I have not blogged for two weeks. What have I been doing during the time of absence?

Nothing. And a lot of things. 

I spent a lot of my time helping PP to get into a new school- and homework routine. He has his moments of joy and despair in the whole scheme of attending school full time five days a week. 

His school takes on the STEM curriculum and thus the homework are also challenging to do it by himself. Parents involvement are strongly encouraged but I know for sure it is another way to say, hey parents, you are required to do these stuff with your kids. I don’t mind working with him at all, I really don’t. 

It is just …

There were days I had to be the “bad cop” and forced him to get his work done. I hate being the bad cop. I hate having to force him to do things that he was not willing to do. Then there were days he was so willing to enthusiastic that he initiated to do the work himself. I did not need to put up my ugly bad cop face and life was so much about roses and butterflies; at least that was how I felt. 

Almost a month in and we are getting a hang of it. Every Sunday morning he and I sit down to work on his book report. It is a weekly assignment that he needs to understand literary theme of the book being read on the previous Friday. Thanks to YouTube that I always find the book to watch with him without running to the local library to look for one. 

So far he has worked on three books; I have come to enjoy all of them: 

  1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., and John Archambault. 
  2. My Friends by Taro Gomi
  3. If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Numeroff. 

For math homework I created counting by 2s, by 5s, by 10s charts for him to work on logics and also rote memorization. He needs to know all these charts by the end of October for some benchmark assessment. Is it too demanding for kids this age to know all of these? Or is it just normal? I did not attend elementary school in the America and hence have no basis of comparison. Any experienced parents out there can feel free to chime in. 

As for Peanut, my preschooler is in the phase of “Pete the Cat” series since his teacher read the first book on the second day of school. Nowadays I have to live with the repetition of preschooler tunes, I am rocking in my school shoes. That and my buttons, my four groovy buttons, and then my belly button. Now I am so tune-bugged, and so is Mr. O.

Life is all well!


9 thoughts on “Reemergence 

  1. Trang, my favorite day of the year is the last day of school!
    From your post, I think K has gotten much tougher than when my kids were starting out. Until a year ago, K here was a half day affair. Homework was just drawing pictures, bringing things in for show and tell. I’m glad to see that there is higher expectation now. The work that PP has to do was my kids’ first grade level. I think if PP understands the concept behind counting by 2s, 5s and 10s (they are essentially patterns) then it is not mere memorization. I think the teachers are establishing basic foundation for higher math concepts later on i.e. place value
    What my kids learn in school now is much more interesting than when I attended Junior High and High School. For many kids, rote work is not much fun. There are parents who do not like Common Core. I favor it. To me it is the gifted and talented curriculum available to all students. I like the collaborative and investigative style of learning. I like the close reading in Social Studies and Literacy. The kids are more aware of the interconnectiveness of all things. Common Core requires smart teachers for it to work. Parents do need to get involved. We need so much energy to raise kids!

    Sounds like Peanut is enjoying his preschool.

    1. Thank you chị for sharing your experience. At least I have something to make comparison. I really enjoy working with PP on his homework. Sometimes I wish I could have gone to school with him.

      His school implements the STEM curriculum so there are a lot of focus on math and science early on. I love it! I think it’s a perfect balance for PP who seems to be very curious and open to everything.

      I don’t want to force him to do more stuff like it was in Vietnam. I think kids in Vietnam have no time and space to be creative or to think creatively. Everything is by rote study, and if they go off track from what is dictated by the school then they are considered marginalized, which is not good for kids to develop their potential. Nevertheless, I like to take some of the learning techniques I acquired at young age to teach PP, such as practicing nice and clean hand writing, learning number patterns and the logic behind it.

      I told O that it is good to have another cultural perspective to add to our parenting style.

      1. Me too….sometimes I wish can learn what the kids are learning. The time you spend with PP will pay off when he reaches Middle School. He will have good study habits by then. I agree with you about practicing to have clean, neatly formed handwriting. It says a lot about the character of a person.

      2. having a good study habit is what I want the most for him. Once it is formed then he can easily put more focus on other things.

        Thank you chị!

    1. me too. I wish I had learn what my son is learning in school right now. I was growing up in a very discipline top-down society, and rote memorization was the way to go for everything, even learning literature.

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