Tonight’s Homework

My daughter Grace gets a list of spelling homework choices at the beginning of the week and must choose 5 of the options each week. Tonight as she sat down to do her homework, she got out the computer and started working on something. After a few minutes I noticed her obvious frustration and asked if I could help. She said she was trying to find what English letter each letter of the Hebrew alphabet stood for.

I found a site with the Hebrew alphabet and started going through the letters, but told her that they did not all have an English equivalent. I asked her what she needed to do. She read me the choice from her homework sheet that said she needed to write 10 words in a foreign language and those same words in English. She told me that everyone was doing Spanish, and someone had already done Chinese, but she wanted to be different. Hebrew is very different.

So next we looked for simple Hebrew vocabulary sites that listed words in Hebrew and English. I showed her a few that I knew, like mother and father. She sat down with the computer and started looking through the words. She told me she wasn’t finding her spelling words in the lists. At this point a lightbulb goes on over my head. She doesn’t need to translate 10 random words. This is her spelling homework. 10 of her spelling words are what is needed.

At this point I showed her Google translation tools and we typed in 10 of her spelling words. I selected English to Hebrew and clicked translate. Lo and behold, Google returned 10 Hebrew words. And now it was up to Grace to write them down. Quite a challenge for a half-Jewish kid who has barely seen Hebrew, let alone tried to write it.


  1. I love the fact that your daughter went for a challenge instead of taking the easy way out. I would take that as a sign of intelligence! My daughter is only 3, so she isn’t bringing home any homework yet. But she does bring home enough construction-paper artwork to fill a gallery at the Smithsonian. (I guess child daycare centers haven’t embraced the paperless environment concept yet! Haha!) Hey, I’m not complaining though. By the time she grows up and has kids, all artwork will probably be digital and my daughter’s kids will likely look at paper, including construction-paper, like my generation looks at 8-tracks (no offense, if you or your readers are from the 8-track generation … you guys had cooler cars back in those days!) But I digress. Great post, and I look forward to more. Have an awesome weekend.

    1. Brian

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, my daughter is not one to take the easy way out. It is great to see her creativity manifest itself in an academic setting. As far as that raft of day care artwork, I spent many years keeping everything, unless it had food or glitter on it (didn’t really want to discover the archival properties of chocolate pudding painting). I have always threatened my kids that one day UPS will show up at their houses with 30 boxes of preschool artwork. They laugh, but I tell them this stuff is for them, not for me. They will care about it in their 30s, not in their 20s. These days, only select items are kept, and my kids do the selecting.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.