Lydster: homework is unrelenting

“It teaches time management skills.”

homeworkMy daughter was sick the second Thursday and Friday of the school year back in September. She really was ill, with her temperature spiking over 100F, always in the evening, before we took her to the urgent care place and got her antibiotics.

Obviously, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve been in high school. But I don’t remember the homework being so unrelenting. And being ill is no excuse these days.

Her school district had embraced an “Attendance matters” initiative, “All day. Every day.” And if you’re not there – a high fever is reason enough IN THE DISTRICT’S RULES to keep the child home – the homework doesn’t go away.

It’s very easy to fall behind. My daughter has caught up, but it took over a week. It often involved staying up later than I would have wanted for her. I have been told that even second graders are getting homework, and are responsible for it, whether or not the child is present.

If you Google value of homework pros and cons, you’ll find some pros:

“It encourages the discipline of practice.” Maybe. “It gets parents involved with a child’s life.” That IS true. Since at least her third-grade class, I’ve been the parent who helped try to explain Common Core math, even when I was mystified by it. I look forward to school breaks and vacations as much as, or possibly more than, my daughter.

“It teaches time management skills.” Theoretically, but not necessarily, in this case. “Homework creates a communication network.” Not applicable. “It allows for a comfortable place to study.” I have NO idea how she studies with the television on.

“It provides more time to complete the learning process.” Sometimes the stuff that seemed to have made sense in the classroom actually becomes fuzzy by the time she gets home.

“It reduces screen time.” Well, THAT isn’t true. Much of her homework REQUIRES screen time to complete. The weekly AP European history quiz is online. The English papers are submitted electronically. An ad she did with some classmates REQUIRED her phone. Some research requires doing searches.

My daughter doesn’t love the homework. Her father isn’t a fan, either.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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