I used to love doing homework with my children. Yesiree, it was awesome. I felt at the top of my game. They would bring out the books and I’d be there at the kitchen table helping them get past their math and vocabulary. They were so amazed at how smart I was and how quickly I could help. It was great for my confidence and self-esteem because I wasn’t sure I would remember anything from when I was in school.
Yep, there’s nothing like being the know-it-all answer man coming to rescue and helping with the homework of a first grader.
Of course, it was down hill from there. Oh sure, I was able to help here and there, but the work they came home with wasn’t at all what I remember learning about. It was just dumb luck I knew a lot of it, but seriously, has the school system changed that much in 20 years? (ok, 40..ok 50). Is the work really harder or has my brain just released the information to make room for other stuff, like deleting unused files from your computer to help it run faster. Maybe a little of both, but I found I needed to get creative with my homework-helping if I was going to survive this with my dignity in tact.
That’s why I invented “The Amazing Homework Helper System “ and I’m going to give it to you right now for free!
If your kids are young then you’re probably thinking this about me, “he must not be that smart. I’ll be fine”. Think that way if you dare, but you may want to remember this article just in case your kids get older. Trust me; the jump from addition problems to algebra happens faster then the breast to bottle to glass stage. Ah, now you are paying attention. Get out your pen and paper because you’ll want to take notes (see what I did there? We’re talking about homework…..).
OK, let’s jump to the third grade when your kids are already way smarter then we ever were at that age or in many cases, at any age. They get stuck on something that when you look at the problem, you realize you should’ve studied harder in the 3rd grade. You’ve been caught off guard and have no clue what the answer is or how to get it. Here’s my system and I’m giving it to you for free (you’ll thank me someday. Us parents have to stick together).
Follow these steps carefully and don’t skip a single one:
1) Always position yourself across from your child with a laptop or ipad. This is a vital part of this plan, as you are going to pretend you are working.
2) When you see their homework problem you say this one simple sentence, and please don’t get this wrong or your cover will be blown. You simply say, “I could easily help you with that, but you won’t really learn it until you work through it yourself”.
Remember it, practice it, and be able to repeat it in your sleep because it’s the only thing saving you from complete humiliation. Now, you could use this secondary statement as well, as it might help sell the con. Just say, “I’m working on something very important right now and only need a few minutes to finish”. You actually wouldn’t be lying because helping your child with their homework is very important, don’t you think?
So, you are half way through this plan, totally getting away with it because they are in third grade and an even match for our wits and intelligence (hmmm, maybe).
3) Next, Goggle some website like www.idontrememberanythingfromelementaryschool.com. I’m not sure it’s a real website, but you get the idea. This should work 95% of the time.
4. Now, in a matter of fact manner, ask them once again what the problem is (it makes you sound as though you actually understand this stuff), and casually proceed to help them through it, thanks to Google and dumb luck.
FREE BONUS BACK UP PLAN
If you can’t find the answer and begin to panic, no worries. Simply tell them that the way you learned it might confuse them and that they should go see their teacher and ask them to explain their method of solving the problem. They will appreciate your caring nature.
The sad part of this is that we’ve only covered the third grade. By middle school and high school you may as well just admit that they are smart and we are dumb.
My kids always asked me that cliché question, “why do I have learn this stuff?”. I felt like telling them, ‘so you won’t be sitting where I am someday”.
Oh, by the way, just when you think you've mastered this system, just you wait until they bring home those new Common Core homework assignments. I'm not sure even Google can get you out of that one!
Here’s a song we recorded showing appreciation to teachers called, Hurray For The Teachers