My middle schooler deals with homework. I am aware there’s a debate over this traditional assignment and its validity, but I don’t have issues with homework as long as it is relevant and reasonable. I appreciate assignments that not only reinforce learning my daughter had in class, but that make her work on skills such as time management. Her math classes do that. Now the fact that my 12-year-old is taking two sections of math is a completely different blog post and I am focusing on the positives right now, so we will press on.
I’m not sure if the two teachers coordinated their assignments, but they each assign a week’s worth of practice; just on different days, hence different due dates. Of course the curriculum isn’t the new math her parents learned, it’s imported math, which means we cannot help her solve a problem when she gets stuck because we are doing it wrong…mind you, not getting the wrong answer. This however is simply amusing and not a problem. Why not? Because the teachers make themselves available before school. So when my daughter reaches that point of frustration at home, we are okay with asking: Where are you stuck? What do you understand up to that point? and encouraging her to take those issues to her teacher in the morning.
Sure there is room for growth. I’d love in the weekly emails that the math teachers send outlining the work of the week that there’d be a few links to videos that model the skills being learned. I’d love all of her teachers (not picking on just the math teachers here) to use Edmodo, the learning management system her school opted to set up and train teachers on. Since parents can log in too, that might even reduce the need of those parent emails.
But there is one thing that really stood out this week. It goes back to that time management skill building. My 12-year-old tackled a little extra work while we sat in the allergist’s waiting room Tuesday afternoon. That left Wednesday afternoon open. She had planned to use that time for MineCraft, but when she got home she was craving an after-school snack. Since there weren’t any graham crackers to pair with the Nutella, she asked if she could borrow my iPad to look for some snack ideas. After some evaluation of posts (and the comments that followed) and a quick survey of supplies, this is what she decided to whip up during what would normally be homework time, Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies from the Noble Pig. Thank you Mr. Browning and Ms. Hyslop. In hindsight, I probably should have sent them some brownies. Next time I’ll make sure to think of it!