Gabriel has his first 3rd-grade book report due Thursday.
Incredibly, this one has been nearly painless. He's done every step without being bugged or asked. Not entirely on his own -- the teacher puts in his daily homework what step they should accomplish within the next few days, but he's done it.
I read it over tonight to check it, and found that he'd done a really good job at the "Character Sketch," the "Summary" and the "Recommendation." Actually, he writes really pretty well. His handwriting is horrendous -- it's very very hard to read, but I find his choice of words to be pretty insightful and have a good flow.
Perhaps in part thanks to my dedicating some time to reviewing the report when we got home tonight, the evening went amazingly well tonight. It was downright peaceful. Julian set right to work finishing up his week's homework -- all he had left to do was to put 20 words in "abc" (alphabetic) order. Gabriel moans and complains and works himself into tears for over half an hour because he can't stand doing the same task, but Julian just tackles it quietly and gets it done in under 10 minutes.
In fact overall, most of the pain so far with homework is getting the boys just to sit down and do it. The struggle is in separating them from each other and from their irresistable little sister (and in Gabriel's case getting over the outrage at having to do it at all), but once they get going, they're both independent and competent at doing the actual work on their own.
So far, Julian's first-grade homework has been far, far, FAR easier to deal with than Gabriel's was; partly because the work itself doesn't require so much parent participation, partly because it's assigned weekly instead of daily, and partly because Julian is far more cooperative (overall) about doing it.
Despite today's success, it's staggering to think that there will be yet a 3rd to deal with next year. It's so overwhelming...I can't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow.