Monday, February 28, 2011

I hate homework

Confession: Just like my kids, I hate homework.

As a child, I did my homework with the thought that, once I was an adult, I wouldn't have to do it any more. Was I ever wrong.

Now that I have children, I have homework. And I don't mean making sure theirs is done or even the projects that require a bit of parental oversight. I'm referring to the math logs, reading logs, conduct sheets, review sheets and all the other paperwork that comes home from school requiring my signature.

And, just like when I was a kid, if the parent homework isn't turned in, there are consequences...to MY CHILD.

If the signature is missing, even if the work is done and done correctly, my child won't receive credit. If I forget to sign the dreaded log, even tho my child completely her reading and math practice every night, it means absolutely nothing.

Supposedly, this is designed to teach kids to be responsible. I call BS on that.

The intention of this is to make sure the parents are involved. Great. Fan-freaking-tastic.

But it fails at this. Big time.

As Leelee's music teacher said "I see from the logs that all your students are practicing every night. I hear during their performances, that they are not."

Parents lie on the logs. They sign the logs because the child will get in trouble if they don't.

What message is this really sending to kids?

I am going to be held accountable for other people's mistakes or forgetfulness.
It's OK to lie to stay out of trouble.

Neither are messages I want to send to my children. My children are accountable for their own actions. If my child doesn't do the practice I don't sign.

The problem is most of the time, I forget to sign until Monday morning as we're leaving for the bus. My child becomes frantic because if I don't sign, she gets her ticket pulled. If her ticket gets pulled, she doesn't get to pick from the treasure box and there is no way for her to earn back this perk of being in first grade until the following week. It doesn't matter if she did the work. None of it counts because MOM didn't do HER homework.

Or there's the scenario that the teachers must have a certain number of homework grades entered in to the computer and it's faster to grade a reading or math log than to actually check homework for accuracy. And, if parents remember to sign, it's a grade booster! But if the parents are signing just to keep the kids out of trouble, what real benefit does this have?

To be even more honest, the Stepford school is the last place they need to be using this motivational tool. The kids have to pass a test to get in. They must maintain specific GPAs and behavior marks. It is competitive to get in. It is a competitive environment all around. I once heard a parent tear in to a teacher because she wasn't immediately notified her THIRD GRADER had dropped to a B+ in a subject. These Tiger Parents don't need more reasons to become hyperinvolved. The school has so many involved parents, they don't need parents like me to show up and help, with younger siblings in tow. They get to pick and choose the students and the parent volunteers. With a set-up like that, no wonder the school is ultra high performing!

So where does this leave me?

Complaining on a blog because it falls on deaf ears with the teachers who have bought in to the idea the only way children will do reading and math outside of school is if there is some sort of incentive. As if reading and math aren't fun to do on their own. Again, another message I have no desire to send to my children.

We read for fun. We do math for fun. Bonus, we do SCIENCE for fun. We even watch documentaries together as a family.

But none of that counts because I forgot to sign the logs.

3 comments:

  1. I am thankful I have fewer things to sign at our new school vs. our old school, but I still find it odd that if I leave the teacher a note in the planner but forget to initial the parent box in the planner it doesn't count and I get reminded to sign the planner every night. Isn't my note "proof" that I read the planner? Wierd!

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  2. ok, so its not just me then! I hear ya...we hate homework here. So enjoyed the laugh..but again, it isnt that funny. take care...

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  3. ugh! I know what you mean! If I don't sign my daughters BLANK behavior log (because she is a good kid) then she has to walk at recess. so freakin stupid.

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Thanks and have a great day!