There were so many tears last week and they were mostly due to half-page math worksheets.
Every single freaking day, Olivia brought home a half-page math worksheet. This worksheet was supposed to have been done that day at school during ‘morning math work’.
It was never done while at school. What was done at school was a bunch of doodling and scribbling upon the half-sheet of paper.
I asked Olivia so many times last week what her teachers/aides were doing while she was scribbling all over her morning math worksheet.
She’d shrug at me.
She did take the time to explain that the worksheet she was doing was different from the worksheets the rest of the class were doing.
I don’t know if this bothered her but it seemed as if she thought this was enough of an explanation for why she was scribbling all over hers. I mean, we’re talking SCRIBBLING. She’d write random words, lines, squiggles, circles. You name it, she wrote it on her math worksheets. Wait, unless you name numbers. There were no numbers on her math sheets. It’s almost as if she’s allergic to numbers.
So yes, these math sheets were sent home every single freaking day last week with a note asking, “Please have Olivia complete the morning math sheet that she didn’t complete at school today.”
And to do this, I’d have to erase ALL.THE.SCRIBBLES each evening. Most of the time, not all the scribbles would come off but I could get it fairly clean and we’d sit down to do the work.
Sometimes this math work was complicated. Like story problems such as, “Eric had 75 cents. He bought a candy bar for 45 cents. How much money does he have left?”
Olivia’s brain doesn’t quite compute how to figure what the actual problem is.
I mean, she can do 75 minus 45 if it’s written as:
But figuring out the starting point in the story problem is difficult for her. I mean, duh, girlfriend has a chromosomal deletion! Let’s give her a little break, ‘kay?
On the second day she brought home a scribbled-upon math sheet, we took away her tablet. I mean, there had to be some kind of consequence, right?
She lost the tablet from Tuesday evening until Saturday morning. She didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal.
Friday, though. Oh, Friday. I checked her folder. There was another math sheet. This time, there would be no erasing. She’d gone after that thing with crayon. I was lucky I was going to be able to read it well enough to rewrite the whole thing.
At that point, I informed her she was losing all doodling privileges. Oh, the tears fell when she heard that. She loves doodling (as shown by the doodling on the math sheets.) I informed her that the day she managed to come home from school without a destroyed math sheet, she’d get her home doodle pad back.
We talked about it all weekend long. I reminded her each time she asked for a pad of paper and a pen that she couldn’t have it because she wouldn’t stop doodling on her math.
I honestly don’t know how much of the doodling/scribbling is in her control but I will say, there was no math sheet yesterday.
I wonder if her teachers took the email I sent yesterday to heart or if Liv just learned a little self-control. My email suggested that Liv needs more help at school during morning math work than she was getting. That if there was an aide or a teacher available to guide her in the math work, maybe she wouldn’t decide that doodling was a vial option since she couldn’t figure out the problems on her own.
Whatever the reason, she didn’t bring home a math sheet and for that, I’m so very grateful. And for the record, I did get her back her home doodle pad. She was one happy doodler.
(She got around not having paper this weekend by drawing with chalk on the driveway but…shhhh, let’s not talk about that.)