Tag Archives: homework

Ready for the Test?

october_27_001This morning, John had his first test in his Geography co-op class. The class meets once a week, and he was given a syllabus at the beginning of the course, so he knew the test was coming up. The class meets on Mondays, and we were all headed out of town for the weekend; I knew he wouldn’t have much time to finish his homework. I reminded him all week that he needed to get it done early (I realize now I reminded him too many times), and he said he would.

Off we went for the weekend, arriving home again Sunday afternoon. “Are you ready for tomorrow?” I asked him again Sunday night. He answered in the affirmative, so I went on to help the others prepare for the next day.

This morning we got up later than expected and rushed around to get out the door in time. In the midst of the fray, John calls out, “Oh no, I forgot to study for my geography test!”

“But I reminded and reminded you,” I replied.
“Yes, but you were going to email the teacher to ask her about the website.” There was a certain website that would help with studying, but he forgot the web address.

I grumbled as I continued rushing around, and he went off to study as quickly as he could. I had told him that I’d get the website address for him, but it was still his job to keep up with things.

He went into class, and I saw him just for a moment afterward. “I didn’t get any of them right,” he whispered before heading off down the hall.

I think he probably answered more of them correctly than he thinks he did, but either way, we both learned some valuable lessons from this experience. He learned that he is responsible for his homework and his tests, even if I fall short in emailing a teacher. And I learned that I shouldn’t take on his responsibilities; he knows when his assignments are due, and if he has any questions, he can email the teacher himself. After all, he is the one who receives the grade, not me. If I had to receive one, I’d have given myself a B+ for my efforts. But I probably would have made a C- in Laundry for the week.

Homework? What’s That?

cohdra100_1473 This week marked our second full week of co-op. Elementary students can sign up for one morning a week of enrichment-type classes, but for middle school and high school students, the co-op follows the university model. Students choose individual classes, attend class one or two days of the week, then work on their assignments at home. So while my younger three might be doing a  science experiment, art project, or PE class, John, who’s in eighth grade this year, is taking Geography and Physical Science. And it’s been a bit of a rough start. 

Each class requires quite a bit of work at home. Homework? We hadn’t used the word very much before this year. John brings home workbook assignments, reading assignments, study questions to answer… all of which he has to turn in to someone else besides me. He has deadlines now; he doesn’t get extra time to complete his work if it’s not done. He takes quizzes and tests just one time – there’s no opportunity to try the problems again. And he’s responsible for writing down his assignments and finishing them in a timely manner. 

How’s it going? Well, he told me he worked on his assignments all week, but the night before they were due, he stayed up two hours past his bedtime trying to finish. He tells me briefly about his current event and lab reports, then tells me he’s not sure when he’s supposed to turn them in. Sometimes he doesn’t even understand the assignment. “Why don’t you ask your teacher?” I ask him, but he just replies, “I don’t know.” 

So do I think these classes are worth it? I’d have to answer with a resounding “Yes!” No matter what grade he receives, he’ll have had an experience that requires he manage his time well, complete a project by a due date, and speak up when he has a question. And from what I’ve seen so far, he’s up to the challenge. He’s beginning to understand what’s expected, and he’s working hard at it. And hopefully next week will go a little better.