Every Tuesday, The Boy brings home his red folder stuffed with papers I'm supposed to read. I don't read them - I've abdicated this responsibility. Today, I remembered why.
The red folder contains important things like permission slips and school picture notices and the lunch menu and The Boy's schoolwork. I can deal with the administrative stuff, but the schoolwork drives me batty. Really, it's better that I just don't look.
Because if I do look, I'm going to run across something like I did today. It was a worksheet. On the worksheet were nineteen little drawings of vases, and each vase had a word on it. The instructions said, Read the word on each vase. Color the vase blue if the word inside is a verb. Color the vase yellow if the word inside is a noun.
Right off the bat, I had issues with the worksheet. Why did it only have 19 vases? 19 is an unnatural number. The vases weren't randomly placed - they were in neat rows of four, except for the first row, which only had three. There could have been four on the first row, but the fourth place was taken up by another drawing, of a little girl at a potter's wheel, making a vase. I guess that picture was important, so the students would realize that all the other drawings were of vases.
My second issue was with the instructions. Why did they say that the word was inside the vase, right after it said to read the word on the vase? If the word were inside the vase, you wouldn't be able to see it. Plus, who keeps words in vases? Or, was it a trick, and the word in the vase wasn't the same as the word on the vase? Maybe it was a telepathy test? That would be silly. Obviously, the words were on the vases, although why anyone would want a vase with the word "Alex" on it is a mystery. Wouldn't that make it an urn, and not a vase? And wouldn't that just be creepy? What kind of weird little girl spends craft time making urns?
OK, so those are admittedly minor things, and I'm probably only the one odd enough to be bothered by them. My real issue was with the words themselves. Because out of the 19 words, six of them could be nouns or verbs: sand, cling, seat, bake, leap, hide. Granted, there probably aren't a lot a first graders who think of carpentry when they see the word "sand", or tanning when they see the word "hide", but still. It's the principle of the thing. Of all the words in the world, surely they could have picked 19 that didn't swing both ways.
I'm not going to say anything to the teacher about the worksheet. I think it's best if I don't. Eventually, The Boy will learn that some words can be both verbs and nouns. I don't know that he would recover from the kind of crazy I would get trying to explain my issues with the worksheet to the teacher.