Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Bear with me while I vent.

I got a note in Samuel's agenda that said, "Samuel needs to write neatly, redo."

Are you kidding me?  Handwriting for my kid is pure torture. It's the equivalent of making a "normal" person sit in a tub full of tarantulas, rats and three thousand snakes. And then making them eat every single one of them. And after that, making them throw it up and sit in their throw up for a week.

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit but let me tell you in the scheme of things, handwriting is the least of my concerns. Is it bad? Oh yeah, it's pretty awful. But this teacher has no idea the anguish we go through at night when his homework has anything to do with writing.

You know that Samuel has the attention span of a knat. So, I always give him a good uninterrupted hour off to do what he wants when he gets home from school. And then the agonizing hour begins. Sure, it's suppossed to last 10 minutes for the "normal' first grader. But when you have an exceptional kid, it's nowhere near that.

At first, he's pretty docile and ready to work. He sharpens his pencil. He decides that this pencil is not quite right. So he searches for another one. As he is going through the junk drawer, he sees his long lost Sponge Bob toy. The battery in this toy has died.
"Mom, I need a battery. Right Now!"
"Honey, we're doing homework, remember?"
"Mom, if I don't get it know, it will never work again."

If I somehow get him to forget about it and no tears or freak out happens, we sit back down at the table.
"I need my eraser. Let me go find it"
"Absolutely not. We are starting now."

This homework assignment is writing three cause and effect sentences. He completely understands the assignment. He could rattle off three perfect sentences in less then a minute.
"Good job, honey. Now, you have to write them."
"Sorry, honey but you have to.
 The tears begin and I get desperate.
"Ok, for every word you write, I'll give you a Skittle. This motivates him for maybe five minutes and three words. Then he's distracted by the squirrel on the deck and the squeak in the chair, and the crumb on the table.

An hour later, we have three sentences. Messy, yes. Holes in the paper from erasing, yes. Is my boy under the table hiding, yes. But he's done.



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