POSTS WITH TAG: homework

  • 7 +SHARE

    So, this happened. A class of fourth graders in El Paso, Texas, received a rather questionable homework assignment. In an exercise of reading comprehension, the students were asked to read about a certain scenario and then give their opinion on what went down.

    Now, there are so many different ways an educator could present a story to students -- like a tale of kids playing in a park or the Easter Bunny finding a child's home. But no, this particular teacher used the scenario of a mother finding a hairclip that was not hers in her marital bed, leading to the assumption that her husband had cheated on her. Yes, that! The story presented to the kids as homework read like this:

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    If you've found yourself banging your head against the wall or feeling dumb as a post upon trying to help your kid with his Common Core math homework -- well, you're not alone. But just in case you think it's YOU and other people who are like YOU (i.e., who suck at math), then you might feel better to know that even a dad who has an advanced engineering degree can't figure out Common Core math!

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    The other day my 8-year-old son brought home his weekly envelope of class work for me to review, and among his spelling worksheets and carefully crawled mini-essays and crayoned drawings, I spotted a sheet of subtraction problems that looked slightly ... odd. He had two problems to solve, both fairly basic, but he also had three columns on the page in which he had been required to use different strategies to solve the problems. The first column looked perfectly familiar to me: one number was on top of the other, with a line drawn underneath both and his answer below. The second and third columns, however, made exactly ZERO sense to me no matter how long I peered mouthbreathingly at the "strategies."

    I have long dreaded the day when I could no longer help my children with their homework because their knowledge had surpassed my own -- but I hadn't quite imagined it would happen in the SECOND GRADE.

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    When I was a kid, I thought there was nothing I could ever loathe more than homework. They wanted me to go to school all day, and then come home and do more paperwork? What was that about? Then I became a mom, and I discovered that the only thing worse than homework when you’re a kid is your kids’ homework when you’re a parent.

    But you do it, right? You ask a zillion times if they have their homework done. You help them with the problems they’re having a hard time understanding. You do not, however, do what one Florida mom allegedly did -- beat them up for not doing their homework.

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    We've all had those days when we felt overworked, burned out, and in dire need of a BREAK! And by all of us, I mean even first graders like Sophie Mullins, who goes to Gauley River Elementary in Craigsville, West Virginia and recently wrote to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin to lament her hefty workload!

    According to her mother, Sarah Mullins, the inspiration came from an "inside joke" at home: "She would be like ‘Daddy, its so hard!' And he was like, “You need to write your congressman.'” But Sophie took her father's advice seriously -- and penned the following letter to Sen. Manchin ...

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    Doesn't it seem like once you've lived through a particularly challenging life stage -- the ass-pain of memorizing the multiplication tables, say, or the nonstop emotional horror show of middle school -- you shouldn't have to repeat it ever again? That's supposed to be the consolation prize in our inexorable forward march toward death: we become wiser, we gain perspective, and if we don't want to wear headgear, we totally don't have to.

    This is SO not how it works if you have kids, though. Once you're a parent, you eventually get to revisit pretty much every single thing that ever sucked when you were a kid -- and this time around, it's actually even worse, because as an adult, you get all the added stress and responsibility.

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    Funny thing about homework: As kids, we can't wait to grow up and never have to do homework again. Then we grow up and find out -- oh no! -- homework is even more horrific when you have kids of your own! 

    Why? Well, for a variety of reasons; chief among them: Homework sucks, and your kids don't want to do it anymore than you want to make them do it. Throw hunger, fatigue, and a few infuriatingly newfangled math concepts into the mix and you've got the makings of a nightmare!

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    Psst! Come here! C'mon, a little closer. I've got a confession, and I don't need the mommy police hearing. Can you hear me now? OK, well, here's the deal: I hate helping my third grader with her homework.

    I know, I know, what kind of mom am I, and blah, blah, blah. But have you looked at a third grader's homework lately? The solution to the Middle East peace crisis seems easier.

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    Can you believe Maci Bookout's little guy is already old enough for homework? He's not working on algebra yet, but he sure knows his alphabet. In a new Keek video we get to see Maci helping Bentley with his homework, and it's adorable. Bentley is coloring duck's feet -- the ones with the letter "D" inside get colored orange. Sounds like your kids' homework, too?

    Bentley's clearly the star of this video, but Maci does something that wins us over, too. She's helping Bentley with his homework -- not that he can't do it himself, but it's important to engage with your kids over school work. It's quality time with your kids. Even better, we love her attitude.

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    I have to tell you guys something pretty scary, pretty anxiety inducing, pretty unbelievable ... my son just started middle school. When ... how did this happen? Everyone knows, middle school is a major turning point -- a time of self exploration, acclimating to the social mores of tween/teen culture, learning which hair products work best, and feeling like a total loser (whether you have tons of friends or none).

    It also reiterates the fact that they're no longer our babies. As terrifying as that is, I've actually been banned from writing about it. Seriously, after calling us moms of boys jealous shrews and exploring what to do when your tween actually pays attention to you, I've literally been given a writing restraining order -- imposed by mothers who can't stop sobbing and giggling ... while sobbing. Though I can no longer wax poetic, I can list the numerous indicators that your little boy has entered a big bad tweenhood. Here are 30 of them:

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