Wednesday, September 9, 2009

1st grade struggles

Oh... Ethan has started 1st grade. The homework is flowing and so are his tears. Apparently he doesn't like not understanding stuff and his little heart gets hurt when he gets something wrong.

Paul was helping him the other day with some of his homework - when he gently told Ethan that he had made the wrong choice - that the other item was the right answer...

Ethan tried not to cry... but then he couldn't help it and started bawling.

Yesterday, Zach, our fourteen year old helped Ethan with some homework. Zach came up to our bedroom afterwards:

Zach: Uhmm... I don't know how to tell you this.

Me: What?


Zach: I know this is going to sound bad, but I think you need to know.


Me: Okay.... what?

Zach: Ethannnnn..... Ah... Ethan really isn't that smart. He's not the brightest bulb.


Me: Zach. Really. Please.

Paul: That's not nice to say about your brother, Zach. He is just a first grader.

Zach: Yeah. Right. Well... that may be true, but I'm thinking that's not the problem. 


Zach: I think he just isn't that smart.


Zach: Sorry. I'm just saying. I'm just saying.


So today, I was assigned Ethan homework duty. We had a simple task... for a 42 year old at least.... To look at a list of words that rhymed, pick one of the words and create a sentence.

Clearly even the word "sentence" was a bit of a stretch for Ethan.

Me: Okay Ethan... so let's look at these words. Which one can you read?




Me: Ooookay. So... here's a word! (I point out the word "sad.") What does that say?



Ethan: Uhm.... I don't know.

Me: Can you sound it out with me?

We sound it out.

I do most of the sounding...

So I pick another word. "Nap"

Me: Do you know this word?



Again - I assist him in sounding it out.

Me: Nap! Okay - let's go with nap.

I need to speed this process along - so I'm going to just choose it for him.

Me: Now, we need to come up with a sentence using the word "nap."

Ethan doesn't seem responsive. 

Me: Ethan? Let's come up with a sentence using the word "nap."

Ethan: I don't know.

Me: What don't you know.

Ethan: I don't know.

Me: Do you know what a sentence means?


omg - what have I done. I have left the fourth child out to dry - have obviously spent no time working with him -- and this is the result.

I am now panicking.

Me: Ethan. (more panicked)... Ethan. Here is an example of a sentence (God knows if he even understands the word example - holy shit)....

Me: Mommy loves to take naps on Sunday afternoon!


Me: Now you try. Use the word nap.


Ethan: Mommy likes to take naps on Sunday.

pause. My eyes narrow... this is much worse than I thought.

Me: No, try to come up with a different sentence.

Ethan: Mommy likes to take naps on Sunday.


Me: Okay. Okay. Here's a different sentence. Ethan likes naps.


Me: Now write that down here on this line. (I point to the line).

Then it hits me. If he can't read... and he doesn't know what a sentence is - what the hell! He can't write this sentence!

Me: Okay. Okay... let's do this. (I write out the sentence on a piece of paper). Copy this on this line. Can you do that?

Ethan: Yes.

Me: Wonderful! Great. great. 

Okay. So we are getting somewhere now. 

No comments:

Post a Comment