My Kid’s Homework is Trying To Kill Me

by Marinka on September 13, 2013

I love my son’s progressive school, but sometimes the homework, OMG. It always has to be meaningful and topical and it really makes me miss the mimeographed worksheet busywork of my youth.

Like in Math, they had to write their Math Autobiography.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“We’re supposed to write what math means to us.”

“Ok,” I had no idea what he was talking about.

The next day, no sooner had I come home, he ran up to me.

“I have to interview you,” he announced.

“Why?” I asked. I have my lawyer on speed dial and I don’t remember being read my Miranda warning.

“Because it’s my homework,” he said as though that explained anything. “Question one: what was I like as a four year old?”

Ok. Mid-blog post pop quiz: If you have children that are older than 10, can you remember what they were like at 4, without resorting to videos, photographs or memory regression therapy? Because I can’t.

“Let’s see,” I started. “Yes, four. I remember you turned four some time after you were three, if I’m not mistaken.”

I noticed that he wasn’t writing anything down.

“You enjoyed books.”

“I enjoyed books?”

“Yes. Yes. Didn’t you?”

“I’m not writing that.”

“Well that’s all I remember,” I confessed.”What are you writing?”

“Mom doesn’t remember,” he said.

“Don’t write that!” I started to panic. The last thing I need is for his teacher to know that I’m the type of mother who has a life outside of her children and possibly suffers from early onset dementia.

“I remember something! That’s the year you fell at Toby’s house and got that scar on your forehead.”

“That was when I was five,” there was a twinge of disappointment in his voice. Like he was two questions away from asking where his real mother was.

“Oh. Well.”

“Do you remember anything about me at 4?” he asked.

“I…remember that you were cute,” I said. Hey, that was a start. Maybe I could do this!

“You were also short,” I continued. “And young. And scarless.”

He wrote everything down, looking mildly disgusted.

“I can look at some videos and get back to you,” I offered.

“That wasn’t the assignment,” he closed his notebook.

That night, as I went in to look over his homework, I lingered on his Music worksheet.

If you play a musical instrument, please describe what that experience has been like for you, the question read.

And then there was an answer.

One day I said to my mom, I want to try piano and she said ok and then after a week I said I don’t want to play anymore and now it’s 8 years later and I’m still forced to practice.

And that’s how our first full week of school went. I’m exhausted already.

One year ago ...

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

karen September 13, 2013 at 7:54 am

The 4th grader’s homework on the second day of school was to interview a parent about what he/she thinks it means to be a successful learner. Trick question!


christy September 13, 2013 at 9:03 am

Sounds exhausting!!!


Mexmom September 13, 2013 at 10:49 am

I really didn’t like my own homework, why do we have to deal with our kids homework as well?


September 14, 2013 at 9:20 am

So funny! I remember those mimeographed sheets! Homework these days – requires way too much thinking for a busy Mom’s brain.


MomChalant September 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I’m with you on the mommy brain… I used to think “how could I forget all of these moments?” and then time goes by quickly and suddenly mommy brain kicks in. Your son’s answer to the question about instruments is hilarious!


the mama bird diaries
September 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm

“One day I said to my mom, I want to try piano and she said ok and then after a week I said I don’t want to play anymore and now it’s 8 years later and I’m still forced to practice.”

That made my day.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes September 20, 2013 at 4:37 am

Thanks for sharing. At least now I know that the five page questionnaire n°1 brought home with questions ranging from ‘Is there mental illness in the family, which type” to “what is your child’s favorite food and why” was not that bad… Oh did I mention she is in kindergarten…


deborah quinn
September 27, 2013 at 9:17 am

Clearly he is destined for a brilliant career as a screen writer. What are you going to wear when he takes you as his “plus one” to the Oscars?


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