I Hate Homework

139 Comments

hate-homework

I have a confession to make: I hate homework. I hate doing it, I hate helping with it; I hate the mere existence of it. Oh, I have a kindergartner. And stop laughing; he gets a lot of homework.

He gets a packet at the beginning of the week that needs to be completed by Thursday. It is all worksheets and most of the instructions are incomplete and I don’t understand what the teacher wants and I don’t know how to explain it to him. And then he gets worksheets that were to be finished in school that say things like “please finish” and have no instructions of them. Besides saying, “Michael, do you know what you were supposed to do here?” how exactly do I have him finish this?

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And then there are the reading books and poetry folders and family homework. Family homework? I went to kindergarten thank you very much.

Did I mention KINDERGARTEN?

I may sound disgruntled, but I’m tired of spending every night fighting about homework. I’m tired of teaching concepts that did not get taught in the classroom but have homework about them. I work, my husband works, we rush home, make dinner, and then do homework. Then it is bath, bed, and we start over the next day. My son is surprised on the days we say, “you don’t have any homework.” Normally, this is weekends.

Not to mention all the research out there that says homework in the early grades mean nothing. It is not indicative of learning or progress or teaches kids anything other than burnout. We fight and there are tears, some of them mine. By first grade my son is going to hate learning. What is this going to teach a child?

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I am not an anti-education parent. I’m a lawyer. I volunteer at the school. I believe strongly in education and reading and writing. I’m just not sure why worksheets and drills and mandatory nightly homework with research projects teach a five year old. And don’t kid yourself. The parents are doing this homework the further you go in the upper grades.

And then the kids aren’t learning anything.

Comments

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  1. 1

    Jessica says

    My daughter is in 1st grade and sometimes I don’t understand her homework at all. In kindergarten she didn’t have near as much homework as your son. I hope you can find a way to help your son not become burned out on homework at such a young age.

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  2. 2

    Lana D says

    That’s insane! I used to teach HIGH SCHOOL students that didn’t have that much homework. I think you’re right – all they are learning at this age is how to hate homework. And what about the students whose parents don’t really give a rip? What are they learning except how to feel like failures?! Crazy!

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  3. 5

    Theresa says

    Sounds like your son’s teacher needs some ambiguous homework of her own. I would suggest asking her to fill out some ridiculous form, due on Thursday. I would be happy to help you compose one…

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  4. 6

    Lori Z. says

    I’m pro homework for kindergarten (am I going to be shot for saying that?) My daughter likes her assignment every week of writing a book report. She gets to pick the book. I ask her questions. She writes about the things we talk about and paints/draws/sews a picture representing the book. It works for her and I like that she’s in a routine for next year.

    That being said, last year in Pre-K we had homework–horrific worksheets that mirrored the rote exercises in class. Ludicrous! Copying things over and over kills creativity and ultimately made my daughter scared of doing something in case she wrote it out wrong. Despite a bit of talking (and I only brought two of my old textbooks from college) to the teacher, she kept sending them home. And my daughter kept doing them, because even though I told her she didn’t need to do them, letting her teacher down was unfathomable.

    Ah, to trust and revere someone that way!

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    • 7

      ReginasIdea says

      What do you parents/students think about an online community where you pay for a membership and your kids teacher can upload the homework for your child and you can track it as well as get information and help/ master copies so you can support your child. While your kid can play games that are related to their homework and earn real rewards for a good job? Would that be something you’d be interested in and how much would that be worth to you? When I was little I hated homework with passion, I never understood the reason why and my parents struggled to help me. So I felt like on a trap of constant failure. I couldn’t do my homework cause I didn’t know how and my patents couldn’t help but forced me to do it and my teacher told me off for doing it wrong or not at all. NOW- I am a young entrepreneur who wants to make pupils and parents life easier and help to support kids to feel that everyone is good at something and can achieve anything. Tell me what you think so I can form my idea and create something life changeling for so many families. Thank you.Regina

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  5. 8

    Kimberly Hosey (Arizona Writer) says

    I totally agree with Lori. Busywork? Boo. Creative homework that makes them think? Definitely. Even though it’s a pain.

    And trust me, it IS a pain. We have had epic homework battles in this house. He’s finally, in third grade, settled into a homework routine. He’s also realized that he has to listen to the instructions in school, because Mom isn’t omnipresent and can’t always fill in the blanks for you. (This might be a bit much for a kindergartener, though.) Being lost about what’s expected, and the attendant horribleness that causes, has actually helped him, in a way. Not listening has consequences, yo.

    That said, I’d be lying if I said I never resented homework time when it’s gorgeous outside and I just want to lie in the grass with my kid. Of course, I usually have deadlines at the same time.

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  6. 9

    Kristine says

    My daughter had a Gr 2 teacher that gave her two hours of homework every night. I went storming into the school and told her and the principal that 2 hours of homework every night was retarded. By the time she got it done, had supper and had a bath it was bed time. No kid time. The teacher was moved to another school…
    Now my kid is in Gr. 6 and she has had homework a total of 3 times all year. I think it depends on the teacher.

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    • 10

      Margaret says

      While I’m not all that thrilled with your use of the word “retarded”, I otherwise couldn’t agree with you more. My seventh grader has gotten so slammed with homework this year my stomach literally knots up when when I pick her up and ask the dreaded question, “What homework do you have?” She is very, very smart but also high functioning autistic so I need to stay on her quite a bit to keep her focused, and it’s been such an energy drainer I dread when she hits high school.

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  7. 11

    OHN says

    I don’t think you mentioned how old the teacher is…but my bet is that she is fresh out of school and all gung-ho, rah-rah about teaching. She needs to get a life.
    My two oldest are in college and still find that each teacher/professor/nutjob feels that their class is the only class that matters, therefore, they EACH unload copious amounts of assignments on the students. This has been going on for centuries. (well, at least since my kids were little).
    WAKE UP TEACHERS. We love you, you ARE important, but family time and giving your brain a rest are important too. Not everyone’s life is consumed with fractions, the Battle of the Bulge (except in my jeans), their-there-or they’re (though this happens to be a personal pet peeve of mine….along with then and than, why people can’t get those right just blows my mind).
    Anyway…kindergarten is ridiculously early to be assigning homework that takes more than 10 minutes, and even then, it should just be a one page refresher of what was covered in school, to keep the parents up to speed. Get a band of parents together and talk to the teacher about her over zealous ways. Bribe her with movie tickets. If she is out at night, she can’t be “grading” homework from small children that still have all their baby teeth.

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  8. 12

    Skinny Mom's Kitchen says

    Oh mama I hear ya! My daughter fortunately does not get homework every night but probably once a week and I NEVER understand what the hell I am suppose to do with it. I do not look forward to what is to come when she gets into the older grades.

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  9. 13

    myevil3yearold says

    I have a second grader who has homework every night except Friday. Then, he has 7 tests per week to study for on top of this.

    It is out of control! One of his 20 spelling words this week was “petroglyphs.” What? What is that? I had to google it and he is 7.

    I also realize how badly I suck at grammar now after helping him.

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