Now that the Critter has started real school, she's coming home with real homework. I struggle with this for a couple of reasons:
a) She's four years old.
b) My historical disregard for homework as a concept. You can ask my parents. For my entire academic career, I believed that homework could be eliminated through an intense focus on time management of my school-hours: i.e. I could cram 90% of my homework in the 10 minutes before class began.
Now that I'm a parent, though, and it's no longer my homework, I can get behind this whole homework concept. So my bride and I are taking turns with the Critter at helping her with her assignments. But it's not without problems
So far, they've been concentrating on the alphabet, and I'm finding out that I'm woefully unqualified to help. As I mentioned before, Queen's School For Girls is quite fussy about doing things properly. Including the alphabet. Instead of teaching the letters in the traditional way I was taught (you know, "A, B, C, D, E, F, G... H, I, J, K, LMNOP...), they teach the "sounds" of the letters. They quickly realized that we had been teaching Ella the names of the letters these past couple of years and shook their heads at our out-dated ways of doing things. Then I was told that there are now 46 letter sounds which are taught, not just the simple 26 letters I learned, silly American. Say huh? How the hell are there 46? If I add 26 + the 5 alternate vowel sounds, and sometimes 1 for "y", I only get 32. +1 each for "sh", "ch" and "th", and I'm up to 35. Add a few for the ones I would think of if I wasn't feeling on the spot, and I'm still not at 46.
I kind of expected to be useless when the Critter gets to chemistry or physics or something I struggled with back when it mattered, but I wasn't prepared to be so far behind before she turns 5.