“I know the answers, it’s just that my brain can’t find them,” said Chase the other day as we were trying to get through his homework.
Probably a pretty good description actually.
Homework time is one of my least favourite times of the day.
I know good mothers should love doing homework with their kids, but most nights I would rather pull my own teeth out than take on Chase’s ‘bonus learning’!
You see, Chase has had loads of problems learning to read and write. We’ve gone down the occupational therapy road and had some success with that, and he’s getting fantastic support at school.
And having interviewed fabulous Australian author Mem Fox while pregnant, I know that reading to your child is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child.
So we’ve done that, religiously, since birth.
It never occurred to me that one of kids would have problems with reading and writing.
I write – and read – for a living. By osmosis – and older brothers and sister – I could read before I started school, and was always ahead of my peers in English and spelling.
So helping Chase has been a real eye-opener. I’m not a teacher, so I was stumped when it came to transferring my knowledge to Chase at home. Luckily, I’ve been given loads of advice and tips from Chase’s teachers, and I’m getting better at it.
But when it comes to learning sight words, writing sentences, and reading, homework time is still, well, like pulling my own teeth out.
Chase scratches, farts, takes toilet breaks, remembers he’s still hungry, realises he’s also terribly thirsty, and tries anything he can think of to prolong the agony.
Sometimes his sister sits beside us, doing her ‘homework’ (drawing and colouring), but she’s started recited random letters of the alphabet while he’s struggling with his spelling.
“ARSE” she’ll spell, as Chase is attempting to spell “broomstick”.
Next minute, he’s called her a Poo Head, she’s called him a Bum Bum, and they’re trying to kill each other.
I’ve found a way to relieve the pain though. After homework time, it’s bedtime for the kids. And wine time for me!