New Old

In the current model of parenting, schools rely heavily on parents handling the homework. I do not remember my parents helping me this much. Maybe my older brothers did. But my daughter’s schoolwork is almost impossible to complete without parental help.

And second grade has a lot of homework. Even Christmas vacation has special homework: a family history project. She is supposed to write out 3 pages, using primary and secondary sources of information about her family. One page must be a map.

The standards are pretty high for a second grader. Primary and secondary sources? really? yet again parental intervention is required.

But this is a special problem for me. I can’t do it for her…I have to coach her into creating the project that will meet the requirements.

So I ask, what is the most interesting thing about your family?

“I think the most interesting thing about my family is that I have four uncles.”

She answers in complete sentences. Just like that.

Uncles. So I check with the teachers if uncles are okay, yes they are.

So now I set up the video calls.

Veronica and I actually worked out a few questions that would follow the spec. She will ask them about what it was like for them in second grade.

When she talked with my oldest brother, she asked what she had asked the rest, “What school did you go to for second grade?”

He didn’t quite remember. He and I reviewed our remembered family history and named three schools before finally remembering the right one.

And then it came up that he’d skipped 3rd grade.

I never knew that.

I told him I’d skipped 8th grade.

He never knew that.

There’s a theme song for new years- Auld Lang Syne. It says: “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind…”

Well, maybe there’s a lot of old acquaintance we never knew to even forget. And also, maybe there are new things that our old acquaintances have matured into.

There’s new stuff happening even in the old stuff.

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