A Homework Rant

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.

SCREAM!!!!!!

(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.

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24 responses to this post.

  1. what a great idea Kelly.. his project for ths book report looks great and he looks so proud!

    I can’t imagine the pressure on kids these days! It really doesn’t seem fair to infringe on ‘family time’ with school work… and that’s on top of basketball or music lessons etc…
    I can feel your frustration and remember it with my own two girls!! and gosh I think for the most part, they only had it if they didn’t finish something in school. And for myself… man how did we ever learn anything?? With the exception of spelling words .. I don’t really remember having lots of homework but if I asked my parents… maybe I did and just blocked it out! lol.

    I do have to admit this line: “Every time Zippy’s pencil touched the paper, he would scream and flail as if the posterboard was electrocuting him.” really cracked me up. I hope you don’t think I’m poking fun because I’m not at all but it just struck me funny.

    Tell Zippy he did a great job! It sure looks like an A+ to me! Do they still grade by letter these days?? It’s been a long time……

    Reply

    • Oh, no. I don’t think you’re poking fun, Cindi. It is an amazing thing to watch and experience. And if you don’t crack up at it, it might just make you crazy! ;) It is very funny, indeed!

      I don’t remember much homework either. Actually, I don’t remember any homework. I don’t really remember anything. My memory stinks so I’m not a very good resource! :)

      They do still do letter grades (and #s), but these days there are no Cs since anything below 70 is failing. When I was in school, anything in the 60s was a D and was considered passing.

      Reply

    • He hasn’t presented his book report yet. I was hoping he would get to do it yesterday since it was George Washington’s birthday, but his teacher was out sick. Perhaps they’ll do their presentations today. We’ll see if the tracing is deemed acceptable or not. And I wrote a note to Zach’s teacher today explaining that we didn’t get to the math packet. we’ll see how that goes over, too. . . .

      Reply

  2. Posted by Jamie on February 23, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    AMEN SISTER!!! I am SO with you!! So proud of Zippy! Love the dollar bills too!!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Sue in Grapevine on February 23, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Talk about perseverance — I think it’s in the air at your house!
    If teachers didn’t have to waste (oh, I meant to say “spend”) so much time teaching them how to take the TAAKS or whatever they call it now, they could have them do more of their actual learning in school.
    What a pain for all involved.

    Reply

  4. Posted by heidi on February 23, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    I don’t know if this makes things worse ( I hope not) only 2 out of the 6 years Kara has been going to school has her homework load been heavy. But NOT as heavy as you mentioned! Ever! David has never had such a load. There is always the 30 minutes of reading nightly….but you know what….they are both good readers and read ALOT in school and I will sign off on reading even if they haven’t just to cut them a break when it needs to be cut! I think that sometimes you have to evaluuate your own kids and know when to say….ok people….enough is enough. (example) It’s 100 degrees outside and they are 6…….soccer practice can be missed! I’m Just Sayin’

    Reply

  5. Posted by Mom on February 23, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    No more cussing, young lady!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Please forgive me for my potty mouth.

      An update on the math packet issue: Zippy says his teacher was not pleased that we didn’t do it. He is to do it quickly and get it turned in. But after doing tons of homework tonight, we still did not even get to the math packet . . . uh-oh.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Daile on February 23, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    You are so good. I’m definitely going to have my 3rd grader read this post to enlighten her a bit. She has no idea how good she’s got it at home, and you know they don’t want to hear it from MOM.

    In my opinion, the bill perimeter should earn him at least a “B”, as in brilliant. I’m just sayin’……..

    Reply

  7. OH my goodness!!! You have just put down in writing my sentiments for the past 100+ days of school! Okay, so my 3rd grader hasn’t been inundated quite to the point your third grader has (poor little man!). She normally has 2-3 math worksheets and maybe 1-2 reading/comprehension worksheets come home every week, plus the required 20 minutes of reading each night.

    The crazy thing is the insane amount of homework my 1st grader has to do every night. We spend about a half hour every single night on her homework book that includes math, reading and spelling assignments for the week. That’s spreading it out over 4 days so it can go to school completed on Friday. Then she has to do her nightly “bag book” sent home from her reading group. She comes home with a different book every day and has to read it 3-5 times and answer comprehension questions. At the speed Macy reads, this is a 30-45 minutes ORDEAL. If we forget to put her bag book back in her backpack to send to school the next day she gets marked down on her BEHAVIOR CHART. It’s mine or Cliff’s fault, but she gets a yellow for the day because she didn’t bring back her book. This is also the case if mom or dad forgets to put her homework book in her backback on Friday because they left it out thinking they would quiz her on spelling on Friday morning before school but then forget to send the book to school with her. She is 6 years old for crying out loud!!! Maybe I’m babying her, but it’s MY FAULT if homework doesn’t get sent in on time, not hers, and she should not be punished on the behavior chart because of it.

    Can you tell I’m getting steamed just talking about it? I am SO with you on this one.

    Reply

    • That sounds like CRAZY homework for a 1st grader!!! Wow! And, yes, the discipline for my forgetting to send something back to school does irk me at times, too. . . . Hang in there, Tia!

      Reply

  8. All I’m saying is Homeschool Baby!!! Love it!

    Reply

  9. [...] already know how I feel about homework.  Well, little did I know that I have even stronger feelings about homework on the last week of [...]

    Reply

  10. Posted by ruby on November 8, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    i love this. at the moment at school im having to write a rant on a topic of my choice. I chose homework, and this had really helped back up my point. :)

    Reply

  11. [...] I did not completely forget to do homework with Chloe one day last week.  No, that would be very scatter-brained of me!  Surely I would not just forget to do something so important. [...]

    Reply

  12. I am right there with you on the homework! I HATE HOMEWORK!!! My oldest, who is almost 15 and has been in GT classes since 2nd grade has ALWAYS had homework that takes her all the way until bedtime. Luckily for me, I never really have to help her with it. But I feel for her because after 7 hours of school, she has another 5 hours of homework EVERY NIGHT!! She gets so burned out because she has no free time to do the things she enjoys.
    My middle child has homework every night too, and thankfully I dont have to help him with it. But he just flies thru it to get it done and I’m sure he’s not doing his best on it. He has good grades, but I know they could probably be better.
    But my youngest, who is struggling thru kindergarten, needs ALOT of help EVERY NIGHT with his homework. He has severe ADHD and is not medicated and after a very stressful day, doing homework is the WORST! We do good, if I can keep him from falling asleep from exhaustion, and keep him focused on his work. I have to help him with every single problem, else he gets distracted. And we have additional homework because he is behind because he is struggling with learning his phonics. AND HE’S ONLY IN KINDERGARTEN!!! I dread what the coming years are going to bring with the Taks tests and everything.
    I feel your pain. I. HAAAAAAAATE. HOMEWORK!!!

    Reply

    • Oh, my goodness! Laurie! I’m so sorry. I could just cry reading your comment! Oh, it’s pitiful! Poor little guy! And bless the others’ hearts, too! It is just ridiculous. Ridiculous.

      Reply

  13. Your kid is full of GOLD.
    I can’t imagine the average 3rd grader doing something that would be shared to the class. Especially when he’s not so good at it. Your kid have a very bright future awaiting him. ;)

    Reply

  14. [...] a project from school that is to be done completely at home.  (NOT my favorite type of project, as you already know)  Zippy worked hard on this project all weekend, but it takes lots of hard work from me, too, [...]

    Reply

  15. [...] Not to disappoint, but this (surprisingly) isn’t a rant! [...]

    Reply

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