June 09, 2014


I was at work today when Bone's school popped up on my cell.

I nearly stroked. School is out. When a school calls you, a school like his, it is not good news. All I kept thinking was, "Holy crap, he failed something. They're calling to kick him out."

After 10 years of schooling with him, that's where I am not mentally. For three years, I fought to keep him in the art middle school. He was perpetually on probation.

I answered and it was the Assistant Principal. When he introduced himself I said, "This can't be good..." and he got quiet and said, "No, not it's not."

Finally he said, "Bones did not pass the Algebra I EOC". The EOC is the End of Course Exam that he must pass to get his diploma from high school.

And when the AP said he'd failed, I was relieved. I wanted to yell at him, "THANK GOD!"

I'd feared so much worse. I never expected he'd pass the EOC. He didn't have homework for 18 weeks in his Alg I class. How do you pass math with no homework in particular when you have a disability with math?

I let him go on about how he missed it by a few questions, that had to be a lie, and how we had options.

I'm not sure what he was expecting. A surprised mother? A horrified mother? A crying mother?

Instead, I stopped him and said simply, "I never expected him to pass the EOC. I fully expected we'd have to do something this summer. We just need a plan."

He said quietly, "You never expected him to pass the EOC?"

And I replied, "Absolutely not. He hasn't had homework in 18 weeks. How do you teach a MATH class with NO homework?"

And his response to me boggled my mind.

"Mrs. L., many teachers don't give math homework because there is nobody that can help them at home."

No sh--.

He said that.


Welcome to 2014. Everyone feels good about themselves and we don't give homework to kids who may not have someone at home to help.


Posted by Boudicca at June 9, 2014 10:04 PM

I'm tired of all of this. If I thought I would survive homeschooling, I would do it.

Posted by: vwbug at June 10, 2014 05:27 AM

If Bones didn't need the social aspect, being such a huge extrovert, and if I didn't think I'd kill him, I'd do it too.

Posted by: Bou at June 10, 2014 07:20 AM


A math teacher

Posted by: Heresolong at June 10, 2014 08:37 AM

i'm not fond of swearing, but that response has me turning purple holding in the expletives!

another maths teacher.

Posted by: rae at June 10, 2014 09:20 AM

OK, so here is my rant. WHile I don't know you presonally, I have read your blog for years. I am confident that you are known at that school and that it is known you are a very hands on mom. Not saying that if a child does not have someone at home the teacher maybe should TEACH them....but they have got to know you would have worked with him. This is some crap.....WOW. I would have lost my mind....this might have caused jail time for me.

Went through this when my kids were in school...when my daughter graduated, I actually cried because I knew I had done my last IEP, homework, conference, intervention, etc.

Poor thing....I know you are so frustrated.

Posted by: Trudy at June 10, 2014 09:24 AM

First, I was on FB with my cousin the night before. He's a math teacher in another state. He's a great teacher, does higher math, AP stats etc. He told me he gets in trouble with the admin if he assigns too much homework and he is absolutely not ever allowed to count it as any kind of grade. Then I had the above conversation, which is full of typos and I need to correct. It was late... :(

Second, I said the the AP... I am a mathematician working for an engineering firm. I can help my son and do.

He said, " did she know that?" And I replied, "not only did she know it, she and my son discussed it at great length."

My frustration levels are so high.

I know there are some amazing math teachers. My two older boys hit the jackpot consistently.

I just think we are doomed because I'm very afraid this is the norm.

Posted by: Bou at June 10, 2014 11:36 AM

Feeling your pain because I have SO been there with our oldest son.

He is doing much better with math in college, even though there is more homework and the tests are more frequent. Is it possible Bones could take math at a local community college? I'm not kidding - he might do better there!

Posted by: PeggyU at June 10, 2014 01:25 PM

Also - you are right about calls from the school. They never call about "good" things!

I remember one time I was at work and one of my coworkers got a phone call from her son's school. It turned out that at recess some of the kids were having a contest to see how many marbles they could fit in their mouths, and my coworker's son accidentally swallowed one.

They had to call 9-11 and the paramedics put in a trach tube and then there was the emergency room visit to remove the marble. Fun, eh?

Posted by: PeggyU at June 10, 2014 01:30 PM

When did homework become something that a parent was expected to do with the child? At 15 years old? My goodness, I remember homework being the thing that allowed the teacher to see that the lessons taught in class were received, and understood by the STUDENT, or were given to provide preparatory information for an upcoming class. Since when did the parents ever have to do anything (after 6th grade or so) other than ensure that the work was being done/attempted.

If the homework was too difficult for the student himself to do and that was atypical to the class, the teacher would know that there was a problem, and a student required assistance.

No homework being the norm, with the administration supporting/accepting that as SOP? My mind, it is blown.

Posted by: web at June 11, 2014 02:57 PM

Peggy- Her story wins! No one ever had to call 911 for my kids at school. Thank.God.

Web- I know. How insane is that? And we wonder why our kids are not thriving. Also, Bones always told me that there were times he was the ONLY one doing his homework. WTH? Where are the parents? Where is the accountability?!

Posted by: Bou at June 11, 2014 08:46 PM

You bring up an interesting question. I have one class this year where 4/15 people actually did any appreciable amounts of homework. Calls to parents had no effect. I finally switched that one class to a system where they couldn't take the tests unless they did 80% of the homework for that chapter. Made almost no difference. Two more students started doing homework but not until right before the test.

Posted by: Heresolong at June 11, 2014 10:15 PM

With all the online homework sites out there, they can't assign homework? Particularly in bigger metropolitan areas???

And I once had a student who swallowed a marble (at home), but he brought pictures of the procedure to retrieve it...a robotic-type arm went down his stomach and into his intestines. Really, really cool show-and-tell.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at June 11, 2014 10:47 PM

The "no homework help" excuse is bogus. There are a ton of online resources nowadays, even if parents can't help. Openstudy.com is a good one - a free service where students help other students. I think it works well, especially since students who are struggling with one concept may be able to help other students with something else. So the "I-suck-at-math" people get a better perspective and can see that they are not alone and that there are skills they have mastered.

Posted by: PeggyU at June 12, 2014 11:16 AM