When I was a teacher I used to hate homework. I hated giving it. I hated chasing it down. I hated grading it and quite frankly, I didn’t think it had any value to my students. If they didn’t finish something in class, of course then I sent it home. But as for adding on more, I was never a fan.
I understand the value of practicing math problems. I am completely in favor of reading and even writing a bit every day. I don’t even mind projects that need some home time to finish. I just don’t think it’s necessary to provide so much work after school that kids barely have any time to be kids. When my grade-schoolers get home I want them to run around. I want them to play with each other or hang out with me. I don’t want to fight with them. I don’t want to plead and beg. I don’t want to cajole, bribe or even worse threaten them about anything until it’s time to brush their teeth and be quiet in their beds.
Last year we had a lot of the above. Our house was a place of unrest when my daughter got home. Her brothers wanted to play with her and she wanted to choose something to do for the first time all day. Yet, she came home and had just enough time to change her clothes before we sat down to get to more work. I’m fairly certain she didn’t learn anything from those after school moments except how much to hate homework.
This year, so far, things are better. The after school work seems to be an appropriate and quick follow-up to the day’s lesson so both my kindergarten student and my second grader are finished fast and out the door while it’s still light outside. I am grateful and worried that this might be the only year I get.
We have so little time together lately, the kids and I. They spend most of their days holding themselves together so they can perform in school. I just wish they didn’t have to perform school so much at home.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog. Cristie can usually be found avoiding her homework over at The Traveling Circus.