Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some Random Thoughts

I have thought lately that my attitude about homework is tainting Riley's own attitude about it. He gets a lot of homework (in my opinion) for grade 1. Most nights it's an hour to an hour and a half. He's in school from 8:00 to 3:00, home by 3:45 and then it's homework until around 5:00. That seems like an incredibly long day for 6-7 year olds, don't you think? Besides regular homework there are special projects and oral presentations (I kid you not) that take extra time. I see the value in learning study habits early on. I also see the value in letting a kid be a kid. So my bad attitude when we sit down in the late afternoon is likely spilling over. I need to find the energy to call up the spirit that the homework will be fun and interesting and very, very exciting. As exciting say, as going to the park or playing games together or learning something he is curious about instead. And I need to do this now before he thinks doing the absolute minimum is acceptable. When did the academic world of elementary school get so hard?

Another thing I've been thinking about is how, in a number of my posts, I talk about other people's qualities that I envy. I envy the patience or the faith or the perseverance of others. But what I really want to do is not envy these qualities, but admire them. I want that warm in the belly, opening part of my head and heart that accompanies admiration and I think I'm getting closer to it.

11 comments:

Sherry said...

Admiration vs. envy. I love your philosophy...and the fact that you are feeling that warm in the belly, opening part of your head and heart (I love that sentence...you speak it, so you know it!!)...that my friend means you are "there".

As for the homework..that is insane. There will always be that homework question and we argued it many years at the elementary school through the parent council (what used to be PTA)...we wanted study guidelines and routine/habit so that the children would grow with it...in grade 1 -- 15 minutes tops. They haven't the attention span for more for one thing. Work that hasn't been completed in class is additional, with a note to parents stating such. Children aren't machines...they don't all learn at the same rate and they don't all complete their work at the same rate. Leeway and space and perhaps in this instance, a chat with the teacher and the Principal. If this much homework comes home in 1st grade, what on earth does he have to "look forward" to?

Snap said...

What Sherry said! ;D

Trish said...

ework!! I teach fourth grade, and give just 20-30 mins of nightly homework, with none on weekends. If the kids pay attention in class all day, then they're tired and need to do other things after school. They need to have downtime and exercise; so without a doubt, whatever teacher he has is clearly not a parent herself; else she'd realize she's overtaxing the kids.

Kim Mailhot said...

Makes me want to run in there and rescue Riley from that school when I hear stuff like this ! I taught grade one for years - we had gave out homework once a week in a duo tang, enough for about 15 minutes a day plus reading something everyday. That was plenty !!!!! So sad...
Here's to things that warm our bellies, hearts and heads...
Big love to you, beautiful Momma !

oreneta said...

I agree completely, I am also a teacher and that is an insane amount of homework. He should have MAX 15 min a day. Go in and talk to them. I actually, in one school, stated to them that my children would NOT be doing homework, that it was MY decision and that they were to speak to me about any problems they had with that, and not take it out on the kid. Worked too.

I have also sent in notes (more recently) that I told the child they were not allowed to finish the homework as there was too much. That is a more isolated incident and not a chronic issue.

Go in and talk to the teacher, it is also possible that he is messing around in class and so has more homework because he isn't finishing anything there. Not saying that's what's happening, but sometimes that's what the teachers do.

Beth said...

Does it help to know that I admire your patience, faith, perseverance and spirit?

And you’re a better mother than I when it comes to homework – I just set the time (after dinner) and had them get to it. I did offer my help when necessary – if I was capable of doing it!

Heather Plett said...

WHAT!? An hour to an hour and a half of homework?! That's crazy! My teenagers don't even get that much!

Paula said...

Way, way, way too much homework! Our homework guidelines are posted in our school handbook...check to see if your school has a policy! The three of us (6th grade team) may give a COMBINED total of 60-90 minutes, not including study time. That allows me 20-30 minutes total for my two subjects. So, we're doing less than Riley. Also...no homework allowed on the weekends!

Cheryl said...

Far too much homework. Maybe it would be appropriate if he was studying engineering in college!

I agree with the others...talk to the school

Caroline said...

Oh wow...that is a lot of homework for a 1st grader! I would be bitter too. I think kids need to be kids...8 to 3 is a very long day already! I understand what you mean by perseverance too...*sigh*...I could use more of that.

Hanneke Nelson said...

I hear you and everybody else here about the homework overload. But that is not really what you're talking about it, is it? It is about us parents passing on our opinions and attitudes to our children. And we do it without realizing it.

I think being aware is the most important thing. And who knows, we might change ourselves a little bit in the process and become more of who/what we want to be.

In the meantime, talking to the teacher seems like very sound advice!