No More Homework!

How many days of school are left? Come on, everybody has a calendar somewhere where they are “x”ing the days out and counting down till school is out. As Alice Cooper sang, “School’s out for summer!”

There are many reasons why you may be counting down. Maybe, you are tired of carpool. Maybe, your child has had a challenging school year. Maybe, you are sick of preparing lunch for your finicky child.

Do you want to know my reason? Homework!

Courtesy of Google.com

Courtesy of Google.com

I graduated high school over 20 years ago. I have an undergraduate degree and three master’s degrees (creative writing, literature, and education). My chosen profession is a high school English teacher. Therefore, it is safe to say that I have and continue to spend much of my life in a school setting. You can rightfully conclude that I appreciate education and the education process.

My professional opinion is that a reasonable amount of homework should be part of the education process. Quality homework (not busy work) reinforces what was taught in class. When a teacher reviews the class’ homework, he or she can get an understanding just how much the students have learned. Homework allows the child to work independently (parents can and should guide as needed and not do it themselves), giving him/her a sense of confidence that they can accomplish work themselves. Lastly, students learn about responsibility and time management.

Yet, I CAN’T WAIT to be done with homework. I know I just noted valid pedagogical reasons why homework is important and practical. However, my children — kindergarten and 3rd grade — get it nearly every night. Our schedule revolves around it. Now, on those rare days when there is no homework, our whole schedule and outlook changes. We make s’mores, write poetry, and listen to classical music. Well, not quite, but it is a much appreciated bonus and leaves the household calmed. All these years later, and I’m still thrilled when the teacher says, “No homework tonight, class!”

Generally, my children do their homework well and with little fighting. Unfortunately, there are those times when the process doesn’t go that smoothly. Voices can get raised, tears shed, mutterings uttered underneath breath, and that’s just me. Can you relate? In fact, this friction caused by homework between parents and children is very common. It is especially so in families who are serious about and concerned for their children’s education. Because the homework challenge is so common, there is a trend toward hiring people who’s sole job is to help kids with homework! http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/nyregion/08homework.html?_r=0

Of course when the school year is over, parents are left to entertain their children, juggling work schedules, especially on those days between the end of school and the beginning of camp. Yet, I’ll take this challenge. Why? Because it means no more homework.

Now, how many days till school the end of school?

30 thoughts on “No More Homework!

  1. 12 days!!! I’m so ready! And I’m with you on the homework thing. With T taking so many AP and pre-AP classes, we have been inundated with home work. And with wrestling getting him to school several hours early 2x a week. And then the theatre rehearsals for several hours after school. His 12 hour days were awful for both of us!! I’m so ready to sleep in the morning. So very ready! I don’t have to set my alarm during the summer – it is so nice!!
    Oh, and I’m very happy for you too! Let the countdown resume!

    • 12 days – ahh that is beautiful! T is a busy kid. Good for him for making the most of his h.s. experience.
      Damn the alarm clocks!

  2. First of all, this is one of a few thousand reasons I’m grateful that we’ve chosen homeschooling for Doodle. It will all be “homework” so no bit of it will be any more painful than another. Second of all, really?! Homework coaches?!?! I mean, I guess some families have some pretty hectic schedules, but really… If you set out to be a parent, sometimes you just have to grind through the tough stuff right along with your kids. Absolutely, be grateful when it’s almost over… But to hire someone to deal with that for you… I don’t know… Just feels wrong. Good for you for grinding through it with your boys – tears, whining, and all. 🙂

    • People hire someone for everything. Seriously. There is always a specialist.
      I hope the homeschooling thing works out well for you. I am sure it has plenty of challenges as well.

  3. My husband is a teacher too. The homework kills him also. I’m counting down too because I homeschool. Three weeks and two days!

  4. Hi,
    Here in Germany, many parents hire students to help their children with their homework. The parents don’t take the time to find out what their children are learning, and I find that terrible. I remember my father helping me with math when I was a kid and believe it or not he helped me with Algebra when I was in the University. He didn’t have the opportunity to go to school as I did. He only had a third grade education but he was a mathematical genius. You show him anything from simple mathematics to calculus and he wanted to find out how it works.
    I love homework even today. I consider my research for my articles as homework. So, homework has a pleasant taste in my mouth all year round. However, I do look forward to the times when I can take a vacation break of a week or two away from it.
    Since I don’t have children, I am not counting down the days, but to all of the parents that do have kids, I say enjoy the summer. School starts again sooner than you realize it.
    Shalom,
    Pat

    • I can see both angles. Also, just cause they hire does not mean they know what their children are doing.
      It’s cool that your father could and did help. It is certainly opportunity to bond.
      You love homework – you are a weird woman! Actually, you have a good work ethic.

  5. Wow, I didn’t know you had 3 masters degrees! Very impressive…now I’m even more self-conscience about my writing…thanks Larry! I remember that I loved having homework in grade school but by high school it was a whole other story. With my daughter, homework isn’t an issue. She comes home and does it immediately. She is still in the loving homework stage. Since my son is in Kindergarten he needs help with his homework. He is fine doing it but the problem is with me. I don’t love it and I put it off. The other morning I remembered he had homework due that day and I finally looked at it. The homework required us to go to a parking lot and do statistics on car colors. I had to pull up a parking lot on the computer for him so we could do the homework quick before he left for school!!

    • Yes, I am an overeducated freak!
      You and your daughter love homework – really? I don’t know if I ever did. However, my mom tells a story that I complained that I did not get any when I was in first grade. You see, I wanted to be like my older brothers. I quickly changed my mind.

  6. ouf! Glad, I have no more homework but oh! no Nate is starting school in 3 years so I have time to relax a bit right?
    When we were kids my father was the one who used to sit with the 3 of us at the dining table to do homework, I didn’t mind doing my homework but I used to mind that my dad was there and yes a lot of tears were shed back then by my brothers and I. My dad loves math, I like it too but not as much as him and we used to fight when I didn’t get it. My mom used to fight with my dad about this “why are you so hard on her about this?, she’s just a kid” that would make my dad even more angry! I wonder how I will be with Nate? 😉 I will be counting the days for you 🙂 Hope you are enjoying your weekend with your family and no homework!

    • Yes, relax now casue it ain’t always fun. The fighting does not sound fun. Unfortunately, it does happened sometimes here.
      Thanks for your empathy.

  7. WOW – $100 per hour to help kids with their homework?!? Maybe I should look into that gig instead of getting my Master’s in Education. 🙂

    I am looking at this summer sideways with some apprehension. The boys will be hanging at the house with a babysitter while I am in school all day and Husband works. It will be a strange summer but one of great reward. As for no homework – I fear I will have lots, and we are the annoying type of parents why buy workbooks and make their kids keep up on their lessons (at least a little bit) during the sunny summer days.

    • Seriously, you just might want to. Tutoring can pay if you can get the kids. However, everything is more expensive in this area, so I can’t comment about how it is where you are. Tutoring has its plusses but it is a different dynamic from standing in front of a class.
      Good luck with your homework this summer.

  8. Every May I fall off the Homework Wagon. My kids’ teachers must write notes about me for the following year: “Mother does well until the end of April, then she forgets to make them study their spelling lists and/or do math. Appears to not care a whit.”

    And I didn’t know you had THREE masters degrees! That’s amazing!

      • Not joking. Three Fridays in a row I’ve found Caleb’s spelling list on the fridge, and we haven’t studied at all. Luckily he’s a good speller anyway, so he hasn’t failed. Yet.

        I think 3 masters degrees should equal a doctorate, don’t you?

        • I think the principal needs to call your mother. Tsk, tsk. Oh well, at least he is still passing.
          I like the idea about the masters.

  9. I’ve flirted with the homework thing as I occasionally stay at my sister’s who has three daughters in school.
    Yiannis will start first grade this September so I still have some time, right?
    I can’t say I am looking forward to it.
    3 Masters, I agree with Melissa. WOW

    • My kids got hw right away – inluding the one in kindergarten. So, enjoy your summer – it’s coming.
      The masters – not that big a deal. But thanks.

  10. Homework time is challenging for us, but my son is getting better at it. He has been bringing home a packet every week to complete throughout the week and return on Friday, so he has picked up on the patterns and can work somewhat independantly.

    Twelve more days for me, too. Then we get to pay for summer camp :-/

    • Glad he is getting better at it. I like the packet idea and do something like that with my own students. This way you can manage the time in the way that works best for you.

  11. We have FOUR more days left! And 3 of those days are half days with early dismissal at 11:30am. Home work stopped this week and we too are counting down the days until school is over. Jake is ready for school to end and I’m just ready to stop getting those emails from his teacher with updates about his behavior problems.

    • Nice!!!! To say, I understand about the contact from the school about behavior problems is an understatement. Uggh. I am so sick of these issues.

  12. Amen! I am so ready also! My older daughter’s homework process has been much easier this year than in the past, but I’m ready for a break and some new lines – “Ava, it’s getting late. Are you finished with your homework?” is getting old! Great post!

    • New lines – yes. A new routine and one that does not include hearing from the school. Uggh. Leave us alone!!!

  13. Great post! My daughter doesn’t get homework from her teacher, but I make her sit down with me every night and practice her letters and numbers. I’m setting her up for the days when she gets homework every night. So far, it has been a good experience. She doesn’t resist in the winter, but this time of year is a bit different. It’s light longer and she wants to be at the park with her friends.

    • It sounds like you will have her in prime shape when homeowrk comes her way. Many students also have a harder time at this point in the year. They are tired of the routine and the nice weather calls to them.

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