Do you know what the best part of mid term is?
No, definitely not Halloween.
It’s NO HOMEWORK!
It is now after 3pm and I am not doing homework.
When I myself went to school,
I will admit I was not really a fan of it,
and was known on many occasions to just not do it.
Maybe children are better behaved nowadays,
but mine would never dream of not doing their homework.
However because they are not all of genius intelligence,
this has meant at times I too have had to do homework.
I think somebody somewhere is having a laugh.
Because I who hated homework,
have over the years had ten children (not all mine),
regularly doing their homework here.
For the majority it is not an overly difficult task,
but for two of my children, who have dyslexia, it is.
I have to read, or supervise almost all their homework,
from start to finish.
However what has really killed me over the years,
above all else, is Maths.
I can remember as a child sitting down to do my maths homework,
or as we called it back then “my sums”.
Occasionally my mum would ask did I need help,
and if I did she would begin to “solve my problem”.
Except I would have to tell her she was wrong.
Her way was not the right way to do it.
Then she and I would get into a battle.
She would say what I was doing was ridiculous,
and try her best to show me her method.
I’d refuse to listen and she would eventually storm off,
tut tutting about the new maths.
Fast forward twenty years to my eldest child, now in her twenties.
On occasions she would need help,
Now in my day, I had been quite good at maths,
so I was only too happy to oblige.
Only to discover I could not do the simplest of calculations.
Even subtraction was not as it used to be!
Borrow one, pay one back,
had sure got a whole lot more complicated than in my day.
Eventually with effort, I learned this “new” way of doing maths.
After all she was my eldest and I wanted to do things right.
Three children later and I am cracking up.
Now the “new” methods for calculation,
which I painfully took the time to learn,
for my first then second, and also my third children have been discarded.
Once again there is a “new” way to do it.
Last week we got an explanatory page home,
describing in great detail how to do long division.
I looked at it, and groaned. Not again.
How is it possible to make something so complicated?
My daughter looked at me expectantly,
I couldn’t lie.
“What a load of rubbish”, I said,
before realising I had spoken aloud.
She smiled, loving the fact I was so fed up.
“Yes will we just skip them?”, she said happily.
“No no no”, I said we have to try.
So I sat down and did my best to support the teacher.
I once again learned a “new” method of long division,
even more complicated than the last three.
After over 40 minutes I looked up,
to note that my daughter had left the kitchen to watch television!
I looked at my endless calculations,
all completely unnecessary as far as I could see,
and I did what I should have done earlier.
I took out her homework diary,
and wrote a note saying we were having a small bit of difficulty,
and would try again the next day.
My daughter was thrilled with this result,
but I cautioned her and told her we would try again tomorrow.
Then I hung up the explanatory page in the kitchen,
hoping that I might just subconsciously absorb it.
The next morning when we got up,
I noticed the page was missing.
It had fallen down over night,
and sorrow of sorrows our young pup had eaten most of it!
I almost gave her a treat.
It would appear we both shared the same opinion on “new” maths.