L’s been back at school now for about a month. Homework started in week 2, and it’s more or less ramped up since then. Occasionally she has a worksheet to do, and those are no big deal. What’s much, much harder are things that require studying. First of all, she has two spelling tests each week, one in French and one in English. Trying to get her to study has been like pulling teeth.
Then, she had to memorize a French poem that was about 16 lines long. Now, Jonathan and I both studied French in school, but that was a long time ago, and many parents are in the same boat, so the teacher sent home a recording of the poem being read. But that just makes it that much harder to learn, as we have to try and play the recording over and over again, at least until we can pronounce it properly. (To our ears anyway – L is not impressed by our French.) Learning a 16 line poem or song in English wouldn’t necessarily be a walk in the park, even. So that was a challenge and nearly brought us to blows. After a couple weeks to learn the first poem, we all heaved a sign of relief . . . and then L brought home another French poem to learn today.
We’re also struggling to figure out what she’s supposed to have done when. I expected she’d just bring home a worksheet or something due the next day, but we’re getting a bunch of these studying tasks with a few days lead time that require our participation.
Friends with kids . . . is this similar to your experience? I don’t see why homework is necessary in first grade anyway.
On the plus side, L told me she made a new friend today, with a new girl who only speaks French. (It’s funny how L classifies kids in her class. Last year she insisted – accurately no doubt – that she didn’t speak French. All the other kids in her class were classified as English speakers, French speakers or both – no wiggle room. You either speak a language or you don’t.) Anyway, even after a year, L hadn’t owned up to actually speaking any French except on rare occasion. But now’s she’s starting to admit she does speak a bit, and she apparently had a conversation with her new friend in French, which is kind of cool.