Sep 23, 2013

homework grievance

I have beef with homework.  I don't like it.  I know that some homework is necessary, but the amount of homework my kids have to do it ridiculous.

I especially hate kindergarten homework.  I think it's unnecessary.  And, frankly, it just makes me mad.

Number Four's kindergarten teacher sends home a weekly homework sheet with two small activities to do every day, plus we are required to read 20+ minutes every single day of the week.  I have nothing against reading or the small homework activities, but sometimes we are busy, with stuff like, you know, LIFE, and we don't have time to devote to writing the letter H 20 times and drawing something that rhymes with rat.  And maybe we only read billboards on the freeway that day, because, you know, LIFE.

This kindergarten homework could be tolerable, and we could make up the missed assignments on less busy days, but the teacher is also sending home "bonus" worksheets that she expects my daughter to do. 

Last week she sent home five double-sided math worksheets straight out of the Common Core workbook.  These would be the worksheets that she, as a teachers, is required teach and complete IN CLASS, but apparently the teacher doesn't do that?  Not to mention, it was five, FIVE, worksheets, double sided.  For a kindergartener.

So last week I refused to make Number Four do those "bonus" worksheets.  She just turned them back in at the end of the week, not done.

She just came home from school today.  Now she has the new week's homework activities, four new double-sided "bonus" worksheets, and a note that says "Please finish your math from last week!"  Plus another note about how we forgot to write down her reading on the paper AND online, so guess what?  It doesn't count.

And did I mention that we also have to list each and every book we read this month?  Because it's not annoying to list the ten books that you can fit into ONE 20 minute reading session (times 30 for each day of the month she's required to read).

And I haven't even mentioned the other kids' homework amounts.  After spending all day in school, they have to come home and spend another hour doing school work.  And then if we have soccer practices, or dance or, heaven forbid, ERRANDS, they never get a chance to just chill or do normal kid stuff like play outside, or do chores, or see how far they can jump out of the neighbor's swing onto the trampoline. And kids should be able to do these things daily.

So yeah, I pretty much hate homework.

Sep 20, 2013

I think I just saw a shadow move in the basement....

I have an intense fear of basements.  It's illogical at best.  (Certifiable at worst.)  I know I shouldn't be afraid of them, but basements, as a whole, creep me out.

I lived in a basement bedroom for most of my childhood years.  I was afraid of them back then too.  But I figured that once I became an adult I would be impervious to such things as basementophobia.  What I didn't count on was the fact that being a grownup is pretty much like being yourself, but old.  So I'm still mostly terrified of basements.

I can usually get over it and go downstairs as long as it's not dark.  Or if I'm home alone.  And if I'm home alone after the sun sets, you can pretty much put money on my NEVER going into a basement.

At our last house, our 1930's house, I didn't like the basement because the original owner was down there.  He was a crotchety old dude with boots and a hat, and possibly overalls.  Of course he wasn't REALLY in the basement.  But in my mind he was.  Mostly I thought about him in the tiny bedroom down there.  Because, naturally, being the spirit of the deceased home owner he would choose to hang out in the darkest and smallest rooms of the whole house?

At first, in my brain, this old guy ghost didn't like us.  But I made my kids sleep in the basement anyway.  Because a fear of basements isn't something I talk about with my kids.  In fact, it's a well guarded secret that I deny on a daily basis.  So, say one of my kids is whining about not wanting to go down there alone, I can just say, "Oh please, it's JUST the basement.  It's TOTALLY FINE."  When really I'm thinking, "Well, I'm not going down there alone, and someone needs to put this away."

After we lived in our 1930's house for awhile the crocheting old man ghost started to like us.  Because my family is amazingly endearable.  So after awhile that basement seemed less scary.  (Except that's also where the spiders liked to hide, but that's a whole other phobia altogether.)

When we moved to our current home I wasn't too worried about the basement.  It's unfinished down there, but we've made it quite liveable/useable.  No one has to sleep down there, but we go down there multiple times a day. 

Except after awhile my brain decided that there's the ghost of a little girl down there.  Because, WHY NOT?  This girl ghost has a corner she likes to hide in.  And, because my brain likes to come up with the creepiest possible scenarios, sometimes she likes to follow me up the stairs.  But not at normal human speed - she does that horrific ghost speed thing where they'll stand at the bottom of the stairs, and then suddenly they're RIGHT BEHIND YOU at the top of the stairs.  And I think about this MUCH MUCH TOO OFTEN. 

I know that there's probably absolutely no ghost girls in our basement, or following me up the stairs, or creeping around in dark corners.  But my imagination is never ever dormant.  It's just there, always coming up with new ways to freak me out.  (If there was a contest on who's brain was the most creative at finding ways to scare it's owner, I would be a top contender.)

And besides, tonight when husband needed to iron a shirt, he got a couple steps down the basement stairs when he stopped.  I asked him why and he said, "Because I think I just saw a shadow move down there."  AND HE WASN'T EVEN JOKING.

So I pretty much won't ever be going in our basement again.  I really hope one of the kids picks up a love of laundry, because the washing machine is down there and I'd really hate to never have clean clothes again.