I know everybody knows the meaning of this word, but I want to take a moment to fully explore it, to give it depth and richness, a real palpable sense, which I think can only be done by demonstrating what it’s like to do homework with my son.
This week Crazy has a Social Studies test coming up because he always has a social studies or science or math test coming up. He literally has 3 tests or quizzes or even something dubbed a quest (which is in between a quiz and a test – for when quizzes and tests just aren’t enough) every week. Since I got the heads up early enough, this time I had him start studying over the weekend. This ain’t my first rodeo, and I know he needs all the time he can get to prepare. I didn’t want to get caught like I have in the past studying a whole chapter’s worth of material on the one night before the test. So Sunday he read the chapter, Monday with all his other homework he only had time to go over some vocabulary and last night he was studying over the study guide. Only with Crazy that means he was literally studying the study guide – not the material the study guide was guiding him to study. He has the full outline memorized and can recite verbatim the Roman numeral list of topics he’s supposed to know only he doesn’t know a damn thing about them. He only knows Section II, Topic A is Lenape Indians. What about them is anyone’s guess.
I’ve told him before the guide lists the topics students need to know for the test. The study guide itself is not meant to be studied. I’ve said in no uncertain terms, “The teacher is not going to ask you what was listed under Section VI, Topic D? Because writing in random answers like “puritan” or “Plymouth Rock” in relation to nothing means nothing.” Yet every time I walk into his room to quiz him it’s like Groundhog Day as if we didn’t just have this conversation last week.
Although he claims he’s studied, it appears as though he hasn’t attended school one day in his life, didn’t just reread the chapter two days before, and has never heard the word “puritan” in his life. He knows nothing. This happens every time. EVERY FREAKING TIME. And I’m not really sure how to fix this. Typically, my method involves yelling.
I’ve been up nights trying to cram with him until 10:30, until his eye-lids are half closed, and I can’t push him any further. On those occassions I’ve fully expected him to fail the test. Then he manages to bring home an 80 or 90. I don’t know whether to be overjoyed or pissed. How is it the night before you don’t know a God damn thing but the next day you magically have all the answers? I like to think my quizzing helps but enough to ace the test?
This time by starting early I thought I’d avoided that. But no. Apparently, there is no avoiding that.
Does your kid study the study guide or the actual material covered on the test as outlined by the study guide?
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