Monday

The homework dilemma

I really have liked every one of my kids teachers. They have all been bright, lively, caring and warm women. So I don't doubt the way they teach their classes. Could one give the kids more running around time? Sure. Could another space out tests. Yes. But guess what I am not a professional teacher. Nor despite coming from a long line of educators would I want to be. So I will say they know how to deal with a classroom full of 20 something seven and five-year-olds more effectively than I do, I have enough trouble wrangling one of each.

But after reading the Homework post on today.com by Heather Schumaker I totally agree that these kids are getting way too much homework. Admittedly homework was very light last week, which was nice. My kids start school around 8 am and are there till 3. Recess is twenty minutes, and then another twenty minutes at lunch where they chat with classmates. They usually play with the other kids after school for a little while. By the time we get back home and find parking, it is pushing 3:45.

If their cousins are already home from school they will ride scooters with them, weather permitting. I usually let them decompress for an half hour or so; which gives me time to finish projects I have been working on. But then the fight begins, whose turn is it to go first. I have tried to help both with homework at the same time, but they both like total focus, so that doesn't work. I send my daughter, who is a second grader, to read to her grandmother while I work with my son on his homework. He only gets a little bit of work done, as he is very strong willed. If he is motivated he will plow through his homework. If he is not, it is like guiding a disinterested kitten through a maze. My daughter rushes through her work, so I have to slow her down. But she is very eager to finish up. She doesn't like when we have to study for test after test. But she does it.

On most days by the time we are done, I need to start dinner. And my wife is almost home. The kids are so burnt out they are cranky, and just want to veg out by their toys or in front of a screen.

The practice is important. But sometimes it feels excessive. I know a lot of parents who have to split homework for the next morning. I know they are just building up to the demands of the higher grades and beyond. Sometimes after a long day at school, playing with Shopkins or riding your scooter is more valuable than homework.

2 comments:

Chuck - Whatcha Reading? said...

Agreed it can be too much. I found when my youngest started getting real homework (this year) it worked better to get right into it if possible. Snacks at the table, get the homework done, go play for the rest of the day. The problem around here is all the afterschool activities. If one has something the other doesn't and I'm running around with one in tow all afternoon. By the time I get them home and start homework they're burnt. I need to limit the afterschool stuff more but we don't have kids on the block so the interaction outside of school is important.. Ah the joys of parenting.

Niel said...

I hear that! And having two kids who are asking for help with their homework doesn't make it any easier.