“My Story…” Monday: A – The Workload

(You can catch up on A’s story right here: The Pregnancy, The Birth, The Infancy, The Quiet Toddler, Advocating, What He COULD Do, Just A Boy, The (Hard) Next Step, Making a Friend, The Autism DiagnosisHe Talks, Hyperlexia, Your Baby Can Read, Another Evaluation, A New Kind of Special Need, Linear Algebra, The Triennial, The IQ Results, Bye, Bye Autism Diagnosis, Dr. C’s Plan, Second Grade Math, Is it too easy?, My Gentle Giant , Third Grade Math)

So.  A’s doing third grade math.  I told you all that last week.  I thought, for fun, you might like to see what he brings home in math homework.  This was last Tuesday:

Yes, I have giant eyes.  Can’t help it.

Front and back.  Seems crazy, right?  And it’s not atypical.  I mean, he doesn’t get that much every single night, but we face that pile at least a couple nights a week.


Now, before anyone starts thinking this is utter insanity to be giving a six-year old that much work, let me provide just a little more info:


1) A. misses the first part of math class each and every day.  And we’re happy about it.  WHAT??  Let me explain– while the teachers have been amazingly accommodating, it’s not a perfect world and third grade math starts during first grade recess.  We– and the team with whom we work at the school– feel strongly that recess is important for A.  So, the third grade math teacher tries hard to do all the standardized test prep (which is irrelevant for our son) in the beginning, but some days he misses stuff.  So it comes home.


2) A. misses the entire math class every Friday.  Yep.  Again, there’s a scheduling conflict.  A’s first grade class has library on Friday afternoons.  So, in order to go with his class, he must miss math.  Could he go exchange his book at a different time during the week?  Absolutely.  But he’d miss the experience of story, being with his class, and learning the protocol.  I’ve said it a zillion times– we want our son to have a “normal childhood”.  Part of that is being able to have as complete a school experience as possible.


3) Sometimes the work is marked “for fun.”  If you ever get the chance to meet our boy, you’d get this.  It IS fun to him.  However, he never views it as optional.  Now, this is good, because he likes it.  It’s bad, because the perfectionist side of him simply won’t ALLOW himself to leave anything undone, even when we assure him that it’s fine.


4) It’s not as dull as it might look.  We are really fortunate in that, not only is A. being challenged in a third grade classroom, he was specially placed with a third grade teacher who really specializes in math.  She has some of the most talented third grade math students in her classroom which means that, as a group, they can handle some more challenging problem-solving.  A’s homework is not a big ol’ sheet of multiplication problems or some such thing.  It involves word problems, logic, cyclical thinking, application of lessons long past, and more.



So that’s what we do.  We race hand-in-hand down a hill and then tackle the mountain.  This is, of course, in addition to reading.  But that’s a topic for another day. :)



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6 comments to “My Story…” Monday: A – The Workload

  • Jennie

    I’ve been reading your blog long enough to know that you’d never push A past what he is capable of unless it was necessary. If he didn’t love he wouldn’t be there.

    That’s so cool you make sure he’s getting the full 1st grade experience. My oldest is in 1st grade. Recess and her “specials” are some of her favorite times during the day.

    I’ve really enjoyed this series and hope you keep it up.


  • Marci

    I love that he loves math! Does he enjoy science too? :-)

    • He certainly does! He’s passionate about astronomy lately. :)

      • Marci

        That’s awesome! My 4, almost 5, year old enjoys math…she’s not nearly as talented as A, but she is already able to do some sums (and even subtraction) in her head as well as some easy word problems. My goal in our journey of homeschooling is for my three munchkins to love math, science, and reading.

  • That’s so great that they work with you on scheduling. You’d think it would be a no-brainer, but it has not been our experience. Last year it would make me so mad that the speech lady would come pull Reese off the playground or once even when the public librarian was there for a special presentation the parents had been invited to and I was the only one who showed up. GRRR

    • Have you talked to anyone about that, Heather? Because, while I know that therapists often have tricky, packed schedules themselves, I do think the school should be willing to try to cause as little disruption as possible from Reese’s specials and activities…

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