I dread it each weekend, I really do – knowing that my 7-year-old has three sets of homework due the next day and that the only way it’ll get done is by brow-beating him into it, breathing down his neck and practically jumping up and down with excitement when he completes each task.
Quite honestly, extracting his teeth would be easier (and quieter).
Back in the dark ages, when I was 7, I’m sure we didn’t have homework. Maybe there was a library book each week, perhaps a reading book too, but I really think that was about it until secondary school (or did I completely miss something?).
But times have changed, it seems, because children these days, even those who are only knee-high to a grasshopper, have enough homework to sink a
mummy ship. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just that if you have a son who’d rather scoop his eyeballs out than sit down and do homework, it becomes a tedious – indeed painful – chore.
BB is in grade 1. Today, I got emails with his French and Maths homework. There’s English language homework each week, too, and Arabic, which we can’t understand and can only watch in amazement as he forms Arabic letters in front of our eyes. On top of all this, they have spellings every week that they’re tested on in class, and they bring reading books home.
It feels like A LOT – and I’m beginning to realise why I’ve heard mums say full-time work is impossible, because managing this kind of homework load in such small children is a job in itself.
I have to admit that, if BB is cooperating, I rather enjoy the spellings and language homework, and have to practically sit on my hands to stop myself grabbing the pencil and scrawling a sentence myself – but I’m no teacher, and the frustration I feel when BB writes backwards / will only write sentences with the word poo in / or can’t be bothered is off the scale.And I also grimace with frustration when the homework requires items that I never seem to have to hand. Glue, highlighter pens, newspapers, dice, flash cards, different coloured biros – my stationery supplies always seem to let me down.
So, imagine my dismay when I opened the homework book last week to discover the treat the teachers had set us:
“Make a tornado”
“Please help your child make a tornado by following the instructions…”
You will need: a water bottle, clear liquid soap, vinegar, water, glitter and food colouring.
I won’t regurgitate all the instructions, but they involved shaking the bottle to mix up the ingredients, swirling it in a circular motion, and adding the food colouring and glitter.
Is it just me, or does anyone else see the mess potential here? (and wonder if perhaps the teacher was getting her own back?)
Bring on the spellings, I say – I’d rather drill BB in spellings than unleash a tornado at home any day.