I've always had mixed feelings about homework and grades, probably because I got nothing but A's out of fear and now I'm a pretty screwed up, gigantic, anxiety ball. What are these stressful homework situations teaching our kids?
Cut back to present day, 1st Trimester, Freshman year: For Logue's final exam in English he had to answer the question, "What does it mean to be Educated?"
While I may not be educated enough to answer that question in any coherent fashion, I do know what it DOESN'T mean:
*It isn't that you've memorized the Periodic Table and all the Presidents of America.
*It isn't how many hours your butt was stuck in a desk.
*It isn't your test scores.
*It isn't your pedigree of degrees from Pre-School to PhD.
What kid can even make it into Stanford or Harvard these days? One with a 6.8 GPA? And what does that half million dollar education get them today? A large diploma with an gigantic student loan bill?
We've all stuck our nose in our kid's homework where it didn't belong in an effort to either circumvent an emotional breakdown, boost their chances of getting to be an Ivy Leaguer or (even better) prevent our "perfect parent" reputation from being tarnished by a bad grade in 3rd grade geography. Whether its helping with just that one little paragraph or building the damn model bridge ourselves, sometimes we just to want it to get done already!
Apparently some parents' (not me of course) OVER involvement in homework has become an epidemic according to Alfie Kohn. In "Stop doing the homework, overzealous parents warned,"
Kohn states this phenomenon has some schools requiring students to complete their work at school to ensure parents are not undermining the learning process. I say yay to that concept. I already did my times tables.
Homework at our home can cause tension, stress and anxiety. I'm not going to let 5 hours of video gaming take the place of what could be more productive, non-comatose time BUT, I will be the first to email a teacher when memorizing states and capitals becomes a 2 hour long process with only Oregon and Washington accomplished while members of my family are losing their voices and handfuls of hair. I have questioned teachers on the validity of an assignment. It does mean crossing that line. You know, the one that puts you on THAT list at the school. So, I'm the Bad Mom - the out of the box, non conventional, trouble maker who questions the curriculum making all the teachers avert their gazes when I walk down the hall.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "So, what's going on at home that is affecting your child's ability to do their homework?"
You mean besides the fact that I tell my kid the homework is stupid?
I'm not at the point yet where I have taken on battling the school's homework policy, but there are many parents who have done just that: like here
Luckily, I have THE BAD MOMS CLUB
- to at the very least share my badness, non Super Mom ways and have moms like me to justify my unconventional means of surviving .
note: no teachers were hurt in the making of this blog post.