On one recent Tuesday, I received two emails with requests from my daughter’s teacher: Send in a collection of 100 things for the 100th day of school, and find something starting with the letter Q for show-and-tell. I already had to get a Dr. Seuss costume together for the next week, and don’t forget silly sock day, crazy hat day and everything else planned for a weeklong celebration of Dr. Seuss. And that’s just for one of my three kids.
The children in this class are 4. They cannot complete these assignments themselves, let alone even read the email.
I refer to these types of assignments as parent homework. This is not about a parent helping with homework. It is work given from teacher to parent, passing directly over a child’s head.
“There should never be preschool homework,” said Jessica Lahey, author of “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.” “Research shows it has no academic benefit, it’s a terrible idea for family time, and it’s just a waste of time.”
Parent homework comes in many forms: from finding show-and-tell items and “All About Me” posters for the littlest, to the large-scale science projects, historically accurate costumes and more as children go through the ranks at school.
“We need to pause and ask ourselves if we’ve lost sight of the end goal,” said Phyllis Fagell, a licensed clinical professional counselor and author of “Middle School Matters.” “A 4-year-old will learn more playing pretend fairies and ponies with a friend than filling out a work sheet or collecting 100 paper clips.”
Ms. Lahey agreed. “As a teacher myself, I have to call foul,” she said. “Teachers have to stop assigning projects to kids that aren’t kids’ projects.”
She suggested that the next time I am sent an assignment my child can’t do herself, I first contact the teacher (in person or by email) and ask, “What are the expectations of this assignment?”
“That will force the teacher to reflect back to you what they assigned,” she said.
Then, you can ask the following:
What is the assignment expected to assess?
How much parental involvement is expected?
How long should it take to complete?
This a way of pointing out to a teacher that the assignment is beyond your child’s ability to complete herself, or is perhaps too long for her attention span.
“Teachers don’t want to create frustration at home,” Ms. Fagell said. Often by alerting them to what is going on, they will be willing to modify an assignment to help your child complete it himself.
And if the teacher doesn’t get the hint, be blunt and say that the assignment is simply beyond your child’s ability to complete alone.
“That’s feedback that the teacher should want,” said Laura Guarino, associate dean of children’s programs at Bank Street College of Education.
But if you complain, will the teacher be offended and take it out on your child?
“People always worry that if you ruffle feathers, it will impact how your teacher will look at your child,” said Ms. Guarino.
So enter the conversation with the goal of impressing on the teacher that you want to be able to understand the school’s goals around homework, and how they fit into the curriculum.
“The people who enter a conversation from a place of curiosity are the ones we know are willing to partner with our school to do the best for their child,” said Jed Lippard, dean of children’s programs at Bank Street. “Try inquiry before advocacy.”
So I mentioned to my daughter’s teacher that I felt a little daunted by dressing my daughter as one of the fuzzy, bulbous creatures from the Dr. Seuss books, and she steered me toward printing out a photo of a red fish and taping it to her shirt, as in “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” That lowered the bar, and my stress level. Not wanting tape on her shirt, my daughter ending up dressing in a white shirt, black skirt and red bow as Sally, the do-gooder little girl from “The Cat in the Hat,” and I didn’t have to sew, glue or print out a single thing.
But I couldn’t bring myself to ask out of the 100-object assignment. And while my daughter wanted to bring in a box of 100 straws, that just felt like a cop out. Wasn’t she supposed to learn what 100 represented by counting?
She had barely any interest in counting, but I felt I’d be doing her a disservice if I sent her to school empty-handed when everyone else would bring in something.
I felt guilty, overburdened and needing to impress.
We tried counting out 100 Lego bricks in 10 stacks of 10. But, two and a half stacks in, she lost her patience, so with my apologies to my daughter’s teacher, I asked my older daughter, a first-grader, to complete the assignment. (She made it a few stacks further, until I just went in and found the last 23 bricks.)
Was I somehow failing as a parent since my 4-year-old was unable to do it herself, and didn’t even want to do it with me?
Ms. Guarino suggested a different approach. If my daughter’s attention span allowed her to stack only 10 bricks at a time, I could have broken up the assignment and had her stack bricks before dinner, after dinner, before bath time, and after tooth brushing.
If I had thought this through earlier in the school year and spoken to my child’s teacher in September, Ms. Lahey suggested, I could have explained that my goals for the year were for my daughter to become more autonomous.
She could have gone to school with the two and half stacks of Legos she counted, even if it fell far short of 100, and I wouldn’t have had to feel guilty.
“If the child gets things wrong and messes the assignment up, that’s a great opportunity for the entire class to learn from the mistake,” Ms. Lahey said.
Now, especially in light of recent discussions of snowplow parenting in the wake of the college bribery scandal, I feel guilty instead for the help I gave her. I robbed my daughter of an opportunity to see me advocate on her behalf, and I also robbed her whole class of a learning opportunity.
In the interest of transparency, I told my daughter’s teacher I was writing about this. Her response? “Oh, that? The kids in class were asking for homework, so I thought collecting 100 things would be something fun for them to do. But I didn’t care if they did it or not.”B:
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【这】【次】【会】【议】【刘】【慧】【仍】【旧】【只】【带】【了】【一】【个】【人】【来】，【繁】·【简】【这】【边】【是】【陈】【简】【之】【和】【叶】【朝】【繁】【还】【有】【宋】【祁】【出】【席】，【而】TJ【是】【段】【世】【和】【与】【安】【娜】。 【安】【娜】【是】【个】【彻】【头】【彻】【尾】【的】【英】【国】【人】，【不】【仅】【人】【美】【中】【文】【还】【说】【得】【很】【好】，【另】【性】【格】【热】【情】【开】【朗】。 【叶】【朝】【繁】【在】TJ【时】【见】【过】【她】，【聊】【得】【比】【较】【投】【缘】。 “【繁】，【我】【听】【说】【你】【去】【考】【试】【了】？”【安】【娜】【看】【到】【叶】【朝】【繁】【就】【热】【情】【的】【拉】【住】【她】，【惊】【奇】【讲】：“www.net187.com【第】【一】【部】【小】【说】《【归】【真】【劫】》【完】【结】【了】！ 【我】【是】【新】【人】，【也】【是】【旧】【人】！ 2018【年】5【月】2【日】【开】【始】【这】【部】【小】【说】，2018【年】5【月】23【日】【五】【万】【字】【签】【约】，【如】【今】【完】【结】【已】【经】206【万】【字】！ 【没】【有】【大】【纲】！ 【没】【有】【细】【纲】！ 【只】【是】【脑】【海】【里】【有】【个】【想】【法】，【就】【斗】【志】【昂】【扬】、【兴】【冲】【冲】【扑】【进】【火】【海】【了】！ 【平】【未】【半】【不】【知】【道】【现】【在】【行】【业】【趋】【势】【和】【读】【者】【爱】【好】，【就】【凭】【兴】【趣】
【洪】【武】【查】【看】【奖】【励】【一】【栏】。 “【收】【服】9【品】【死】【亡】【骨】【翼】【龙】【一】【只】！【获】【得】【龙】【骑】【士】【称】【号】，【奖】【励】【成】【就】【点】10000【点】！” “【完】【成】【系】【统】【任】【务】，【获】【得】【成】【就】【点】40000【点】！【气】【血】【晋】【级】！【精】【神】【晋】【级】！【奖】【励】S【级】【功】**【法】【一】【部】：【星】【河】【万】【界】！” “【激】【活】【秘】【境】！【触】【发】【秘】【境】【任】【务】：【可】【进】【入】！” 【一】【连】【串】【的】【讯】【息】【都】【在】【提】【醒】【洪】【武】【自】【身】【实】【力】【的】【提】【升】。
【青】【宁】【走】【后】，【董】【贵】【妃】【左】【手】【撑】【着】【脑】【袋】，【右】【手】【在】【桌】【子】【上】【轻】【敲】，【颦】【眉】【思】【索】【着】。【肩】【膀】【上】【的】【酸】【软】【却】【一】【抽】【一】【抽】【的】【疼】。 “【腊】【月】，【你】【说】【韩】【青】【宁】【刚】【刚】【说】【她】【会】【去】【退】【婚】，【你】【觉】【得】【是】【真】【的】【么】？” 【腊】【月】，【也】【就】【是】【刚】【刚】【那】【个】【下】【跪】【的】【宫】【女】，【手】【中】【给】【董】【贵】【妃】【扇】【着】【扇】【子】，【恭】【敬】【温】【顺】【的】【说】【道】：“【娘】【娘】，【奴】【婢】【觉】【得】【是】【真】【的】。” “【哦】？【为】【何】？” 【腊】【月】【回】
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