The topic is buzzing around the interwebs like crazy: homework and the hell on earth it creates for some children and parents.
The hours spent agonizing over rewriting five paragraphs. The tears. The tantrums. The stalling. The "needing a drink or snack" every ten minutes. The throwing of the pencils across the room. The parents, standing there, willing themselves not to bash their own heads against the wall. Willing themselves to stay calm. Breathe deep. Be understanding. And stand strong against the overwhelming desire to send a strongly worded email to the teacher telling them exactly what they can do with their homework assignments.
I am in that hell. And it's only the second full week of school.
Every day I hold my breath and hope he just breezes in, grabs a snack as he tells me about his day and then settled in to do his work.
And every day I hear "Can I just not do it today? I only have to do it four days a week - I think I'll skip today." For the record - this 4 days a week stuff is making it even harder than if they say "Nope - it's every day. Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday no homework." (Writing is every day but math and reading are 4 days a week.)
Every day I say "Nope. Sorry. Sit down and get to work, please."
Every day I say "Kelton? I'm serious. Get to work so we can move on to something else."
Every day I say "Yelling at me isn't going to make it go away or get it done."
Every day I say "Unlike last year, I'm not going to argue about your homework from the time you arrive home until the time you finally get it done. We're going to work on it as soon as you get home and then we can move on."
And everyday we argue about sitting down and doing his homework.
To his credit, I do feel like the level of homework is a bit too heavy for a 4th grader. Yesterday it took almost two hours for him to do his writing assignment. Then there was math. And 20 minutes of reading. I also can't help but feel fourth grade is when it really starts to matter. The weight of his workload feels....heavier. More serious. Like I'm worried about sick days and how we will make up the work that is bound to be sent home.
Fourth grade seems to be a new ballgame.
No longer is it a bit of homework every day (like reading). It's homework every day. Real homework.
And then on the flip side, I have Kaylen begging for homework. She has reading, of course, but it we don't officially begin logging until October. Which means she doesn't feel she needs to do it now and besides, reading isn't really homework, according to her. She wants HOMEWORK.
I don't. Because juggling two of them at the kitchen counter every afternoon sounds like more than I can do right now. I know my future. Kelton will say, as he looks over at Kaylen's work, "That's so easy. I can't believe you have that as homework." and Kaylen will burst into tears. She will say he is mean and she hates him. I will scold them both and try to get them back on task. Kelton will kick her under the counter edge where I can't see. Kaylen will scream and cry. Kelton will get reprimanded and Kaylen will be told she needs to not say mean things. Kelton will say "Yeah KAYLEN!" in his snottiest voice. Kaylen will burst into fresh tears.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
Mommy will look for an adult beverage.
October can take it's time getting here, thankyouverymuch.
In the meantime, I have a child who took almost two hours to rewrite FIVE paragraphs. I will grant you, he needs writing and spelling homework. And I love the process his teacher is using it's just that, for Kelton (and me), it's like dragging a 6,000 boulder up the side of a mountain.
We finished the weeks writing assignment yesterday (Day 1 Create a visual web of your topic. Day 2 Write down an overview of your paper. Day 3 Write a draft of your paper. (insert weekend here - no homework) Day 4 Edit your draft for spelling, grammer and punctuation. Day 5 Rewrite your paper.) and today? Today we start all over. Ummm....yay?
It's going to a long year as far as homework is concerned.