Well, it feels like it when I sit down with my daughter to get her daily homework done. At the beginning of this school year, about 3 months ago, she didn´t know what was waiting her - homework, routines, discipline etc. The routines are important and therefor everyday of the week looks exactly the same. Discipline is also important and they have rules to obey while in school like good behavior, learn to be responsible etc. The school has a high focus on the academics, which in my Swedish world, is a little bit too early when attending first grade. But they argue it is easy to form the students at an early age and it becomes easy for the students later. I guess some parts are good and some parts I just want to take out of the curriculum if I could choose (but that is due to cultural differences).
My daughter starts school approx 8 a.m. and gets out at approx 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. When we get home we have about an hour of homework ahead of us - (for a native it maybe is 20-30 min). I get out the blue folder, sent home with her everyday, where I can find personal notes from the teacher or general information from the school. I can also find a section saying: "Homework to do". I pull it out and it can be anything from two to four or sometimes five different papers that should be done until the very next day. We begin with spelling homework and try to learn how to pronounce and spell the words. They are usually about ten of them. Later in the week a spelling test will be held. We continue with math and we help her prepare herself for an upcoming test later in the week. If she is not too tired at this time I will help her finish whatever work she did not complete before the end of the school day.
This is tough for a girl that cannot even read or write in her own language and now in a very short time needs to learn English, a language she has not heard of or not understood until about now. But I am amazed how fast they learn. It goes fast and I wish I that capacity to learn a new language in one year. She works hard and I am very proud of her!!! It is amazing how flexible they are and trying to their best in any situation.
However, in the beginning it was a struggle and she could not understand why she needed to work when school was over for the day. Today, 3 months later, she has less unfinished work with her home. She tells me what homework she has with her home and there is much less protests when doing her homework and it goes faster to complete them every day. We are progressing and she is growing amazingly fast of learning it all - A Pursuit of Excellence I guess...
Inside the blue folder I have sections to look at. This blue section with a zipper I send personal and important messages the teacher needs to know about.
Every Monday I get a letter of what homework needs to be done thought out the week. I also get all the homework in math and spelling in this section. That needs to be returned the very next day.
When the homework is done I put this in the "completed" section so the teachers knows it has been done. I also sign the homework before sending it back.
This is a picture of the car pool line I am lined up in while waiting the school to dismiss. I am at the end of the line and I probably have 20+ some cars in front of me. I don´t walk in to get her - I line up with my car and she is released as I pull up and where I will be identified as the right person.