My daughter is 6. Isn’t that way too early to have her trying to finish her homework, teary-eyed and frustrated because it’s past bedtime and she just wants to go to bed?
I think it is.
I’ve heard other parents complain about homework loads for their older children, but I honestly didn’t know it would start so young. Nicole started first grade this year and she gets a homework packet each week along to complete by Friday along with nightly math homework and nightly reading quotas.
By Thursday night I am exhausted, she is exhausted and we are both overjoyed that a homework-free weekend beckons. I live for the weekends because I feel like I get my daughter back.
I can’t help but feel her childhood days are being consumed by schoolwork. A friend of mine and I recently had a similar conversation about how our children are spending their childhoods in classrooms. I understand schools need to stay competitive and homework helps reinforce lessons, but I also feel that playtime, family time and just plain old downtime are essential to learning and maturing, too.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I am the kind of mom who could homeschool. I wish I were that organized, talented and patient, but I’m not. I also think my daughters gets invaluable social benefits from being in school.
So what’s the recourse? My friend suggested some sort of shorter school day, although I can already hear the outcry from parents whose schedules would be royally messed up by an early release. My daughter went to full-day kindergarten last year thanks to a cadre of working parents who pushed for the longer day in our neighborhood school last year. When I sent my 5-year-old off to a seven-hour day of kindergarten, I felt like I was being cheated out of time with my daughter.
Now, I feel I’m being cheated again of my evenings with her. Instead of reading together, playing a game or just enjoying the fall weather, she is sitting in a chair, working on homework. And I, dutiful mother that I am, am pushing her right along. My kid has to do the homework or she falls behind and then becomes disengaged from learning. Then the 7-plus hours she spends in a classroom really are a gigantic waste of time.
What I really want to do is throw down her pencil and just be with her. She is in school all day; can’t I at least have those few precious hours before bed?
What options are there for moms who want to reclaim their children from a childhood of school and homework?