As a working parent with 2 children, almost every evening in our house would disintegrate into open war fare as parent and child struggled to complete the allocated tasks with limited energy available, to the considerable stress of both.
As a teacher, the frustration was that despite completion I knew there was little value in the task; no learning had taken place therefore no understanding had been achieved. Thus making the whole painful exercise essentially null and void. Homework, school projects and units tests/exams were simply things that had to be 'survived!'.
My kids are now 'grown-up' and new stresses have taken over from the above(!), however whenever I speak to parents, there are many who seem to be going through similar experiences as we did and feeling equally isolated and alone:
"My child's homework is always incomplete . . . ?"
"The school is complaining that my child is falling behind . . . ?"
"I am a single mum and don't have enough time to give my child in the evenings . . ?"
"My child has ADHD and cannot concentrate on his homework . . . ?"
If you are a parent who needs help and support do please get in touch and add to this discussion. Let's work together to find a collective solution.
An excerpt from an interview with renowned educator Alfie Kohn on home work. He has also authored the book "The Homework Myth".
My daughter goes to a school that does not believe in home work. But I can perfectly empathize with those - both children and parents - who are coping with home work.
I guess Home Work can be made interesting. But it ought be drastically different from classwork and not an extension of it. It should be voluntary, something that the child should love to do. A lot of learning can happen.
My daughter got fascinated by the theme of Waste Management. She is 9. One day last week, she wanted to make a power point on Waste Management. She had to learn PPT on her own, which she did to a large extent. And figured out how to present the theme in a PPT form. As parents, we were suggesting what all she could add - pics, charts, etc.. and the school teacher was happy too. Voluntary, child's own initiative, parents facilitating.. all worked. It may be remembered for a long time.
Unfortunately, home work is seen as an abdication tool by teachers in most schools. Learning is presumed to be achieved if the child copied some passages from the book and showed it to the teacher the next day.
Maybe PTA in many schools may be the fora through which this issue may be taken up.
I am on similar lines with you. My evenings are most stressful for the children and myself.
I am looking forward to work together and get some support and collective solution.
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