Thursday, September 24, 2009

How will this help me in the Real World?

Getting children to sit for an hour when they’ve just spent eight in school remains a thankless task and no amount of cookies and milk, hugs and freshly sharpened crayons can make it otherwise.

Clearly, all of my kids are feeling the pressure of having ascended to the next grade and being thus required to do more work. One of them in a fit of disgust asked the question asked by so many scholars before him, “Why? If it didn’t stick in all the time it was drilled at me in class, why will one more hour make a difference?”

Presuming it was a purely rhetorical question, I ignored it until he clamored in frustration a second time. I tried explaining that this helped seal in his brain the concepts taught during school.

He countered with "If the teacher were really good, I'd remember it without this stuff." I asked if something was wrong. "No." I asked if he needed a break. "No. It will just mean I have to do it later." That fatalistic vision of putting off tasks had never stopped me, but it clearly dogged his spirit. "What difference will this make?" He wailed again.

I put out the makings for dinner on the counter. Then I handed him a plate. “Dinner time.” I announced.

“What’s this?”
“Your pasta, meatballs and salad.” I explained.

“It hasn’t been cooked.”
“I know.”

“The spaghetti is still in the box.”
“You’re right again.”

“And the meatballs are still frozen.”
“Well, I’ve cooked all day so one more hour, how would that make a difference?” I asked.

Defeated, he handed me back the plate and went back to his worksheet. “I hate it when you get creative with your parenting.” he groused.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

gonna stick this in the "for later" pile!

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