When Your Best Just Isn’t Good Enough

School’s back in session, and if you’ve got kids you know this means you’re now spending half your evenings trying to solve word math puzzles or straining to recall those anomalous algebraic terms that they’re now introducing in first grade. Homework can be painful sometimes, but it doesn’t usually start that way.  That first year your child goes to school, everything is exciting and new! Even homework sparkles. It’s almost proven that addictions to school and office supplies start to take root in Kindergarten.

Ella entered the first grade this year. We had a brief chat with her about our expectations for when she does homework or takes tests in school. All we want is for her to do her best. Grades aren’t as important as effort and ability. As long as she applies herself and doesn’t goof off (too much) we’ll know she did her best and we’ll be happy with whatever grades she gets. We’re pretty confident she will get good grades, but we want her to focus on how much she is applying herself rather than the letter or number grade she receives.

And while Erica is usually the one to help her with homework, last night I got to take a crack at it and it gave me flashbacks to when Ella was in Kindergarten and I got to help her with her very first, shiny, new homework assignment, which was entitled…

“Five things”

  • I had to help her find five things that described herself.
  • Five things that needed to fit into a brown paper bag.
  • Five things that she could take to school and introduce herself with to everyone in her class.

Hmmm, why five things? Maybe because she was five years old? I don’t know. But this first homework assignment seemed easy enough! I guided her around the house and pointed out multiple items I thought would showcase unique aspects of her beautiful personality. Finally, we got all of items I’d helped her gather.  We sat down at the dining room table, laid them all out, and reviewed the reasons we included each item.

This short video clip pretty much sums up how that first homework assignment went…

What can I say…. sometimes, my best just isn’t good enough!


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