Preschool (Mommy) Homework

So this is a pet peeve of mine, but probably because I am a working mother and don't have hours in the afternoon to brainstorm WITH MY KID, get the items together, and be ready on time.

From an educational standpoint I can make a ton of arguments in favor of most of these activities. As a former teacher, I know how hard it is to get your act together and send this stuff home with more than a few days notice. However, in my life, it is just ONE MORE thing this Trip'n Mommy has to do.

Here are some highlights of Mommy Homework:

1. Show and Tell - In Kindergarten it is themed by letter of the week. So we have it EVERY WEEK! At least the girls have the same letter because they are in the same class. C's class in doing Aleph Bais in order and ABC's out of order, so I never know what letter will be the next week. This how I handle S&T. IF I have time, I discuss the letter of the week and brainstorm with them about different items that start with the letter. If I don't have time, I brainstorm with H, Savta, co-workers, anyone who'll listen. After the kids are in bed, I search the house for different and varied items that start with the letter of the week, including at least one book. Then in the morning, the kids get to pick an item from the pile. (Then I leave the pile for the babysitter to put away...)

2. Shabbos Ima, Abba, Saba - Mommy has to go and by either a Parve, nut-free snack for the whole class or a Challah or two as per the Morah's instructions. (water, egg free, no seeds, large, medium, unsliced, etc.) Never mind the stress of trying to come up with a snack that is Parve, nut free, cool for the kids, and not so sugary, expensive, or inappropriate that the other mothers will hate you. (Special shout-out to the mom who sent in a Fruit by the Foot for each kid! That's like 4 boxes!)

This particular assignment is usually given on Wednesday, due on Friday. Since I usually don't see these notices until after 8pm on Wednesday (or even worse Thursday morning!) that means I only get one night to prepare. In an effort to squeeze a little more time, I am constantly asking the kids if they have a note from Morah. Honestly, I may be more Shabbos Party obsessed than the Trips.

3. Recycling, toilet paper rolls, grocery flyers, OJ containers and other project items - At start of the year, the girls' morah sent a note with items that she uses throughout the year and a request for us to send them in regularly. Great! I try to do this. It is her unanticipated requests and the requests from C's Morah that throw me.

First of all, these requests come in the Classroom OR Preschool newsletters on Friday. For the uninitiated, these are wonderful little weekly PR pieces where the Morahs and Preschool Directors share what has been happening in the Parsha, the class, the school, other classes, the world at large, etc.

Yes people, I have 4 newsletters to scour for information and Mommy assignments!!

THEN I have to remember to prepare the items for Monday. THEN I have to remember how many I need and which kids need them!!

4. Family Pictures - Seriously, in the digital age?! I have to sort through files to find the right one, get the damn photo printer to work, and print a copy. This week the girls needed ONE picture with EVERY member of the family in it. Yeah, right. The only one I had was a portrait from 2 summers ago. So then I had to perform copyright infringement, scan and digitize the image, fight with the photo printer and get 2 decent copies.

5. Aleph Beis Machberes - C's class is making a really lovely notebook throughout the year.
At the start of the year they made a stick puppet for each member of the kid's family (with a separate picture of each, see #4) that live in the machberes. It is filled with activities, songs, stories, etc for the puppets to do. Most Fridays, C brings home his machberes and puppets for us to see what he's done, review, and play with the puppets.

It is Mommy's job to make sure that A, B, and Trouble do no harm to the precious notebook or and of the 5 puppets, and ensure that all 6 items are returned to school Monday morning.

6. Costumes - Okay, so these are fewer and further between and you usually get a little more notice. This week, C came home on Monday with a note that for Friday's siyyum Sefer Bereshit. He needed not only to
bring in a Parve, nut-free snack for the whole class but also needed to dress up in a costume as a character or item from all of Bereshit.

Luckily, I was on the phone with the brilliant and more experienced AM, who said "put a robe and sandals on him and he could be anyone!" Since C shares a name with one of the Shevatim, and has a blue bathrobe with his name in Hebrew, this gave us a platform to really jump off. We added a laundry bag for a sack, and hyped it up for C. It worked. He really looked cute getting on the bus today.

Now I must stop, because I must tend to another crucial Mommy assignment - providing nourishment for the family through shopping and cooking!!


Anonymous said...

The best post! Could have written it myself - but I'm not that clever! Happy Monday:)

Trip'n Mommy said...

Clever? More like frustrated to the point of insanity.

FYI- for K this week the girls brought a Kite and a Kitten. This was after 30 minutes of brainstorming that included ketchup, koala, kangaroo, kitchen, and Krispy Kreme.

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