Sunday, June 08, 2008

Summer School

I am a horrible, mean, evil mother, because I make my kids do academic worksheets in the summer. Every morning, before we leave the house to do anything fun like swimming or the movies, they have to complete about five worksheets apiece, from various workbooks that I buy over the Internet. I buy grade appropriate books for each kid, in subjects such as grammar, vocabulary, math, reading, and science. Then, after they do the worksheets I look over them, and try to help explain anything they’ve gotten wrong --- bearing in mind that I am NOT cut out to be a home-schooling mom, and really, I have the patience of a gnat. A gnat with ADHD.

Truly, I’m a summer fun-sucker if ever there was one.

Someday, when my kids are in Harvard, they’ll thank me.

Actually, I’ll just be happy if none of them drop out of high school.

(KIDDING)

Anyway, Kellen’s science worksheet on Friday was over Food Chains in the Sea, and featured a very nice circular drawing, showing the shark eating the tuna, and the tuna eating the herring, and the herring eating the copepod, and the copepod eating the phytoplankton. He had to read one paragraph of information, and then answer questions such as “What would happen if the tuna population became endangered?” and “Give an example of a land food chain.”

This was one of the questions: “What does it mean to say, ‘The death of one species in the food chain upsets the rest of the chain.’ ? “

I thought his answer was especially profound:

“Of course they would be upset and sad because they’re all a part of the same fish family.”

So, um, props for being sensitive, or should I have checked into real, live summer school???

13 comments:

Grandma J said...

How funny! I see his rationale but I only know one food chain, me and cows.

You get a huge A+ in the good mom category.

lizinsumner said...

I say cut him some slack on this one, because I seriously doubt than any such thing as a "copepod" exists - never heard of it, and I even took some marine biology in college. You are sooooo much stronger than me - how do you stand a whole summer's worth of whining over the school work - or, maybe your kids don't whine over things like that; mine certainly does! Okay, I'm off now to google "copepod"......

lizinsumner said...

I'm back - copepods DO exist, but, they look to me like marine cockroaches. So I think he still deserves a break; and think of how thankful the future women in his life will be when they discover his high level of sensitivity!!! WTG Kellen!

Holly said...

I thought I was the only one who's mother did that! My mom use to take the neighbor's workbooks and tape pieces of paper over the answers (she was a grade ahead of me) and also had writing assignments for me every morning in the summer. Glad to know I wasn't the only kid to "suffer" through the summer!

Love the comment! Very sensitive little guy you have there. :)

lynne said...

I have a sister who is fifteen years older than myself, when I was a kid she was in college training to be a teacher and she made me work in the summer holiday mornings at long division. It's the long bike rides before breakfast in hilly Wales, following her on a bike that had tiny wheels and no gears that I gnash my teeth at.

Anonymous said...

Smart move Mama! I am a teacher and I do the same thing...only I give my kids a little incentive to make the whole experience a little more pleasant. Kids lose 30% over summer vacation. My kids also have to read a book a week....some exceptions made if they pick an extra long one. Amy
PS You don't know me!@

Mrs. Outdoor Plumbing said...

As a teacher and Mother of 3 boys, mental high five. Kids DO lose 30% during the summer. What you need to do approach it from an "integrated learning" (buzz word) perspective. Yes, they would be upset because when we live in a community we all support each other. When we support each other it is like building blocks, so when one block or link in the chain is eliminated, blah blah. See what I mean. You are a superstar with shiny bits in my book.

Micky said...

Copepod? Kellen? I didn't encounter copepods until high school - and I DO study invertebrate zoology (for fun... yeah...)
Kudos to you, and maybe you can find a worksheet on vocabulary disambiguation for Kellen.

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Now see, getting to read answers like that makes it all worth-while! :-D

Stefunkc said...

I am impressed! I tend to spend my summer brain dead. Could I just send my girls over there? What time works for you?

Karen said...

As a teacher who is currently the Center Director of just one cog in the wheels of a nationally known tutoring center, I applaud you for helping to keep your children's mind on their education year round! I was just speaking with a parent today and we were discussing how much children "lose" over the summer months... it was very refreshing to read this entry!!

Tracey in Calgary said...

Hmmm, it seems I may be in the minority here but I have always been of the mind that my children work their little tushies off 10 months of the year, so they really deserve (and need, at least mine seem to) the 'down time' to just be kids in the glorious summer time! I don't think it's hurting them too much, since my eldest gets Honors with Distinction in every reporting period but perhaps this WOULD be a wise idea with the younger munchkin, who does struggle somewhat in his math. Now I know why your kids do so darn well in school!!! lol I will have to think some more on this idea.....of course, I always think you are a wonderful Mom, I can see it in your kids smiling faces...the love overfloweth :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Kristie-I just got home from dinner at opening night of Minnesota's first Sonic! We stood in line for an hour, but that's a lot less time than it takes to drive to Des Moines (the closest Sonic until today). I couldn't bring myself to have a DDP, but I had a Coke with rabbit pellet ice in your honor! I think the worksheets are a great idea. I wish I'd thought of that years ago. I put my new-graduate daughter on a plane to Sweden today, so now I'm an empty nester. Maybe I'll have to do worksheets after my school lets out tomorrow. My brain has been known to get kind of mushy over my summer vacation. Nah, no worksheet, mush is ok at my age!
Sheila-Minnesota