Teacher Professor

June 1, 2011

39 Clues About Who is the Worst Mommy in the World

Filed under: Home Things,Uncategorized — Teacher Professor @ 2:44 pm

I win the Worst Mommy in the World Award- at least, according to my son.  Turns out, however, it’s an award that several moms around here share.

I win this coveted award because school ended last Friday- and I started requiring the children to read for half an hour and do math for half an hour before they can go and play with friends, watch TV or get on the computer on Tuesday.  Last year, I had all kinds of plans– wonderfully structured and interesting summer lessons in language arts and math.  Complete with mini-field trips.  It was a wonderful plan- and it worked- for about a week.  Summer school classes that I was teaching, camp, and visits soon ended our formal summer learning.

One of the things that frustrates me to no end is that I LOVE teaching- I love devising activities for kids to engage in the material, I love making kids think, and I fancy that I’m pretty good explaining things- and my son (and daughter to a lesser extent) will have none of it.  “NO!” is the feedback I get when I suggest “What if we try it this way?”  “That’s not the way Ms.-So -Much -Smarter -Than -Mommy -Because -She’s -A -REAL -3/4th -Grade -Teacher does it” is the other favorite retort.  My reply of “You know, I used to teach 3rd/4th grade” gives me a little credibility, but not much.  But when I try to create an experience, take them beyond, or even explain, I get resistance.  A LOT of resistance.

So, our plans this summer are much simpler- much less dependent on Mommy and more dependent on the workbook.  I hate it, but at least the workbook is on Singapore Math and at least I can drop in small amounts of instruction.

And- it turns out, Abel- Ray’s new best buddy’s- Mom is doing something quite similar.  So, we got our heads together, and Ray and Abel are going to be reading the 39 Clues series together.  The boy in the series, Dan, is active, anxious, and good at math.  The series is written by a group of male authors (Rick Riordan is one of them!) who wrote a continuing series.  I read the first one and got completely hooked.  If the boys were in my class, I would totally have them start writing their own continuing story, starting with their own adventures.

But of course, I can’t- I’m only Mommy.  And the Worst Mommy in the World, at that.  It’s an award I treasure this summer, as I watch my son learn that friends can share even adventure stories together.


  1. Sometimes, “Bad Mommy” is the best mommy. I read your posts and I really miss teaching! Can’t wait to hear how the summer turns out!

    Comment by autismmommytherapist — June 1, 2011 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

    • I have to admit that I sometimes take perverse pleasure out of this “Award”- means I’m doing my job…

      Comment by profmother — June 1, 2011 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

  2. Hope you don’t mind me chuckling and telling you about it. My Hubby and I are SUCH planners….recipients of much rejection from our two. Over time I think we all have moved closer to each other – them for realizing some of our brilliance 😉 and us for letting learning happen with less orchestration.

    Rick Riordan lives in our city and our children are fans of his work also. He’s a nice man who began writing the stories he told to his son.

    And congrats!

    Comment by Barbara — June 1, 2011 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

    • Every now and then I get a “All right, you’re not so bad”, which I take to mean “BRILLIANT Mommy!” And I am a HUGE fan of Rick Riordan after plowing through the Lightening Thief series!

      Comment by profmother — June 1, 2011 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

  3. Should be a summer of fun reading! Hurrah 🙂

    Comment by profmother — June 2, 2011 @ 7:23 am | Reply

  4. Dr. Claire,
    Do you have a Singapore Math workbook that you recommend? I want to do a bit with Maria this summer; she’s the kind of kid who would ADORE extra time with mom doing math!

    Comment by Tina Salameh — June 19, 2011 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

    • I can’t really recommend one- but the one we’re using is Frank Shaeffer’s workbooks… It’s ok- and a little easier to deal with than the ones from the textbook company.

      Comment by profmother — June 30, 2011 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

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