Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Monday, March 7, 2011


One of our daughters approached me this evening and asked me to help her make flashcards as part of a study blitz that would assure her an A on a test later this week. This child almost never asks for help with homework. She's a motivated and self-directed student and the only role the rest of us tend to play when she's doing her homework is annoy her. Just by breathing. When she approached me tonight, she began with, "Mama, are you very busy?" and before I could answer, followed it with, "Because if you're not, do you think you could help me make flashcards?" I think we both knew that anything I was doing would be promptly put aside because my child needed my help! I remember a time when I couldn't wait to be done with homework of my own and here I am now, a mom who can't wait to jump in with homework help! Of course, it's not about the homework at all. It has a lot more to do with the fact that parents want to help their kids when they can. And when kids enter the terrifying tween and teen stages mine have entered, there's something to be said, from the mom's perspective, for having them turn to you and let you know they need you. Even if it's for something that's not particularly substantive. Even if it's for flashcards. In addition to feeling needed, I may just get a little goodwill out of this for a day or two and I could always use a little goodwill when it comes to parenting a teenager!

A fun middle grade selection tied to this theme is Dan Gutman's The Homework Machine and the sequel, Return of the Homework Machine. Hmmmmm... a machine that does your homework for you automatically...As much as I enjoyed being called on for help this evening, there are far more nights when my help is not requested but imposed on one child or another and it's never a pretty sight.

No comments:

Post a Comment