Stacey Loscalzo

Dec 07

Homework is an Acquired Taste

by Stacey

I couldn’t agree with these canines more. Interestingly, I remember liking homework as a child. This is interesting because I hate it as a parent. I find myself questioning the meaningfulness of tired children trudging through assignments that often seem to lack meaning. I also believe that homework should reflect a child’s knowledge of the material so I have been hesitant to check homework or to help with it. And let’s be honest here… I also avoid helping because the aforementioned tired children can often be a bit cranky when constructive criticism is offered.

Last night though, I jumped in to homework feet first. Caroline has been frustrated by her reading level at school. She has peers who are moving ahead of her and she is not happy. I have talked with her and her wonderful teacher many times about this so we are all on the same page. Caroline needs to slow down her reading rate as her texts are increasing in complexity. She also needs to demostrate her comprehension in written responses in her reader’s notebook. She has done a beautiful job slowing her rate and can now talk about her books with amazing skill. Her teacher, however. has correctly guessed that she is afraid to write her thoughts down in her notebook. Afraid that she will be wrong.

I have encouraged Caroline again and again to ask her teacher to sit with her while she does a notebook entry to insure her that she is doing the right thing. Caroline has been understandably hesitant to do this.

Last night, I decided that enough was enough. I am, after all, a reading specialist. I do, after all, get paid to train teachers in the use of a reader’s notebooks. I do, after all, sit weekly with students who are being tutored in reading comprehension.

Somehow, the stars aligned and Caroline was willing to sit down with me and tackle this big mountain that is the reader’s notebook entry. Amazingly, she listened, she accepted suggestions and she even smiled. More than once. She did a phenomenal job.

And the best part was, when we finished she said, “I am so proud of myself. I have a new name. P.C. Proud Caroline.”

I went to bed thinking it couldn’t really be better than that.

And then this morning, as soon as Caroline woke up she wrote me this note,

Dear Mommy,

I love you so much (even though you are the weirdest mother on the planet). For giving me the pen and for helping me with my readers notebook entries.

Love, Caroline

Now, even though I am weird, I am pretty sure it doesn’t get better than that.



  1. sara says:

    LOVE this! how awesome! i get the same thing from liam sometimes … i’ve even overheard him tell someone, “i think the reason i love math so much is because my mommy’s a math teacher.” (of course i don’t think he’d ever tell me that directly.)
    and for the record, i don’t think you’re the weirdest mother on the planet. 🙂
    hugs, sara

  2. Connie says:

    Well now, I have never considered you “weird” however, I am totally impressed that she could spell the word “weirdest” correctly.
    XOXO to you all!

  3. Tara says:

    Homework is tricky, although you seem to have hit just the right note with Caroline. As a 6th. grade teacher, I wrestle with this one all the time.

  4. Zoe says:

    What a wonderful note!

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