I have two kids in elementary school, and since kindergarten, we have been having homework. While in kindergarten it wasn’t included in the grade, but now in first grade and up it is a different story.
Science proves that homework doesn’t really help in elementary school.
Now, I know there has been a lot of talk about it and even though a lot of research has shown that, particularly in elementary school, it doesn’t add to the knowledge base, I can add evidence to how homework is NOT adding to the family time.
I (as Jaime suggests in her post) let them pick the time when they want to do it. And we sit in a quiet room and all that jazz …. but still … After a day of being “good,” following the rules, listening and learning, they get home and want to play and decompress. Let all the sillies out and just hang out … me too! I have been working all day and in the few hours that I have with my kids, THE LAST THING I want to do is argue about a number bond.
I did my time…
Not only are they too tired to pay attention, but they are also too busy playing to happily agree to stop having fun to sit and take it seriously. Hence, the nagging, and eventually scolding, comes in. And to be honest I DON’T WANT TO DO HOMEWORK EITHER! I want to enjoy my children and bond with them, not add more conflict to our daily routine.
I want to make clear that I have MAD RESPECT for teachers and God bless their amazing souls for willingly putting themselves in a classroom full of children for hours on end to instill knowledge in them. I also respect the school institution, and I want my children to learn that rules are rules and if we refuse to do homework, I will be giving a mixed message there.
I don’t appreciate having to take homework into consideration when planning a family outing during the week. Will we have enough time when we get back home to finish it? Can we “afford” not doing it? My question is why is it even in the mix? Family time, emotional connection and decompression time should be a part of the homework, not the same exercises they will do tomorrow in the classroom.
Homework is not my friend (as you can gather) but holiday break homework is my worst enemy.
For most holidays, we get a week (or two) off. Great! Let’s go to Seattle and see snow and visit family for the holidays (or whatever family activity you have planned). Wait! Don’t forget to bring the holiday homework package. Are you serious?! It is called a break! The same one you like taking from work, or noise, or responsibilities and schedules. Downtime is equally important for kids to be able to focus later.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine are more likely to not fuss at a teacher (or any other grown-up for that matter … remember, the kids are worse at home because they feel safe theory). All the crying and fussing that they hold in at school, they will do it with us when trying to do homework. I am already a rule enforcer as it is, which means a lot of arguing about brushing teeth and picking up toys, I really don’t need another reason to get the stink eye.
My humble request is to give family time, downtime and holiday breaks the space and importance they deserve. We as parents are working (whether outside the house or at home), and would love to be able to enjoy our children after a long day and bond playing, talking or watching a show together instead of creating more stress for everyone.
Now, go enjoy your little ones.