Who remembers ‘Understanding Mathematics?’
That thing terrified me in Primary school. The first time TheBoss brought it home, I was legit nervous and slightly shaken from past trauma. I think I was one of those people born never to love mathematics.
However, when you are a mother, you should know no fear for your child’s sake. It has been over two years of homework supervision, not much, admittedly. But I shall share some tips which have aided me persistently.
1. Supervise by yourself: You need to supervise your child’s homework yourself. If you have maids or nannies, please do not assign this one chore to them. A parent’s gift of intuition can never be replaced, don’t cheat yourself of the chance to get to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses early enough. Look on the bright side, it’s all bonding time.
2. Delegate: At the risk of contradicting No.1, I daresay, consider delegating sometimes. Homework is also a time for your child to learn, if you are going to teach in a foul or tired mood, please kindly pass it on. Have their Father/Mother(depending on who would have,but cant) help you. When this is impossible, try older siblings, after which you may try your maids/nannies. Not all homeworks should be delegated still, in my opinion. When I am really exhausted, I have Miss.C supervise 100Watts. It’s usually when she has to color one elephant or apple. Core addition and subraction homeworks for TheBoss, I keep for myself.
Whenever you delegate, try sitting around still, just for mommy presence.
3. Never tell them the answers/write for them: This tip was given to me by my cousin, Chinasa. It was her comment on a facebook rant of mine about homeworks my son didnt know. She advised me never to tell them the answers, and If they don’t get it, leave it blank. I had never heard that before, so I asked ‘Who leaves homework blank?’. She further explained that homeworks are like reminders of what they have already been taught in school, when you tell them the answers, teacher assumes your child has learnt and moves on to next topic.
So the next time TheBoss came home with some big number addition and subraction, I tried all I could and when he couldn’t understand my tally system, I left it blank. School pick up time, I sat for a few minutes with his teacher and she laughed at me and said
“Give him lots of cherry seeds!”
So it turned out, my big head pikin can add Five hundred million + Five hundred million, so long as you give him adequate agbalumo seeds. And there I was, forcing my tally method.
I saw my friend’s maid ‘assist’ her son in his coloring homework, I pointed this to her but she didnt seem to understand. I took to explaining to the girl, why the excellent painting she had done couldn’t be that of a three year old (that painting would have sold well at an exhibition sef). She said
“But he didn’t get every corner when he did it himself”
And I replied “That is what he was able to do”
When your kids are asked to color, the teacher isn’t looking for ultra designed crayon craft. It is simply what it is, getting your child to appreciate the beauty and uses of fine art.
So don’t be an agbaya, you have done your own primary school, leave their own alone!
4. Don’t compare your kids: I know you’ve heard this before, so let this be a reminder. Don’t! Each child has their unique growth phase, do not think your child is slow, nor be envious of the child you think is faster.
The most important part of any race is not who gets there first, but that you are running.
5. Never return the books undone: This is far from motivational to your child’s teacher. Sit down and play your role as a parent, dont ignore or down play the importance of getting your child’s homeworks’ done.
Bonus: Buy a black or white board and continually teach them yourself. Make your child’s teacher your friend amd keep in touch with their progress in school, Open day or not.
Well done, parents. Let’s keep at the good works, these kids would make us proud. And if we fail sometimes, it is okay. I have my fail moments, but one thing drives me in this parenting thing, I am not here to be perfect…I am here to love.
It’s 12.40 am here, what time is it where you are?