Thursday, December 2, 2010

my take on homework

I might just be a lazy fuddy duddy stick in the mud, or perhaps people think I sit at home with flash cards beating my kids if they answer something wrong, but I've been shocked by something since dash1 has started kindergarten this year.... peoples attitudes towards homework.

And I'm just poop-myself-surprised at the number of people who have had no shame in admitting that they have done their kids homework.

And fyi one of the mom's admitted not just to doing her kindergartners homework, but her 2nd graders sentence writing homework, going to far as to fake his handwriting.

Here's my thing, a. I've done school, I did my time with homework, no way no hell am I doing yours now.  b.  It's your responsibility, if I let you out of doing it what am I teaching you?  and c. I'm over that whole oh-it's-just-kindergarten attitude.  

The days of kindergartner's napping are long gone. Our district wants kids at a 2nd grade reading level, like yesterday, so by doing their homework you certainly aren't helping them out.

I get it, the homework battle can be nasty.  I was counting my blessings that dash-1 cames home and nicely sat at his little desk and did his homework while I make dinner.  Now he has a new sort of homework, more writing based and his teacher wants the kids to sound out the words on their own.  Right or wrong. 

Dash-1 does not enjoy being wrong.  This has led to some battles as of late.

However after I explained last night that he wasn't "wrong" per say, but that he was learning, they are different in a similar sorta way.  Oh and I added that if he didn't figure out the whole writing thing, he wasn't going to go far in life and he wasn't living with me till he was 35. 

Hey sometimes life calls for honesty. 

But back to homework. I don't know how much other kids his age are getting, I'm not sure if he gets a lot or a little by comparison.  He has a book we read a couple times a night {a new book every week and a worksheet we do about it on thurs. night}, a math worksheet {he had one with a ven diagram that I'm pretty sure I did in middle school}, and then he has a packet with a different writing assignment every night .

It would seem from my conversations at the playground after school and birthday parties that most parents aren't so keen on the homework.  Of course when I went into his school the other day at least a quarter of the class couldn't write their names on their assignments either so maybe there is a correlation.  I don't know.

My kids are kinda on the smart side.  I wouldn't say I have the next Einstein, {dash 2 might be sitting next to me trying to pick his nose with his toes and I have to admit I'm curious to see if he can do it} but they are on the top side of their classes, but then again we work with them at home.

We expect a lot from them.  Granted with getting moderately smart kids God proved he had a sense of humor and gave us rambunctious hellions but hey, all's fair right? But to me high expectations of your kids are still separate from expecting them to do their homework.

It's my opinion that you aren't doing your kid any favors with a relaxed attitude on homework.  Not to say you need to embody the late General Patton during homework time, but unless it says "optional" ITS NOT OPTIONAL!

It's homework folks.  You explain it.  They do it.  It gets turned back in.  There doesn't seem to be much room in that whole equation for me to run amock with it. 

All kids are different, they learn at different speeds, homework is meant to reinforce what is learned at school, to challenge and work those muscles inside their adorable little heads, it's also so that we as parents can see what's going on.  If I'm doing it for him, none of that is happening.

But something else is. 

I'm teaching my kid a valuable lesson.  That rules don't apply to him. 

{And just so we are on the same page here, I am in no way talking about kids who have academic modifications made for them.}

Your setting up the expectations now that they will carry with them later on.

Like I said, maybe I'm just a fuddy duddy.  I'm cool with that.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to fetch a Lightening McQueen for someone before he fashions a tool to get it off the top of the book shelf , that by the way, never ends well.


  1. I've laughed so hard reading this , because this happened to me when i was in grade school and that was not too far long ago! My sisters would forge my dads name if i forgot to have my folder signed the night before and were taking me to school. We never had my dad sign any official documents to the school so they could forge his name. I however did not perfect that skill of his signature LOL. But, i always did my homework but i had classmates where the parents would do theres and it'd make me mad because they'd get away with it while my parents enforced rules and doing homework on your own. So you are not a fuddy dud. you are doing whats right ! :) These people that do their childs homework clearly their child rules the house and they dont have "balls" to say no and their child will be thinking they will be spoonfed up til high school and so on! Perhaps we should pray for those parents that do their kids homework! I know i will! Stick to your Gun Leanne! :)

  2. I completely agree with you! I hated doing my own homework, so there is no way I'm doing it again. Hating your homework is a rite of passage. Deal with it, kiddos.

    I think it's incredibly sad the message parents are willing to send their kids. I also think it's incredibly sad that parents are okay if they're kids aren' I realize everyone is different, but I would think as a parent you would want to push your child to do his/her best. Why are parents okay with letting their kids just barely slide by or helping them fake it?

    It's pathetic.

  3. I student taught Kindergarten in a private school that was on a campus of a very fancy (and well known) law school. Most of my students had law professors for parents.I kid you not, they did their 6 year olds homework for them. Worst of all, I am pretty sure some of them did not even try to hide it!Let's face it, it is pretty obvious when an adult is doing the work for their child... and you aren't helping them learn, you are making it harder for them!

  4. Amen! We've had this conversation many times since Dillon started school. (He had homework in Pre-K and is now in second grade.)

    When my husband was growing up his father was one of those ones who refused to see his kids fail- at anything- ever. So he did all the homework. Or most of it. *J* says he never did a single diorama or cell made out of a milk carton or any of that. He'd just procrastinate until the night before and then Daddy would save the day. All that accomplished in the end was a child who grew into an adult (at 19-20 years old) who didn't think he had to get up for work on time and ultimately dropped out of college because he didn't feel like going to class. (Thank goodness for the military for turning that whole attitude of entitlement around in 12 weeks! lol)

    We've talked to both the boys already too about how doing well in school is the only way they'll have successful lives in the future. It's not about the homework- it's about wanting to have a dog someday (because they wont have one while they live with us, haha) and a house to live in (because like you, they WILL NOT be hanging out in our basement at age 25) and all the other perks that they'll have to provide for themselves as adults.

    You know what else always bothered me (and still does) about the parents doing all the homework and school projects? I never had help with any of my stuff and then when it would come time to turn everything in, the kids who's parents did all the work would always get the higher grades. Of course Johnny's sugar cube pyramid is perfect! His 40 year old mother put it together! I worked my butt off on mine and only got a B. NOT fair! (whine, whine, lol) I remember one year we had a county fair type of thing where ribbons were awarded and a friend and I both made dolls where we had to sew them all from scratch. She admitted to me that her mother did all of it with her and she got a blue ribbon. Mine only got one of those honorable mention things. I'm still mad about that to this day, ha! How do the teachers not realize that's going on?!

  5. What you said is right on. I don't know how much homework is the right amount, as I don't have kids, but we have parents calling us up at the university and bitching us out because Johnny failed his test. Like it's my fault Johnny never did his homework, or came to office hours and spent the night before the exam wasted.
    Children learn what they live and they are going to have to be Einstein to successfully outcompete some of the knucledraggers, and even most of the smart slouches.
    I was never the smart kid in school, but I worked hard and that is what has carried me. And for the record, I always hated the parents who did their kids homework when I was little. So UNFAIR!

  6. two things:

    1) parents doing their kids homework is beyond insane. its unethical, inappropriate and like you and keri said, teaches them all the wrong lessons. i can't stand teaching/dealing with those kids who KNOW that mom or dad "take care" of everything, so they can do whatever they want.

    B) i have a HUGE HUGE HUGE objection to homework in kinder, and shoot, even in really 1st and 2nd grade (besides reading. really, its sad that it has to be assigned at all!). they are KIDS, not middle/high schoolers and school should be done at school. i say this as a both a teacher and a parent. nothing gets kids burned out on school quicker than 2 hours of homework at age 6!

  7. Heck yeah.
    Totally agree with you.
    Love that part.. "sometimes life calls for honesty"... heh:)

  8. Bless you for writing this. It should be a public service announcement. As someone who works in early education - and, I don't know so much about the projects, but as far as Early Elementary goes - the teachers DO know the difference between homework done by the student and homework done by the parent. Even if children WEREN'T so incredibly honest... it's just easy to tell.

    The sad fact is that unfortunately, teachers today do not have all the resources and flat out TIME to spend with each individual child to get them to the level they need to be at. Which is why working with your children at home is SO SO important. They need the continuation, and they need to know that their parents value their education.

    Good for you! And very good for the Dash boys... you will see them suceed because of you :).

  9. That's craziness...I'm surprised people even admit to doing their kids homework ever...

    And yeah, they're definitely doing them a disservice (sp?) in the end...good for you. Stay the course- sounds like you have it together.

  10. I am homeschooling my daughter this year for several different reasons but she did start school off in a classroom. She is in kindergarten. She still has homework. She knows I will NOT under any circumstance do it for her. She does it on her own and she knows that. I would not teach her anything if I did it for her. Besides that fact...I have MY OWN homework to do as I am taking classes online. No way would I want to do her homework on top of mine.

  11. You crack me up..totally agree. When our oldest daughter was in High school she did not complete her Home Economics Homework for the Semester (she had to cut out and sew a pillow). She waited to the night before it was to be turned in and asked me to cut it out and sew it for her...NOT
    I let her go to school without pillow and then grounded her from the School Field trip at the end of the year. The teacher had the gall to call me to plead her case and then wanted to tell me I was being to Harsh. Needless to say I told the teacher since she would not punish her, we would. My daughter learned a valuable lesson that semester...DO YOUR HOMEWORK

  12. I find it absurd that parents would do their kids' homework for them just because they think they shouldn't have it. I'm definitely in the camp of parents who think the early grades are not homework-worthy, especially since I think full day kindergarten is a bit much. Luckily, my kindergartner's teacher also thinks this and only sends home books for him to read every night. He loves this, and getting him to read is not hard at all.

    However, all that said, if we get into a situation where it seems he is getting overwhelmed with the homework, I'll talk to the teacher about it. Doing it for him so teaches him the wrong message. And, if the teacher won't work with us, I'll just let it go. I don't give a crap what grades he gets in elementary school. They mean NOTHING!!

    Also, while I do see the value of homework, I also know that teachers are a little over-cautious sometimes about it. I know my kid pretty good, work with him a lot, and see no reason for him to fill out stupid worksheet after worksheet of stuff he already knows. If this is what is going on, the worksheets are going in the trash.

  13. Oh dear....when I taught 2nd grade, there were quite a few parents that did their homework, their projects, everything. I preferred to have everything done in class so that they were responsible. Mean, I know!

    My poor kids are forced to do their own homework....


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