When I began life as a mom I made a terrible mistake. I read a book. It was a parenting book discussing the pitfalls of our current education system. As my firstborn toddled around the house with a tot-knot and sippy cup, I vowed to praise her efforts instead of doling out mindless positive reinforcement. I tried to say, “You worked hard coloring that page!” instead of “Good Job!”
Another take away from the book was that homework was invented by Satan. Satan desires to have school children across the country argue with parents over spelling words. He also delights in young minds losing sleep in order to find the meaning behind X, Y and maybe Z.
It worked, and families have shed a tear or two over Xeroxed copies of busywork.
Not my child! I will march up to her teachers and reference the studies that dispel the myth that homework equals success. I tried but the teachers felt that homework was important for, you know, the tests and never relented after-hours assignments.
I was certain that I would have to intervene with my second born child because surely he would have many fits of rage each night over coloring, cutting and pasting. Surprisingly, my son loves homework. As soon as he is home he puts those crayons to work!
At back-to-school night, three adorable and patient Kindergarten teachers stood in front of a room full of parents and explained why they were assigning homework to kids who still ate paste.
“We want them to get used to doing homework.”
Isn’t there some kind of child labor laws for academics?
If the school wants to give homework to parents students, at least back it up by research and tell us why you really want it. Something along the lines of, “Studies prove that homework does not have a positive or negative effect on students from Pre-K through third grade, but we’re pretty sure giving the same work at home as they had at school for six hours will drastically improve their performance on standardized tests.”
At least be honest with me.
It took longer than I expected but it ended up happening. My Kindergartener’s first, full on, out of control fit of rage over homework. It wasn’t because he didn’t want to do it. It was because he didn’t finish it. Sadly, as the school year wore on he began showing signs of procrastination, most likely inherited from me.
It was Friday, the day a whole week of papers were due with his name scrawled at the top showing that he understood which way an alligator (or maybe a crocodile?) should eat dots on the page. Then he said the words I never wanted to hear, “Everyone else has it done and I don’t.”
Stab a knife in my heart, I’m dead.
One of my many mommy guilt triggers is to cause my children the pain of exclusion because of something I did or did not do.
My inability to take homework seriously has caused my son to be uncomfortable at school. His fit happened to coincide with impending illness so perhaps his feelings were compounded by a snotty nose and low-grade fever, but still. I vowed to take homework seriously, even if I disagreed with its importance in our after school lives. I want him to feel the satisfaction of turning in an assignment on time and I do love the sound of my husband’s baritone voice patiently explaining the mysteries of the short A. Heck, most of my teenage anxiety did not come from acne or college admissions. Oh no, I was a mess if completed homework assignments were not neatly tucked into my backpack by seven thirty a.m.
I love their teachers and school, but I do not love homework and I probably never will. But I live in a country that believes more homework = more learning so I’ll just suck it up buttercup.