TV. She was a mess. She is a sensory mess after holding it together all day at school and then we’re supposed to do math? and take a shower?
    Parenting is hard….
    More and more I think we need a therapist.
    And a month with no homework.

  2. Fraulein N says:

    Oh god, scientific notation? *SHUDDER* Like, that SOUNDS familiar in that I know it’s terrifying, but lord knows I don’t actually remember what it IS. Just that I never figured it out. Are there maybe websites/apps for parents now that could help you with the stuff you never learned/don’t remember?

    • zoot says:

      Yes. THANK GOD. Kahn Academy saved us last night. I can usually get the answer but never can explain HOW or WHY so Kahn saved the day last night.

  3. Lucy McConville says:

    Hi! I SO feel you on the homework impatience. I actually said to my daughter once, “You know, I already WENT to school and earned a degree. Now it is your turn.” Not only did my mother never one time help me with homework, she never even asked if I HAD any! I never learned how to be a Homework Helper.

    Along came my son (8 years apart, different Dads.) For the first several years homework was assigned, his Dad not only helped, but actually DID most of the work. He needed for his kid to be the “genius” kid. When I got wind of this, and some other more serious stuff, I took full custody of my son, summer before 7th grade. My son said he wanted to do ALL the work himself, period. He wanted NO interference. Guess what, straight A’s! (I guess he was learning something when he watched his Dad do his homework all those years.) So, now he is a Freshman in high school and I have a pass to only have to help with supervising (and suggesting design elements just a tiny bit) when he has to decorate a presentation board. Hahaha! Which is a good darn thing, because there is not a chance I could help with the Math at this point. Haha.

    As a matter of fact, I must have been channeling your anxiety, because last night I had a Math dream! I was with my college algebra teacher and couldn’t remember how to complete the problem. Hahaha. (Now, why would THAT be when obviously we use Algebra every day in our real lives??? LOL!!!)

    Smiles,
    Lucy

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