My boys are in all-day kindergarten. When my daughter started all-day kindergarten two years ago, I was shocked to discover that there is a substantial amount of homework for all-day kindergarteners.
Now I’m even more overwhelmed, because:
- I have a 2nd grader and TWO kindergarteners
- My husband works 2nd shift and isn’t around to help with homework/dinner/bedtime
- My kindergarteners have regular homework, remedial letter recognition homework (parenting FAIL) and speech therapy homework
- I also have a 3-year-old bopping around
You can find an example of how this works out for me here.
In my real life I’m getting this “totally baffled” vibe from people who are puzzled by my difficulties in helping my three older kids with their homework. Because they have three kids, but their kids manage to do their homework and know their letters, etc. So what’s the difference?
I’m probably preaching to the choir here.
When the boys were babies, their twinniness was a liability. Then for a while it was an asset — they entertained each other and didn’t fight much. They were wild, but I have a great appreciation for the built-in playmate factor. Where school is concerned, we’re moving back into the “liability” area.
They are in the same class because they feel more secure and confident when they’re within eye shot of one another, but I thought this would also make it easier for me to help with homework. WRONG. We can’t do homework at the same time because they shout out their answers, so the one who is slower to answer doesn’t have to think about it. Also, one of our boys (G) is insecure about his knowledge and performance compared with his brother’s, so he’ll often get upset and cry, insisting he doesn’t know how to do the work. I’m not sure where this dynamic has come from, although it’s not the first time we’ve seen it — but G requires careful handling to keep his confidence up. P is quick to answer, and enthusiastic about schoolwork. G knows just as much, but has some warped view where he doesn’t know anything, and P and their other classmates know everything already.
So, each boy’s assignments — reading, letter recognition, and speech — have to be completed at different times, and mostly out of the sight and hearing of the other. And my 2nd grader requires quite a bit of hand-holding for her work, as well. My dreams of the children all quietly ensconced at the table, with me working on dinner and coming in to help here or there, have been dashed for now. This is one way in which having twins continues to be a little more complicated than having two kids of different ages, and I really hadn’t anticipated this one.
Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 3 and 8. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine, where she examines the finer points of potty training failure.