I am not naturally a very calm person. Having a lot of energy and moving/thinking a hundred miles an hour has served me well in many areas of my life. Mothering, not so much. Especially at homework time. Amazing how children can focus so seriously on tv, yet become so distracted while doing math homework that it is like having a circus with a candy-gifting clown in the kitchen with us when it is time for subtraction.
Last night I was so calm when the whining began. I ignored it and spoke softly. I was the perfect mother, who if filmed had the soft filter and gentle smile. 2nd grade math took almost an hour, but we all came through to the other side happy.
Tonight I was like a completely different person. I admit that I am tired and have a bad cold, but I still need to be that caring, nurturing, calm and perfect mom. Right? RIGHT?! Aagghh!! (head spins around, Exorcist-style)
What is it about homework that turns my children into whining messes who just about bang their heads on the table and throw themselves on the floor instead of actually figuring out what 6-4= is? What is it that makes me grit my teeth because I feel like screaming? (Why do children spend more time whining and complaining about something than it would actually take them to do it?)
Know why I hate homework? It's because it is done at the end of the day when everyone is tired and ready to turn his/her brain off for a while. E gets off the bus at 4:30 and goes to bed at 8:00. She deserves to play and decompress after being in school for 7 hours. She needs to have a family dinner. She needs to have a bath with her toys. She needs her favorite bedtime story and a quiet snuggle. She's 7. I think that it is alot to expect a 2nd grader to do 2 pages of math, read to me or herself for 20-30 minutes a day, and do some page relating to spelling each and every day, plus use a math-game website for at least 20 minutes a day. She is tired. She is not an overscheduled child who plays 14 sports and is tutored 17 times a week, she is just average.
She just hits a wall, just like an adult does. People may suggest that she do her homework as soon as she gets home from school, but I just can't do it. We are in Michigan, so this time of year it gets dark so early, plus we eat dinner at about 5:30 or 6:00. I need to take a break after a long day of work, so why shouldn't my children? I don't want them to be coddled, God knows I probably don't baby them enough, but I really do resent all the homework. I think that it is unneccesary and just pushes too hard.
I want my children to be well educated and prepared for life, but what happened to being children for as long as possible?