I can’t sugarcoat my feelings about this topic. I hate it. I hate every single thing about it. In fact, I firmly believe that it was created by Satan himself as a cruel punishment and is intended to tear families apart one assignment at a time.
If you have kids who just get home and do their homework without so much as an eyeroll, then stop reading now. You won’t relate to this one. You must have been very good in a previous life and are now being rewarded. I never totally got it until my now 10 year old started bringing it home. My older two kids would just come home and get it done. Maybe they would have an occasional question or roadblock, but honestly they always knew that homework was dad’s department. I didn’t do my OWN damn homework back in the day and I certainly didn’t ask my mom for help. I’m happy to do almost all other motherly things (well, besides ironing) but when it comes to homework I’m all “daddy’s right over there in the other room honey”.
Here is a short list of things I would rather do than help my child with homework…
-have a root canal
-watch The View
-clean a Walmart bathroom
OK, maybe I’m exaggerating (I wouldn’t actually ever watch The View). But until you have a child who simply can not handle any more than the 7 hours of structured work they are required to put in each day at school, you will not be able to fully understand the struggle. Many children come home from their school day exhausted and overstimulated. All they want to do is have a snack, decompress and PLAY. Instead they have to put in another hour of work. Even if the teacher says homework should take 30 minutes or less, that is unrealistic with a child who is frustrated and throwing a fit the entire time. And I’m sure it’s extremely helpful when I get so filled with rage that I just grab the damn pencil and do it myself in my sloppiest writing so it looks like she actually did it.
Homework is absolute misery around here. I can’t tell you how many school evenings have been ruined in my household over a homework meltdown. I used to be so happy to get my children off the bus to spend the late afternoon and evening with them, but now I DREAD the sound of that bus making its way up my street. I can literally see the look of relief that the school day is over fade from my child’s face once she remembers about her homework. As soon as I hear the words “UGH I don’t get it, can you help me?” I know the rest of the evening (or at the very least, the next hour) will be shot. Tempers will flare, patience will be tested and tears will be shed all around.
We have had amazing teachers who would give a ton of homework and we have also had equally amazing teachers who would only give occasional assignments to do at home or maybe work that wasn’t finished at school. My kids always do well in school regardless of how much work they bring home. Whether they spend 15 minutes a day or 2 hours a day working on homework does not seem to play a direct role in the grades they are getting. What it DOES play a direct role in is our home life.
As it stands now, my little ones leave the house at 8:15am and don’t get home until almost 4pm. I want my kids to come home and be able to ride their bikes with their friends until dinnertime, go to their dance class or gymnastics or lacrosse practice, come home, shower and get into bed at a decent time. Let them be kids!!
Now, I’m not completely opposed to ALL “home”work however. I do think it’s important for kids to read and study at home. But, if they’re struggling with a subject or lesson, they really need to spend time outside of the classroom with the teacher or a tutor. It shouldn’t just be assumed that the parents will be able to help. Everything is so different now. I don’t even understand first grade math anymore! So, if my kid comes home with something they need my help with, we’re all screwed.
I know a lot of people will disagree with my feelings, and that’s ok. You like homework? That’s great! You’re in luck because it’s not like homework is just going to disappear because I’m publishing this. Teachers will continue to send work home, your easy going kids will still come home and quietly get it done, and I will continue to spend my afternoons dreading the bus while coming up with new bribes to get my little pain in the ass to sit down and just get it done so we can carry on with the rest of our day. Not my proudest mom truth, but I’m just keeping it real. So, don’t mind me, I’m just venting after a long week of homework meltdowns. End rant.