This year is the first year that we have had homework and it's not going as smoothly as I had envisioned. I'm not totally crazy, I knew the kids wouldn't waltz in from school with smiles on their faces and immediately sit down at their designated homework spot and joyfully start coloring and practicing their letter sounds while praising their home baked cookie and milk afternoon snack.
But it has been a few weeks since school started and even I, a newbie at this preschool homework thing, knew that something was not right with our homework method. Like for starters, we didn't have one. Besides for not having a "homework spot", something all the "experts" say is a "total must", we don't even have a spot for the stuff we need to do the actual homework. Can you tell I'm rolling my eyes? I am. We don't even have a designated eating supper spot, how can we have a homework spot?
So each night we spend time looking for the crayons and pencils and scissors and glue. We'd usually find them wherever it was that we did homework the night before. Hmm, maybe I am seeing the value of a designated homework spot. Perhaps my mockery was uncalled for.
And then yesterday, in the middle of scotch-taping the homework back together after a child who does not yet attend school ripped apart the homework of one who does, I realized I needed a plan. The first part of the plan was for me to stop coloring the homework myself while my beloved watched Cyberchase. The second part of the plan was to get organized. We needed crayons, glue, pencils, scissors, and I am not sure what else in a box, but I am fairly certain that the box must contain something for the homework-less kids to do while the real work is going on.
Heaven forbid I should just throw all those things into a shoebox. Noooo. I need to decoupage that box first or else I will feel like I have not completed my task as a mother today. Have I done laundry? No! Have I cleaned up from breakfast? Of course not! But decoupage I will.
And so we made a homework box. We took an old shoebox, modge podge, scissors and scraps of scrapbook paper that were left over from another project. We cut, we glued, we made the paper fit even though it doesn't really cover the whole box. Add a few ABC stickers to spell out some wonderfully inspirational words like nice job and good work and woohoo, a homework box.
Then it was time to fill the box: I broke out the good crayons, you know, the ones we only take out for company. We added markers, pencils (well, I should say pencil, because sadly, we have only one), scissors, glue, and sheets of white paper cut in half that the other kids can color on while the homeworking takes place.
Having used the box last night for the first time, I can say with 100% confidence that it still needs a little tweaking. For example, the scissors and glue will no longer be living in the box. The mess that can be made by a four year old and a two year old during the ten minutes it takes for a five year old to do homework is indescribable. Instead, I think I will give each kid a "homework notebook" of their own so they can just color in it during homework time.
And that's that. A homework box.
I just counted. I typed the word homework 22 times during this one post. And I checked, there are no synonyms for homework. Oops, 23 times. I knew I hated homework for a reason. Darn, 24.