I hate homework.
When I was a kid, I didn’t mind it. I was the girl who, in primary school, would complete a term’s worth of homework in a week and thereafter legitimately claim ‘no homework’ for nine weeks.
As an adult, I hate the stuff. As a teacher I abhor it. Why? (Take a deep breath here and prepare for a rant). Firstly, not every child has equal opportunity to do their homework. Some kids go home to a nice desk in the safe environment necessary for homework completion; others struggle every night with violent lives that prevent them from completing, much less caring about homework. These same poor kids are the ones who come to school (where they should be safe) and get in trouble with the teacher (me) for not having done homework! Secondly, I want my students to be more than students at school, I want them to be students of life. I want them to play football, swim, help their parents cook dinner, walk dogs and visit friends; homework doesn’t assist with the achievement of this goal. Thirdly, I don’t want my students practicing incorrectly, somewhere I can’t help them. Not all parents are equipped or have the time to help kids. Only perfect practice makes perfect and homework doesn’t allow me to ensure this. Lastly, and this is a biggie, if I can’t teach my curriculum in six hours a day then either I’m not trying hard enough or the curriculum I’m teaching doesn’t match my student’s needs. Either way, the kids and their parents shouldn’t be compensating.
As a parent, I detest homework. I’ve heard some parents say that homework is a tool that provides them and their children time in which to relate to each other. Phooey. My kids and I relate when we chat to each other while cooking, while playing with the dogs or while just sitting in the garden together. Homework is something that causes friction between us not something that brings us together. I despise homework even more, when parents start doing homework FOR their children. I would like to say I’ve never done this, but just last weekend found precisely this scenario taking place. How did I come to stoop so low?
It began when I insisted my child make her own diorama. She was happy with the result, I was happy with the result, we all should have been happy. Then we received an email regarding criteria. New criteria meant the child’s own diorama would not garner her a passing mark. Effectively, the ONLY way a child could pass this assignment was either to become a creative and intellectual genius within twenty-four hours…or with parental help. Why should she fail and be made to feel inadequate when in fact her first attempt met all the original criteria beautifully? Why should she be the only kid in the room who made her diorama on her own? What kind of a parent am I?
I am the kind of parent who HATES homework. Now I hate dioramas too!
I am however, thinking of starting a business making dioramas for other parents who also hate homework. I think I could turn quite a profit…hmmmm