Ren gets homework—four nights a week—in kindergarten. It’s not that we are opposed to homework at such a young age, it’s just surprising. Ash didn’t start getting homework until First Grade, and then it was all reading homework. She had to keep a journal of all the books or magazines she actually read. So we would read out loud to each other. She read 75 books that year. They were simple and short, but still that is quite impressive that she tripled what was required. Ren’s homework consists of letters, numbers and counting, most often a page or two. B has taken on the task of homework manager. Every night, Monday through Thursday, Ren and B sit at the kitchen table and tackle the homework, one task at a time. They have developed a rhythm of efficiency and mutual respect—sorta. Last Thursday, B was at work and then band rehearsal until late, so I took over as homework manager. Ren and I found ourselves at the kitchen, and at odds as to how one should write his letters. He is just beginning to write, and we are encouraging proper penmanship, which is a challenge both because he is very strong willed and because he is a leftie. Neither of us are lefties, and as often as we try to put the pen into his right hand, he switches to his left, which is perfectly fine with the liberal arts feel-goodery we enrolled him in. Ren would write his letter, and when I tried to show him another possible way to write his letter so that it might be more legible, he would become angry. Finally after a few minutes, I was able to get his attention long enough to complete the page of letters and move onto the numbers. He writes his numbers well—B and Ren have spent time practicing, and in just a few minutes, we completed the task, I put his homework in the folder to return to school. We moved on to something way more fun and less taxing. The next day, his homework was returned home. When Ren’s homework is returned home, it usually has a sticker: a flower, a girl running or jumping rope, a star. I have yet to figure out how the stickers correspond to letter grades, but the point is the teacher appears to be pleased with his work. When the homework that I worked on with Ren was returned, it held no such stickers or stars. Instead, it had handwritten notes—in red ink—to me denoting where I failed to properly read the instructions and therefore got the wrong answers. In fact, I got 50% of the answers wrong on a kindergartener’s homework. So the question is not, “Am I smarter than a Fifth Grader?” The question is, “Am I smarted than a kindergartener?” No.