The homework sheets I give to Jada on the weekends are paying dividends in the classroom. She came home with a stack of tests that were given in class, and she had aced them all: 106 in math, 102 in spelling, 103 in reading comp, and 100 in science. The material wasn't new ground for her, because of my homework sheets, and she's even taken to heart my reminder not to blaze through the questions, since accuracy is more important than speed. I told her how proud I was that she had done so well and worked so hard.
These kinds of things come harder for Aaron. When I went through his homework for the week, I noticed he had skipped one page altogether, gotten another mostly wrong, and done a third completely incorrectly. Amy and I took turns helping him with the instructions, encouraging him when he got stuff right, and soothing him when he got frustrated. He continued well past his bedtime and started falling apart, so we led him to bed and read him some stories and told him to go get 'em in the morning. I'm trying to balance being gooey with making him feel a little bit of the sweet sting of working hard, and with Amy's help I think we're striking a good balance.
Some of you might argue that it's counterproductive and even cruel for a kindergartener to stay up working on homework. Others of you might think it should be all stick and no carrots. I think that what's important for Amy and me, as people who are high-achievers and Christians and nurturers and dreamers, is to let our kids know they are loved by us no matter what, and that we take academics seriously and expect them to as well. Both of them have their developmental issues, so they have special struggles that we have to be mindful as we put the pedal to the metal, but it makes their progress all the sweeter and our care reserves all the more tested. Let's see how they do.