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I spent many years doing homework. It was never enjoyable, watching your siblings play while you slogged through seemingly endless math problems. I became grumpy...and sad. And even though I knew it had to get done, I always found something better to concentrate on. "I wonder how many pencil-lengths it is across my desk? Let's find out." I work best in short bursts. I always have. Long-term concentration and focus was never my best attribute.

Today I get to do homework again...with my kids. It's still not enjoyable. It still makes me, and them, grumpy. We still find any excuse to distract ourselves. "Hey, Dad. I bet I could flip my eraser into this cup. Let's find out." My kids work best in short bursts. Very short, apparently. Long-term concentration and focus isn't their strong suit. Ask their teachers.

The only positive thing about helping them do their homework these days, is that I can usually find a way to use some sort of computing device. I wish I'd had all this technology when I was a kid. Correcting typing mistakes with White-Out was pretty slow. But my parents helped I'll help my kids too. It's just the way it is.

And in case you're desk is almost 9 pencil-lengths across.


Reader Comments (2)


With two daughters of my own I also get called upon to help out with homework, but the challenge I face, maybe its a girl thing, is they wonder how I would know all about maths, geography, even technology. The cry of "what would you know" is common around my house, even when it comes to helping them with their English and my wife is an English teacher!

October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Merchant

That's funny David! :-)

My kids don't say "What would you know?"...they say "What do you know so I don't have to learn to do it myself?"


October 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterDon Campbell

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