Grade 3 math homework has induced tears, foot-stomping, tantrums and screaming.
And that was my reaction.
We are still within the start of the school year and have multiple pages of math work almost every evening. Plus whatever else the Little Bird brings home, like Science.
I learned my lesson from earlier attempts and now try to wait until after dinner, hoping to avoid the meltdown, the tears and “hangry” attitude. So we follow dinner directly with sitting at the dining room table and begin.
Here is how it went down the other night…
The first page was about rounding to the nearest ten or hundred. When I noticed that the questions she had started to work on were incorrect, I started to read her the textbook and explain the question again, and we went downhill quickly. As a result, that page took a long time.
She moved on to writing out numbers, counting base 100, 10 and 1 blocks, and then drawing them and things started to settle. And we both began to calm down.
I feel bad that I lost my temper, and I don’t know how to get her give me an opportunity to explain the question or work out the answer with her. She shuts down and says she wants to do it herself, and so I let her. However within minutes, she says she doesn’t know how to do it.
Do you see the vicious cycle?
Homework at this level shouldn’t take two hours. But it did.
I knew Grade 3 would be different. It’s harder. I warned her and tried to prepare myself. But I don’t think either of us were ready for this.
You see, last year she hardly brought anything home. She finished her assigned homework in class, or while in the after-care program. But even when she didn’t finish it, she was pretty good about sitting down and getting it done at home.
Sure, there were moments, but they were seldom and not too hard to refocus.
She’s had a rude awakening this year. And so have I.
Heading to bed a half hour after the Little Mouse, and not because she got to stay up late for fun, she was tired. She was upset that she didn’t get to play with her sister and didn’t like it. The next morning we spoke about both of us trying our hardest to not get so upset and to focus on doing the work, so she can have time to play.
I’ve been on the search for homework strategies ever since.
I also believe that teachers should send home some parent tips for the work they are doing, because one of the biggest arguments/oppositions I hear is “my teacher didn’t say that.” But when I read the textbook, I don’t understand how the teacher said anything different?
So how can I help my kid, if I don’t know what I’m supposed to say? How do we tackle homework every night without the meltdowns and how do we keep on a track for a successful year?
I need her to remain positive and learn not to resent math altogether. Like I did. It will just make the rest of her schooling easier, if she doesn’t grow to dread math. Because, as much as I hate to admit it, it is useful and you do use it. Forever.
Any and all ideas are welcome. I’d love to hear your strategies and tips.