Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Homework

Mathematics homeworkImage via Wikipedia

My youngest started first grade last week, and we are now getting to experience that parent-child bonding opportunity called homework. When my daughter was in elementary school, I dreaded helping her with homework. There was never enough time, and she battled with me whenever I tried to correct her work. After working a long day, I prayed she'd finished her homework in after school care so I didn't have to try to squeeze a homework fight into an already tight dinner and bedtime routine. I breathed a big sigh of relief when she got to middle school and no longer needed homework supervision.

Because I am no longer working full time, I'm home after school and available for homework help. So far, first grade homework has been pretty painless. My son seems to like homework, although sometimes it is difficult to get him to focus. Until today he's been doing his homework at the kitchen table, but today I got the big computer desk unpacked and organized enough to use, so he's sitting at the next workstation working on math. It's nice to have him so close.

I'm still getting used to this new lifestyle. I never thought I would appreciate cooking and cleaning, but I'm finding doing mom stuff very satisfying. I find more zen moments in washing dishes and folding laundry than I did sitting in an office banging on a keyboard. I feel more alive hearing about a day at school than I did rushing from meeting to meeting. I am more grateful for having 5 minutes to sit on the couch with my son and listen to him read than I ever was for my paycheck.

My family made some big sacrifices when we left New Jersey for the wilds of Upstate New York. We have to live with less, and do so in a smaller home. But there is truth to the old adage that money can't buy happiness. We may not have much, but we have time for each other. Homework is much more fun this way.
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