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Re: "Get a grip" reprised

Posted by R. Berg on October 05, 2003

In Reply to: Re: "Get a grip" reprised posted by Lotg on October 05, 2003

: : : : : : : : : : : Our daughter has come home from school with a list of 60 proverbs that have been abbreviated by their first letter eg A.M.T.H.G.F - ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER. Can anyone help with the 6 that we can't do? They are driving us mad with frustration!
: : : : : : : : : : : I.L.F.A.D.H
: : : : : : : : : : : S.O.O.A.H.A.D.O.T.O
: : : : : : : : : : : A.B.A.T.A.O.S
: : : : : : : : : : : I.L.L.T.S.D.W.T.H.H.B
: : : : : : : : : : : C.S.B.T.A.G
: : : : : : : : : : : T.C.B.T.S

: : : : : : : : : : : Thank you for your time.

: : : : : : : : : : I've been paging through books of proverbs with no luck so far. My sympathies.

: : : : : : : : : Was the assignment given to the students or to the parents?

: : : : : : : :
: : : : : : : : ::: Don't knock parent participation. There isn't enough of it. Are you seriously saying you never received help from your parents? Sad if it's so.

: : : : : : : I don't knock parental participation at all; but is this homework, or a game? I can't imagine what grade level an assignment like this might be for, or for what subject. There were 60 of them??

: : : : : : Participation, encouragement, supplying resources, fine. Doing the child's assignment, not fine, assuming it's the kind of homework that the student is expected to do for herself, in order to learn something. Maybe the list of sayings was handed out as something interesting to play with, a set of brain teasers. I balk at "earning" a grade for someone else's work.

: : : : : : Like GPP, I never had exercises of this kind in school. I probably would have enjoyed them.

: : : : : School ain't what it used to be.

: : : : It seems, from reading and talking too people with children of school age, that there is far too much parental participation these days. It's not uncommon for homework to be designed especially so that it is impossible for the student to do the work *without* parental participation. A little help now and then, if it's selective and doesn't ever become a case of the parent doing the work for the student, is okay in my book. Parental participation for the sake of it is not. Students don't learn to work independently. I have even read about parents helping their children with their term papers in college and I have to say I find it very disturbing.

: : :
: : : ::: What on earth is wrong with you people??? You'd think poor Sarah had killed your grandmothers or something. And you should read the stuff you've written. I hope this isn't Sarah's first time on this site, because it is a very sad example.

: : : Why didn't you begin with 'in our day....' or 'we never had those opportunities when we were young', or 'life was tougher then...', or 'we were better behaved...', or some other hard done by garbage to the effect that so many have been saying since time immemorial?

: : : And how presumptuous you are!!!

: : : How do you know that Sarah's daughter didn't figure out the other 54 proverbs all by herself. And so what if she didn't. Do you really think that all the successful people of our time and before did everything themselves. Of course not. They delegated. They utilised the strengths of others.

: : : Get a grip, or maybe even a life. All Sarah has asked for is some help in working out something that I note, you geniuses don't appear to have been able to work out yourselves. Presumably if you have you would offer it, unless you are being absolutely childish!

: : : Sarah, I've had a go at figuring these out, searched the web, and I've got to say I haven't been able to figure these out. But when your daughter does submit her assignment and her marks come back, I'm very curious and would be most grateful to discover what they stand for. Maybe our 'learned' friends might learn something too.

: : I admire that you want to defend Sarah and her daughter but I think you are misguided in your interpretation of comments here.

: : I don't think people here *are* being presumptuous. No one here was having a go at Sarah for wanting to help her daughter. The fact is there is a trend, at least in the United States (and the UK to some extent)for parents to be expected to do homework with their children. I think it's a fair subject for comment.

: : I certainly feel for Sarah and her daughter. I'm actually wondering if there is some specific source they are supposed to consult since that's the way these things often work.

: : Fianlly, don't presume everyone is commenting from the sidelines. I can't speak for everyone but the quality of the education children receive and how parental participation is being used as an all purpose cure for the malaise public education is a live issue for me, live and crawling, in fact. :)

: :::: Hmmm. Well I'm tuckered out by all this and don't really understand your remark to effect of "don't presume everyone is commenting from the sidelines", cos I don't recall doing that. But I think we'll just have to agree to differ on this one. I certainly can't comment about the US education system, cos I have no idea, but I can say that I'm fairly appalled at the stuff my stepdaughter brings home from school.

: But the matter of parental participation in homework and to what extent, if you're education system is actively encouraging that, well, I don't really understand why. Maybe there's a good reason, but I must say it escapes me. As to the historic involvement of parents. It would be impossible to do a survey, but I'd lay odds, that it hasn't changed in the last 40 years or so (I'm 46 so I can't go back any further than that). I'll bet that the type of parents who couldn't be bothered then, still can't be bothered now, the type who wanted to be involved, will still be involved now and the type who want to control, be too involved or should not be too involved, are still that way now too.

: I suppose the greatest objection I'm raising here is the inference that things have changed and there is too much parental participation in/contribution to homework, as though this is something recent. I really doubt that, unless (and again I don't know), there is a deliberate requirement by your education system, in which case I would definitely be asking 'to what end'?

: So let me open another can of worms here... If there really is an issue, do the majority of parents object? As a stepmother, and not a mother, I'm astonished at how parents simply don't bother to get involved in their child's education system (here anyway). They just seem to accept things, and if they're not happy, whinge a lot, but I don't see them do much.

: Recently my stepdaughter brought home a spelling test. She had lost marks for spelling 2 words correctly. ie. The teacher changed these words to an incorrect spelling. On further questioning, and delving through previous books, this had been a frequent occurrence. Quite simply, her English teacher, couldn't spell, and was penalising Lara (and confusing her) incorrectly.

: Her mother realised, her father realised, but neither did anything about it except complain about the woman's ineptitude. This astonished me. And eventually it was me who approached the school and took it to a higher teacher. It turned out, surprise surprise, that several of the children were being misguided in the same way, several parents came out of the woodwork and said they'd realised, but no-one had done anything about it. Now I realise this is 'only spelling', but if parents aren't prepared to act in such a simple situation as this, and ensure they're children receive the right information, then I'm not entirely surprised the education system is flawed.

: At one point we thought Lara might change schools, for geographical reasons, but again, I was blown away at the criteria used by her parents. I wanted to look at the prospective schools' track record. I wanted to see how they performed, particularly at the level in which we were enrolling Lara. My partner and her mother however, simply thought they'd send her to the place she wanted to go, cos she knew a couple of the girls there. When I approached the school for some performance records, they couldn't give me any, pointing out that it's not a requirement of theirs. That they don't keep records each year of their performance and don't have to produce them to parents. I've since discovered this is not true, but that they don't want it to be available to the public.

: Surely parents should change this? Generally speaking, business is based on performance, that's the real world, our children's eduction should surely be based on the real world. I sometimes wonder how actively involved parents want to be in their children's education.

: The End
: ...I'll be doing a War & Peace sequel for my next offering...

The issue for me, and the reason I posted initially, isn't how actively involved parents want to be, it's the practical and ethical question about handing a child the answers to an assignment. (My parents were so involved in my schooling that they made enemies of school administrators, but they never did my homework.) I don't see that as very different from writing a paper and letting your child turn it in with her own name on it. This argument has come up on Phrase Finder before. There are two camps: "Kids need all the help they can get" and "That's cheating!" I don't believe either side has ever swayed the other.

For anyone to whom it applies: Discussion boards run more smoothly when discussants disagree without insulting or ridiculing one another.

For Sarah: The Meanings and Origins section of this site contains a long alphabetical list of sayings. Your daughter might find some of the five missing ones by looking there under their first initials.

For any educators who are reading: Reconstructing proverbs from their initials is necessarily harder the younger one is. Young readers have had less exposure to English than their parents and may have never encountered some of the sayings. This kind of homework would put children in immigrant families-and there are many in my area-at a particular disadvantage; they're unlikely to know the proverbs, and they may have no one in the family who can help.