Groanwork

Homework is proof of the devil. Seriously. I HATE it. Forget what the kids think of it.
I’m one of those parents who don’t actually do the work for their children and make it their responsibility.
This is for a number of reasons – firstly because I hate it and secondly because my understanding of homework is that it is meant to be for their benefit in going over work they have done during that day/week.
But then there is Oscar.
Tonight I felt like Attila the Hun of parenting.
For starters, it’s Thursday, and there were several worksheets not done and last nights word list only half finished.
I made him do it all.
I am really really worried about his letter reproduction. His writing is appalling. And just so you’re all aware of what we’re working with, Oscar doesn’t (can’t?) write words or sentences of his own volition, we’re still in the land of copying.
And that worry is only exacerbated by me having no idea on how to aid/assit/teach him to write.
He looks at a letter – say a z, a y, or an s and his reproduction of it is woeful. WOEFUL. APPALLINGLY BAD.
He still doesn’t grasp the idea of writing letters next to each other and along one line. He just can’t.
I of course, handle it all the wrong way, getting angry and/or frustrated. I know we should go back to the letters he can do and have some victories. Fine. But at the end of the day, he has to progress at some speed, no matter how slow, so long as it is moving forward.
So why do I feel his writing is actually in reverse gear and he’s flooring the pedals while I scream “you’re going backwards, BACKWARDS”.
Anyway, we got to the end and we had a chat – I told him so long as he could look at his work and think “I tried my hardest” and “I did my best” it doesn’t matter if it is right or wrong.
God help us all.

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  • Badger

    Argh. I share your opinion of homework 100% (both the hating it, and the making the kids do it themselves).

    My boy child has a LOT of handwriting issues as well. His occupational therapist was a great help with that back when he was in second grade and just beginning to write a lot for school, and I think we’re going to have her come back and give him a tuneup over the summer so his sixth-grade teachers won’t think he’s just scribbling on the paper and calling it done.

    (His writing LITERALLY looks like chicken scratches. Like you put ink on a chicken’s claws and let it walk over the paper. I have no idea how his teacher this year managed to read it.)

    Anyhoo, I don’t know whether you have access to anything like that down under — occupational therapy? Physical therapy? It won’t address the underlying neurological issues, but it might help him form a “body memory” of how to move his hand to make the different letters.

    Good luck with it — I feel your pain!

  • Joke

    In NTS’s case, what has helped (a LOT) in terms of getting the neural pathways required for penmanship that doesn’t induce migraines in the reader was the use of stencils.

    -J.

  • Kim

    Badger – thank you – your comments confirm a niggling feeling I have had for some months (years?) about OT and Oscar.

    and stencils!

    Joke, you’re a genius.

  • Em

    we are doing a lot of work with an OT for Willow… it has definitely helped so I’m sure it would be worth investigating for oscar (like you didn’t already have enough on your plate.

  • Surfing Free

    Miss E’s writing is apalling as well and she often writes letters backwards. I spoke to her teacher about my concerns a couple of weeks ago and she said that for the first few years of school no-one is concerned about the neatness of the writing, just that the kids can recognised the sound then reproduce it’s graphic equivalent on paper. Apparently it’s all about going over and over it until the connections between the two are so strong the the child starts to think about the quality of the letter as well.
    That helped ease my mine … I hope it helps you as well 🙂