Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy Math Work Sheet - The Homeschooling Protest

My children are an active, energetic, and imaginative lot. Frequently, our days are filled with the adventures of super heroes, kings, and queens, questing against the villain du jour. In order to prevent these adventures from consuming our entire day, I find that I must be a bit of a task master. Keeping this lot focused on their school work is a challenge. If I allowed them to have their way, we would have too much home and not enough school. Let’s face it (and this is not a criticism of my homeschooling brethren), we aren’t unschoolers.

So, after we completed our third page of math this morning, Captain Chaos decided that she needed a break. She didn’t ask for a break. She gave herself a break. She jumped out of her chair and ran to her bedroom.  The girl reappeared a few moments later wearing her super hero cape and mask and carrying two Twister Hoopla rings.

“I’m off to slay the dragon!” she exclaimed, running through the kitchen to the basement steps. As shedescended the steps she cried, “Not a real dragon. The plastic dragon!”

This came right after her OMWS math protest.

The Occupy Math Work Sheet movement is a daily affair that begins with the Captain deciding which problems she will and will not agree to complete, as well as deciding whether or not she will write her answers in the spaces provided by the evil, greedy, corporate math teachers from Saxon. When she doesn’t want to complete her math work, the Captain will write the largest, sloppiest numbers she can possibly create, frequently obliterating the equations below and to the sides of the problem she is answering. Since I have stock in erasers (there’s a lot of money to be made in BIG ERASER), there’s always a large square block eraser on hand to obliterate her protest numbers. At some point during each worksheet, she will look at an upcoming question, draw a squiggly line through the problem, and write “Bah!” (her version of “Blah!”), in vain hope that I will allow her to skip that exercise.

Today was no different. The Captain began her math day writing humungous numbers. After the obligatory erasing she settled into a more cooperative mood, completing three pages of math exercises. She abandoned all efforts at cooperating when she saw a row of addition problems at the bottom of the third page. While I was refilling my coffee cup, she drew her squiggly line through the equations and wrote “blah.” Returning to the table, I once again deployed BIG ERASER. After much complaining, she started the problems. As she wrote her final answers I heard her mutter, “I’m writing the biggest numbers that I can write.” And she did. Across the bottom of the page. Because this girl is going to make her feelings known no matter what.

I’m just happy she doesn’t have any drums.


  1. I often have to deploy BIG ERASER but mine draw a line through the problems that they don't want to do. I'm thinking of doing Teaching Textbooks because they can't draw lines!! Of course, I many have a problem with them throwing the computer!

  2. Oh my gosh, my son does the same thing! Every day begins with a negotiation - I will do THIS page and skip THAT page and I am not going to do all that writing and can't we do spelling orally? I actually schedule our schoolwork with built-in negotiation areas so we can all win. I kind of like listening to him try to persuade me.

    He does the giant numbers too. He likes to write random stuff all over. If there are more than 2 sevens on the page, he draws lines to connect them. Or he will draw lines from problem to problem in the order he has decided to to them. Or big checkmarks for some reason.

    good grief, I guess this post hit a weird nerve.

  3. Love this! And, from just seeing the Occupy camp in San Francisco, I can tell you your description is very accurate, too. Such a clever post!

  4. :)

    if Mr Music and Captain Chaos ever get together, they will remove the evil math from the planet completely.