Wednesday, September 23, 2009


“What’s the homework situation?” 

This is the first question I ask my girls everyday after school.

Is it just my kids or has the second half of the first quarter led all teachers to pile on the homework? During the past week, both our seventh grader and our freshman have spent every “free” moment at home stationed at their desks.

The freshman has about two hours of algebra per night, which is most likely because it’s a class with the lofty title, Honors Algebra II. She also has lots of work for her GATE classes, but I think she knew what she was getting into when she chose that program. That she runs x-country and plays club soccer, her lack of actual free time makes me amazed that she finds time to update all her Facebook friends on nearly every move she makes. BTW: since I inevitably reach REM sleep before she calls it a night, it’s fun to wake up in the morning and check out what she was up to the night before. It’s become more interesting than my email.

The seventh grader has had abundant homework in nearly every class but PE. After volleyball she heads straight to her desk and has been up past 10pm for the past several nights diligently working through her assignments. And this is a kid that almost always turns into a pumpkin at eight o’clock. Welcome to junior high.

Thankfully neither has had a meltdown yet, and both have been rewarded with good grades, along with praise and congratulations from their dad and me. I can say with absolute certainty that my parents weren’t even one-tenth as interested in my progress in school as I am in what’s happening with our girls’ education.

And yet I turned out okay.

So, I wonder, is my involvement with my kids’ progress in school a good thing? What’s more important—that they self-motivate to learn and please themselves or that they know I’m looking over their shoulders—both at their desks and by way of the Internet daily grade books?

Boy-oh-boy, it’s only the first quarter and I’ve already had enough of my recurring class in Mommy Micromanagement. Perhaps it’s time to get back to my own work. (If only I could remember how to self-motivate !) I seem to recall having written eight chapters of a new novel, which I had to set aside in May to help run the family business. Well, I’m away from the business now, having left it in the hands of a capable employee. So WTF am I doing?

Note to my own managers—you know who you are—I think I need a “mommy.”

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