Thursday, November 5, 2009

Trading Places

Imagine me as a first grader.  My hair is getting longer now and I can pull almost all of it back in a cartoonish ponytail that sticks straight out the back of my head.  Don’t get too close you might lose an eye. 

Imagine Gavin doing my job.  We would definitely get our fiber from the blocks he would stir up in a bowl for us and the pictures cut from a magazine and glued into a menu.  Cleaning wouldn’t happen.  Not that that is any different from how I do things lately. 

Why trade places?  Homework is the bane of my existence.  If you see my name in the obituaries next year you’ll know it was because of homework. 

It is hard enough with one kid.  I can’t imagine adding another one.  By the time Gwen goes to school I think we’ll be ok because by then Gavin will be in 5th grade and Parker will be in 3rd.  So she will be the only one bringing home homework that I’m graded on. 

I can’t wait until Gavin’s homework is really his responsibility.  Oh teachers say it is now but we all know that’s a lie.  It’s too bad we started this road to homework hell with the Homework Nazi.  I could have used some easing into this inane requirement. 

Gavin has been rewarded at school for completing his homework every week.  According to Gavin, there were only a few other kids with him that earned the reward.  His teachers have sent out several emails to the parents saying things like, “Reading is supposed to be for 15 minutes every day.  The minutes are not cumulative.”  And it sounds like there are several parents who are sending their kids to school without completed homework packets. 

The homework is not difficult, excessive,  nor is it frivolous.  I simply don’t believe in assigned homework.  I think homework should be for kids who didn’t complete the work at school.  I don’t believe in sending kids to school for 6.5 hours only to have them do an hour or so of extra work at home.  When do kids get to be kids?  Oh yeah, they have two years before pre school is required. 

In my controversial opinion, I think California’s standards for students are age inappropriate.  I blame the government and not Gavin’s teachers this year.  My favorite assignment was a math assignment that centered around the word ‘vertices.’  I’m not making this stuff up!  First graders being expected to master vertices.  Can we dumb it down a little?  Say it in a different way perhaps?  I lived my life peacefully for 15 years knowing the ins and outs of shapes before I ever knew the word vertices existed!  I kicked butt in Geometry so don’t think this rant is because of my own weakness. 

I know I’m not alone in my frustrations with homework.  I have heard many a parent complain, unprompted,  about the very same explosive complaints I have kept tightly bottled up this year.  My bottle burst today.  Gavin was having a bad afternoon for whatever reason.  He was easily frustrated which shattered my tightly stuffed bottle all over kingdom come. 

He hates homework because he is a normal 6 year old boy.  I hate homework because I’m a normal mother.  Fireworks fly when we are both having a bad day.

For a moment Gavin and I considered trading places.  He could do my job of making dinner and cleaning the house.  I could go to first grade.  He just giggled and said he could help me make dinner.  He’s wise beyond his years.  In the end we decided we just have to be who we are.  Trading places only works on TV.  Too bad.  I think I would rock as a first grader. 

1 thoughts:

Jenni said...

Ya, I'm not too fond of homework either...never have been. :)