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My Journey with Homework


Last weekend, I hosted a wedding for friends of mine and also brought my daughter with me. She had so much fun with the other kids who were there. When my MC duties were over, I was so exhausted that I had to find a corner to sit.

It wasn't too long after when my daughter came to me and said that we had to go home. When my boss asks me something, I have no choice but to execute. As we headed outside, I remembered that I had left my daughter's jacket in the car. It was pretty cold.

The next day, she started sneezing and coughing. Long story short, today I stayed home with her because she couldn't go to school. She had a high fever before she went to bed last night.

Thanks to Tylenol, she woke up feeling better. After her afternoon nap, I thought to myself, "Let me see if she is able to do her remaining homework." To my astonishment she was already doing her homework and even finished it in less than ten minutes.

You might say, what's the big deal?

Homework is homework!

You may be right. But let me tell you where I am coming from.

My daughter is in grade one now (yeah!!!). Ever since she was in kindergarten, she always came home with homework. Some parents were surprised when I told them that I had to help my daughter with homework. Their kids (of the same age) never came home with work to do.

I remember her kindergarten teacher telling me that it was the best way to get them ready for grade one. Once she starts grade one, they will make her work hard every day. She needed to get used to it from early on.

Thank God she had two years of preparation.

The first week of school in grade one, she came home with so much  homework that I thought she was in high school.

I am not kidding.

I couldn't believe it.

There were so many instructions I thought I was reading a dictionary.

We began working right away.

My daughter was struggling daily to finish her homework. I almost gave up. She was going to sleep late and every morning she woke up complaining. School was not fun anymore, but I kept pushing her, even on weekends.

The first signs of a breakthrough came last week when I went to a parents and teachers meeting. First of all, every parent was complaining about the amount of homework. This didn't seem to bother the teacher because he was laughing all the time. I guess he is used to the parents' complaints at the beginning of the year.

Once the teacher explained the philosophy behind the amount of homework, I felt relieved. He said he wasn't expecting them to do all the work at the beginning. He explained his goal was to push them to become more disciplined and that results didn't matter at first. Completing their homework and becoming used to the routine were his main objectives.  He went on to say that once they became disciplined then through repetition, they would master their craft.

I thought I was listening to a Lebron James interview. This is exactly what he does.

Anyways.

The teacher also introduced us to the technology he is using to allow parents to know what their kids are doing on a daily basis. I downloaded the app on my phone, and since then, I receive at least four pictures of my daughter doing work at school. When she gets home, the first thing I do is go over the pictures on my phone with her, and she tells me everything she did that day. There is no more "How was your day Skylar?"... to which she always responds "good" with no more comments.

I love technology!

 Since meeting her teacher, I have made a few changes to our routine. I made homework so much fun that Skylar is now asking for homework. I also promised to reward her every time she finishes her daily work. Also, whenever I am playing with her (which happens a lot), I include homework in our games without her noticing it.

 Guess what!

Today, the breakthrough happened. It was so easy for her to do the work that I was astonished. Oh, I said that already.

I do not believe the breakthrough happened today. I believe it started two years ago with her kindergarten teacher assigning her work to do at home while many kids of the same age were not being given any homework. Then, it was about the daily routine, the hard work and sometimes sleepless nights when we almost gave up. There was, just as important, the fun part we brought to the work and the teacher communicating with me daily while pushing the kids to have the discipline necessary to succeed.  Then Boom!

Thank God I did not give up on her. Today was a teaching moment for me. The hard work, the discipline, the patience and what we do when no one is looking are what matters. We may never see the progress while doing all of this but then one day... Boom, and it all comes together for an amazing breakthrough.

I remember hearing a very successful minister saying that people came to him to congratulate him for his overnight success. He responded by saying, "If this is an overnight success, then that is the longest night I have ever had."

Now, I understand what he meant.

My daughter homework breakthrough today took more than two years. Some breakthroughs can take decades... just ask Nelson Mandela.


Moral of the story? Do you want to have a huge breakthrough in your life? Just go to sleep for three years and you will have an overnight success



Always a pleasure

Patrick

The Journeyman

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