Thursday, 17 January 2008

Too Much Homework

I'm sitting here listening to my daughter do homework and wishing I knew of some way to lighten her load. Sometimes I find my kid's homework as frustrating as they do. It seems like there is so much more sent home than there was when I went to school, and it comes at a much younger age.

One of my children is quite smart and hardly brings any home which only drives the other two children crazy, especially when he gets the best grades of the three. Another one can't quite see the importance of homework, although that's improving. It's a constant struggle to make sure it gets done. Then there is the other child who takes it all very seriously. The hours of homework brought home every night drive us all crazy. When the fatigue takes over, there are tears shed over how hard it is and how long it takes, and really she does little else from the time she gets home until the time she goes to bed. Despite all the frustration, the grades are excellent, but she works hard for every percentage point.

I often wonder how much is really accomplished by the mountains of homework brought home. Besides having to carry so much weight in the backpack every day, much of it seems like busy work. Tonight it's science. The worksheet is six pages long and even I'm struggling to find the answers in the textbook. She'll go to bed far later than normal and will suffer for it tomorrow. I worry about her as she gets older and the homework gets more intense. At what point will she end up making herself sick or giving up on good grades entirely?

I guess she'll get through it, but her memories of high school are largely going to be recollections of homework and stress. As a mother, I need to figure out some way to help her work faster, and learn which things have to take priority. More importantly, I need to be there when the mountain of homework is just too much to deal with and she needs a shoulder to lean on. Sometimes it's all I can do.


Candace E. Salima said...

I believe children are receiving too much homework now. I didn't run into that until I hit college and every single professor believed their class was the only class and so the bucket load of assignments, papers and tests were perfectly normal, which would have been fine had they been the only professor. I feel really bad for your daughter. Tell her to hang in there . . . there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Shanna Blythe said...

Tell your daughter that I always had a lot of homework in high school too. I was probably one of the least 'smart' ones in my family and I would spend hours at home/often tears and fighting would come along with that.

But. The one thing that really did for me was to teach me some really good study skills. My older sister (who never had homework) didn't have to learn those skills until she got to college and she found it a huge struggle to learn the habits she needed to do as well as she wanted.

I don't know if this will help your daughter at all, but it really made my college experience better because I already knew how to work. I bet she will find the same thing happens to her. In the meantime wish her luck for me.

And if you want to e-mail me go ahead. I might be able to help with some ideas too that may help her.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I know she'll get through it somehow, but as a mother, it is so discouraging to watch her be so tired all the time. I'll get her to read your comments. I'm sure they will make her feel better. Thanks for the offer of help Shanna. I really appreciate it.

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