I HATE HOMEWORK!!
At our house, “hate” is a bad word. The kids aren’t allowed to say it. I say it often in the context: “I really hate that we’ll miss . . . ” Zippy reacts every time, accusing me of cussing. I always apologize and ask him to forgive me for my potty mouth.
But my kids don’t yet read my blog so: HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE!
I HATE HOMEWORK!
Zachary has homework EVERY day of the week. He has a whole sheet of math, a sheet of reading and comprehension questions, 18 or so spelling words to study, and a sheet of 30 math facts to finish. Every night. Makes. me. want. to. scream!!!!
In the evenings, Zach’s medicine has worn off. (We are looking into the possibility of medicating twice a day so evenings will be easier.) And he’s exhausted from his stressful day at school. But instead of just getting to play and be a kid, he has more work to do! And it’s not work that didn’t get finished because he was goofing off in class; it is work designed to be done at home! Every day!
It makes me crazy. It makes Zippy crazy.
Now, let me mention here that I taught school for years before I had children. I know and understand the songs of the teachers. Believe me, I feel your pain. BUT come on!!!!!
It really makes me crazy. I hate homework. We struggle through it every night.
Just to rub salt into our wounds, three weeks ago, Zach received a book report assignment. Book reports are great tools to check for understanding and to allow for creativity for the student. I always liked book reports when I was a kid. But this book report was to be done completely at home. Outside of school hours. Reading the book, writing the report, and doing the creative project — was all to be done outside of class.
(Have I told you lately that I like and appreciate Zach’s teacher? I really do. This is nothing personal. This is a wide-spread problem — much larger than Zach’s teacher who I happen to really appreciate.)
So for three weeks (the same three weeks, mind you, that we happened to be dealing with asthma, croup, a stomach bug, new meds for Zach, and many other lovely parts of life) Zach did his usual daily 4 pages of homework and then had to try to work on the book report, too.
That is not nice!
I made good use of our three weeks and spread it out nicely to cause the least amount of pain for Zach and me (and anyone else within hearing distance). It was coming together, he was working really hard, he was keeping a surprisingly good attitude.
I don’t know if I’ve said it here or not, but Zach really struggles with fine motor skills. He has come a long way, baby, but he still struggles. Writing is a big struggle for him. He still reverses letters. He still writes letters that float on the paper instead of sit on the line. He still has to literally think about how to form his letters. Etc. Therefore, writing a report was a BIG DEAL. But he did beautifully.
Then it was time for him to draw a picture. A picture of George Washington. Yikes.
Drawing is. . . . Hmmmmm. What shall I say? Uh. Drawing is NOT Zach’s favorite thing. And drawing is NOT Zach’s gifting. Yeah, I’ll just leave it at those two gross understatements.
Every time Zippy’s pencil touched the paper, he would scream and flail as if the posterboard was electrocuting him. He was freaking out because he knew he was going to have to show this picture to his class, and he was ashamed of his work. Pitiful.
We just kept putting it away, hoping that maybe the next day some artistic miracle would take place in my bedroom just in the nick of time. But, alas, the miracle never happened.
Or did it? Perhaps it was a miracle that I had the middle-of-the-night thought to let the poor kid just trace a picture of George Washington and be done with it.
So the next day I traced a picture of George and outlined it with a sharpie so it would show through the paper well enough to be traced by a frustrated, defeated 3rd grader. And I think it was the smartest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It worked beautifully. He was so proud. And he thought his mama was so smart for thinking of it. Zachary carefully traced George’s body and fancy coat and hair. I stepped in to trace the hands and the face because frustration was bubbling, but other than that, he did it himself! And it was beautiful! He went from a freaking out, stressed out kid to a very proud kid who was thinking maybe he would let his teacher keep his project to show her future classes.
Sweet success! But not without its cost, its stress, and its pain! I do not appreciate having to put Zach through the stress of homework and extra projects after he has spent SEVEN HOURS at school!!!! If you can’t get it done in the SEVEN HOURS you have my kid at school, then let’s not do it at all! I’m just sayin’.
And would you believe that on top of his daily homework and the book report project that he got an additional 10+ page math packet to complete? Because of his low math test grade, he has the added pleasure of a math packet. He had a whole week to finish it. But you know what? We were busy working on the book report project. I don’t know if we’ll get to the math packet. . . . Again, I’m just sayin’.
Oh, and don’t forget: your 3rd grader needs to be reading at least 30 minutes a night.
I really, really hate homework.