I’m not God. He made 24 hours in a day. He made us with the intent that we sleep for a good chunk of that time so as not to get grumpy. Well, probably many other reasons, but that’s certainly how he built me. Those are the parameters within which homework needs to get done: fit it into the 24-hour wheel of time, at home before you go to school the next day. Some days are busier than others; still the homework needs to be done. And truly, the word HOMEWORK that occupies Will’s mind takes much more time than the actual amount of homework to be done.
When the phrase, “You need to give me more time!” slipped from Will’s tongue for days; I tried the white board approach, with the evening laid-out in half-hour slots. I marked in dinner and bedtime then left all the other half-hour slots white. “Honey, that’s it right there. All that blank space is up to you to work out. I can’t give you any more time. That’s it. You need to get your homework done in that time.” It worked beautifully. A visual that said time is finite.
Then come the Tuesday evenings when I hear, “I don’t have much homework, Mom. It won’t take me too long.” I do the math: “It won’t take me too long” + Tuesday = definitions and sentences for 10 spelling words are due tomorrow = The Children’s Dictionary. I cringe. I skip the white board for it is powerless over the Children’s Dictionary…
Five minutes ago, I opened the Children's Dictionary to find periscope, one of Will’s words. I landed at the end of the P’s. Py. Pyramid. Wow. The most amazing diagram of a pyramid. All the chambers, corridors, and galleries are illustrated in detail. Half the page is the Great Pyramid, Giza, Egypt. But, wait, I need periscope! With a backward flip of a few pages, past clear, color pictures of portcullis (very cool!), pole vault, platypus (my favorite animal), planets, piano, pheasant, and penknife, I skip right over the small diagram of the periscope. Fortunately, when I go forward to the periscope page, it is the only drawing on the two-page spread.
This is how the Children’s Dictionary works. The Children Dictionary opens the spigot of imagination time after time. This is why ten definitions and sentences take two hours. Which is fine if you want to make an evening of it.
I can only give you more time, Will, with a 6-inch thick, good, solid Webster’s.
Happy Hump Day -- and for those of you with Children's Dictionaries at home, we only have around 12 more Hump Days this school year.