You know what I hate? Homework. It friggin’ sucks. It sucked when I was in school and I stayed up late trying to be as smart as my friends but couldn’t. It sucks now.
Trying to help my third grader with homework is like listening to a baby cry and not being able to sooth it. I know he is really smart; really, really smart. I KNOW it. But when I ask him what 9 minus 1 equals and he just stands there and says uhhhhh, uhhhhh, phhhhhttttt, blllluuuubbbbb, uhhhhhhhhh, ffffffffuuuutttttt, poop, hehehehehe, uhhhhhhh. After multiple attempts to get him to focus on the problem we are working on and reminding him for the umpteenth time that his 4 is backward and his 6 looks like a 2 I can’t take it any more. What should be an encouraging, nurturing experience turns into a frustrating, angry 30 minute struggle that should have been done in less than 10 minutes. I become so infuriated that I end up shouting: 8! THE ANSWER IS 8 FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. I didn’t ask what the fox says, I asked you to answer a simple math problem. You have no idea how hard it was for me to not add a god-damn-it to that rant as I am pushed over the homework edge.
When it’s all said and done I start to beat myself up. I’m not doing a single thing right and making this torturous process even worse with my outbursts. They often end with me storming away. All I can think about is the homeschool moms doing math problems with their kids and wondering if lessons devolve into screaming matches. Surely not, those moms seem to have it all together. Why in the world would they subject themselves to this insanity if they weren’t pros and never raised their voice? Those moms would look down on me, shake their head in smug disdain as they prepared a gluten-free-organic-vegan meal from scratch, telling their 4 year old to set the table…in Latin. And if they are not super mom then how does their little house on the prairie homeschool not turn into a craptastic fiasco? If homeschooling were my only option I would probably be secretly cutting myself to dull the emotional pain I would be in knowing I was ruining my child’s intellectual well-being. There are only so many times you can take them to the museum and it still be a legit learning experience.
You know what really give me indigestion? Knowing that it won’t be long until I really can’t help him because the material will be over my head. You may think…but you’re off the hook. No sir. Mom guilt doesn’t let anyone off the hook. Now I get to feel guilty that just in case he does need my help, I can’t give it to him.
Please tell me I’m not alone in this. Please tell me other parents have lost it over homework struggles. Please tell me you just tell them the answer because you just can’t wait another eternity to figure out basic math. Because if I’m the only one then I’m really going to feel like crap.