Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The homework struggle continues, but finding the right incentive certainly helps.

Mrs. R., SS's teacher handles the homework packets different than the other teachers. For most of the school, homework folders come home on Monday and are due on Friday. Just SS's luck that her K teacher and her second grade teacher go against the grain. But this year SS has it better than in kinder, when homework would come home on Tuesday or Wednesday, and the kids had to work during through the weekend. And don't get us started on the asinine 79 pages of homework for freaking five year-olds. What can we say, we along with SS have some serious kinder PTSD.

Mrs. R requires that the homework folder is returned everyday, as she checks for the daily assignments. If the previous day assignment is not completed, the child will be penalized by missing recess to work on homework. Upon reading about this P said "Oh well, at least she had recess last year."  Our problem with daily check in is that sh*t happens and SS would be penalized if WE forget to place her folder in her backpack. And yes, it already happened, as I freaked out at 10:00 am when I realized I neglected to include her folder one morning.  SS lucked out because it was raining and the kids were kept inside that day.

SS will never be the kid to come home and willingly get to her homework. She will forever whine, procrastinate, and when in a really bad mood have an epic meltdown. Thank Goddess SS has so many amazingly positive qualities otherwise. Because if she was this difficult constantly, it would be hell raising her.  We really are blessed when it comes to every other aspect of SS.  SS's homework hatred would also be understandable if she was struggling, but that is not the case. While math is still a breeze for her (that comes from P, totally him), thanks to Mrs. S (first grade teacher) SS finished the year on track, after starting way behind in language arts. On the second week of school we opened the ominous red folder with much trepidation. SS must complete a language arts exercise and a math exercise Monday through Thursday. She is also required to read for a minimum of 15 minutes.  On Monday SS brings a library book (that must also be in her backpack every freaking day) and is tested on its contents on Friday. How could such a simple thing be the source of so much stress (us) and tears (SS)?

We initially tried offering pool time before homework and that was a bust right off the gate. Once in the water, especially in our suffocating heat, SS threw a fit when it was time to get out and work on her assignment. We then changed tactics to what I had SS do in kinder. When SS arrives home she must change out of her uniform, then take care of her lunch box, including placing the reusable ice packets in the freezer.  Then it is straight to homework. SS grumbles, gripes, acts as thought she is walking through the Sahara, but this approach works best. It is still a painfully slow process, SS sure knows how to make everyone suffer when she is not happy.

Before the first week was over, after a specially nasty retort to P, I put my foot down. SS's iPad was a sure thing on weekends, but that is no longer the case. Her homework attitude will be a major factor on whether she gets to use the addictive gadget. That helped with SS's attitude, but it did nothing to increase her speed. Then a simple comment made a world of difference. I really miss cooking with SS, it's been tough not having my sous chef by my side. The girl has been by my side in the kitchen since she was two, if not earlier. Who knew that would do the trick, at least for now.  When I mentioned that she could help me cook, SS jumped at the chance to take her usual perch on her step stool. We should not be surprised, because quirky should have been SS's middle name. She never ceases to surprise us, and we are taking this latest surprise for as long as it lasts.

And the homework saga begins, first day of homework, after being unceremoniously removed from the pool.

Cutest little thing ever, but can morph into a Venus flytrap in a nano second.

This is what got SS to get through her homework in record time, the allure of making Rellenos de Papa.

And she did peel a lot of potatoes that day. As much as I was Mami's shadow, I don't ever recall being excited about potato peeling.

I don't recall why SS had a wardrobe change half way though the process, but here she is flouring the counter for assembly.

The really unhealthy aspect of this dish and why we do not make them often. 

SS did really well, and although not perfect I think our collaboration made some decent rellenos.

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