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Mama Hates Homework!

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Kate Meyers: Few things provoke my powerless (and silent) rage more than when my
14-year-old starts talking about how MUCH homework she has and how worried she is about getting it done.

girl doing homework

"Mom, I'm so stressed," she'll say in a kind of manic panic. "If I get Cs, I'm not going to get into college." To which I respond, "Well, you may not get into Yale, but who wants to go there anyway? All the men I know and love from Yale are gay, so that would be pretty frustrating." (OK, I don't say that, but I am thinking it.) I am also thinking, Where do they hear this stuff that makes them worry that their college fate is sealed because they didn't rock the house in ninth-grade math? "Honey," I assure her, "you know enough math to get you through life. I know this because I know enough math to get through life, and I know way less than you."

The pressure these kids feel about grades is crazy. The homework they have to do is excessive. In my humble opinion, kids should learn AND do the majority of their work in school, so that most after-class hours are free for play -- exploring nature, daydreaming, doing something physical, listening to music, volunteering or watching reruns of "That '70s Show." In his fantastic book "PLAY," Dr. Stuart Brown makes a strong case for our need to play throughout life. It enables us to be happy and better at whatever we do -- including schoolwork.

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
tennmom May 4, 2010, 2:06 PM

I hate homework too!
My 10 year old is about to finish her first year in public elementary school. If her homework takes an hour it is because she is dawdling. She doesn’t even have homework every day.
My 12 year old is about to finish her 2nd year at a private school. On a lucky day she can be finished with homework in an hour or less. On an unlucky day it may take her 2-4 hours. I wish her teachers would get together & let each other know how much homework they are going to dish out. The child at school for 7 hours. I would like to spend some time with her, too.

Anon May 4, 2010, 3:49 PM

she’ll get over it

homework hater May 6, 2010, 7:53 AM

My 3rd grader comes home from school every day with at least 2-3 hours of homework a day. At one point it got so rediculous that I had to talk to the teacher. He would get home from school at 4:30 and would be working on homework till 10:00 at night! No play time, no relaxing and only stopping to eat dinner. On top of that some of the homework is busy work like word searches using their spelling words and things along those lines. I think this is outrageous. These kids go to school from 8:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon and not to mention the 45 minute bus ride to and from school. I think this is way too much. I don’t think they should have homework at all unless it is some kind of special project or something along those lines. School is ment to prepare kids for the real world and I don’t know about you but I don’t bring my work home to do after work. I know some jobs like lawyers etc. may have to bring work home but most of us don’t. I think after school hours should be used for playing and being a kid. They are already in school for 7 hours doing work! Let them play and be kids. I don’t like the way it stresses him out because his teacher is going to put him on “yellow” because he didn’t complete his homework. I just think this is not right. It almost makes me take unschooling into consideration!

renee May 6, 2010, 6:41 PM

my kid has way too much homework and projects…now i remeber why i hated school

Kat June 28, 2010, 10:11 PM

The first and pretty much only thing to go through my head is “Aww, muffin”
I’m sorry but complaining about homework and how your kid has too much of it is just enabling them to become the kind of university students that professors dread because they will be turning up in their offices the day before a large paper is due, asking for an extension.
Use this as an opportunity to teach your daughter time management. That’s what my mom did when I came home with three chapters of English, four pages of math problems, a Photography assignment and a French translation to complete in one night. She helped me learn to balance my large workload and now as a university student, I am fully capable of managing several 10-20 page papers at once.

Em July 20, 2010, 11:00 PM

It was for this reason that I was put on amphetamines at a young age.

Adderall makes it much simpler to juggle many things at once. Apparently, this removes all responsibility from the teachers to reduce the lesson plans as needed.

These kids aren’t better at managing their time wisely, they’re all on speed.

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