Tonight we had out first run-in with homework. So far, he's only had to do thirty minutes of independent reading every day. Yesterday was the first time he's brought an assignment home that didn't entail Steve and I signing something or sending in money. This was real homework for him.
The Social Studies assignment was simple - make a title page about Canada. It's due on Wednesday, so he has two nights to complete it. Alas, simple is not how it appeared to Jonas, although I suspect that it felt that way in class. He came home with a blank piece of paper, much like his mind was blank when it came to ideas. He actually couldn't remember what he was supposed to do. He didn't write it down in his agenda and couldn't find the piece of paper his teacher sent home about it. (He found that later, scrunched in the bottom of his backpack.) Thank goodness his best buddy from school is in his class and lives right around the corner. Thank you, Evan!
After a call from Evan's dad, clarifying what it is Jonas wanted to know, he came home via the backyard, where he was distracted by a snow shovel that had a scoop full of water. Spying a spider's web, and wondering about the effect the water would have on it, he proceeded to dump the water all over himself in the process of his experiment, while Steve watched in amusement.
By the time I got home from work, he was changed, snacked, and ready to get to work on the assignment. As soon as we mentioned that it was homework time, he immediately burst into tears. It wasn't that he didn't want to do it. He was crying because he said he's "dumb about getting ideas." He was simply overwhelmed by the idea of thinking of what he knows about Canada, picking a few things, drawing them and writing out the word "Canada". Overwhelmed. Completely distraught because he was convinced that he couldn't do it. "I'm just dumb!" he sobbed.
I was getting dinner ready when I heard the upset. As I washed my hands and prepared myself for battle, Steven came to the rescue.
He sat down with Jonas and asked him what he knows about Canada. As Jonas said something, Steve wrote it down for him. Once they had a pretty good list, Steve read the items one at a time and asked Jonas to draw a little picture of it. Before they knew it, they had a page filled with little snapshots of Canada. Then Steve asked him to circle which ones were his favourite. Then Jonas cut each one out and arranged it on the page, and wrote the word "Canada" in the middle.
Viola! One successful brainstorming session and rough draft. Even better, as I listened in from the kitchen, the sobbing turned into a "Can Do!" attitude. By the time I put dinner in the oven, they were both smiling and even laughing a little bit.
Way to go Super Dad!