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Homework hassles

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I often wonder how other working
parents deal with the daily rigors of seeing to it that their
children get their homework done.

The amount of homework that our
children receive is actually much less burdensome than what many of
their friends at other schools are assigned.

Even so, we find it almost impossible
to keep up with the assignments that our fourth-grader and
sixth-grader receive. I so wish that our teachers were required to
record the daily assignments into an e-mail to the parents or else
post them on the school's Web site.

This would enable us as parents to
level the playing field in the shell game that is otherwise known as
“What's your homework today?”

Instead we practically have to beg our
son and daughter to show us their daily planner, the book in which
their assignments are recorded. Finding the planner in their backpack
is at best like playing a game of Where's Waldo? (and at worst like
trying to find weapons of mass destruction in prewar Iraq).

Our oldest daughter and spoiled us in
this regard. She has always been self-motivated when it comes to
completing her school assignments, which gave Allison and me a break
for a few years. But as every parent knows, no good deed goes
unpunished. Now we pay for it with the amount of monitoring that we
must do to see that our other two keep up with their schoolwork. 

I often work night shifts at my job and
Allison works during the day. Our children have become masters of
infiltrating in the cracks in our parental armor created by our
schedules. When it comes to being transparent about the completion of
their assignments our kids use more head fakes then Kobe Bryant.

And as I said, we don't even have a
tremendous amount of homework.  Some friends of ours just sent their
son to a new school for sixth grade.  They say that the volume of
homework, more than the difficulty of it, is something for which they
were not prepared.

Sometimes when my patience is in short
supply (which is most of the time), I will start to resent the
feeling that I must spend as much time monitoring or administering
their homework as they do executing it.

“This is not my book report, it's
yours,” I have said to our son on numerous occasions.

I also start to resent the feeling that
I am a prison guard keeping tabs on the inmates and I guess the kids
have watched a few prison movies because they try to buy me off with
cigarettes even though I don't smoke. (Just kidding, Child Services.
My kids do not possess any tobacco products.)

I need to join a parental support group
to find out how other families deal with homework hassles.



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