Monday, February 19, 2007

Days I Hate Being a Mom

I love my kids, I really do - I'll just say that right up front. We've had a long weekend here. Buddy was out of school today and the Evil Twin didn't have work. We've had a very accomplished weekend. On Friday, I opened savings accounts for both kids. On Saturday, we went to Target and I returned some things I had purchased earlier in the week and also got Buddy some new shoes. Sunday, the Evil Twin finally installed a ClosetMaid system into Buddy's closet (never mind the fact that we bought it in July... it is now finished and it looks great).

Today, both kids had their yearly check-ups and aside from shots, everyone had a good day.

Until 6:30 pm when Buddy reminds me it's time to do his homework. Now, this "homework" is actually a report (a short one, but still, a report) on a president. He had chosen Abraham Lincoln. Now, he had all weekend AND the teacher had extended the deadline from Friday to this Tuesday, so he has known about it since early last week.

Guess who gets on the internet to find info on Honest Abe? I don't have to tell you, do I? And, I had to search for material that was easy enough for a 3rd grader to read and summarize. That actually proved easier than I had originally thought, but then again, Lincoln is one of the most beloved and famous of all our presidents.

Here's the killer: This is the second such "report" type homework that has been given in the class. Apparently, the teacher, who I do love, has given them no advice or guidance in the fine art of summary. The last report was around Martin Luther King, Jr. day and they were to chose a famous African American and write at least eight sentences on them. When I printed out the information for Buddy and gave it to him, he in turn gave me a report that was verbatim off the page I had given him.

Being a Journalism major myself, I explained to him that we don't plagiarize (someone forgot to notify MLK, though). I tried to explain paraphrasing - which I hear is not tolerated in colleges any more these days. He just doesn't get it.

So, again, for this report, I had to sit beside him and help him identify key bits of information that one would include in a report. I don't want to do the work for him, but I also don't think he should flounder by himself when he clearly doesn't understand how to summarize.

This parenting thing is tough sometimes! But, I wouldn't trade it for anything. :-)

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