Im sure the title of this post sends shivers down many a parents spine.
Im going to be very clear about my thoughts on the subject, I HATE HOMEWORK.
The word homework evokes all sorts of emotions in me, frustration, fear, anger, sadness!
The mere thought of homework makes me want to cry, mostly because doing homework usually results in someone crying.
I am so fed up of spending hours and hours trying to get my children to understand their homework never mind actually do it. My children are not super clever brain boxes, in fact big girl and middle girl have quite a low cognitive ability, baby girl has the brains, just lacks the inclination. So homework is ALWAYS a challenge for them.
Lets use one of this half terms projects as an example.
Research Roman Clothing & Jewelry. (a few web page addresses supplied and a date for the ‘research’ to be handed in)
Sounds easy eh, except its not when you don’t understand the concept of the word ‘research’, never mind have the ability to actually do any.
So I dig out the encyclopedia’s, she doesn’t know how to use them, so I find the page, she isn’t able to read the text and extract information so she just stares blankly at the pages through her tears.
‘My teacher said to do it on the internet’ she exclaims as if to imply that would be so much easier.
Ok, I understand books are old fashioned and the internet is the future but I cant tell you how much it annoys me that my children don’t even know what an encyclopedia is, never mind how to use one (except what I’ve taught them that is). Any way, I’m not going to rant about the importance and benefits of books vs the interest I just don’t have the patience.
So in order to keep her happy I produce my laptop, I switch it on, as she doesn’t know how, I open a search page, as she doesn’t know how. She types in her topic to the search box and presses enter. She then stares at the list of results produced by google not knowing what to do next, she reads the odd word and even spells out some of the URL addresses unaware of what they are. She doesn’t have the skills to know how to get information from the internet and even when I open up a page with all the information there, written down, in child friendly text, she doesn’t have the ability to read, understand and extract that information and get it on to paper in the form of research or any other form for that matter. She could sit and copy the text word for word but in all honesty, most of it she couldn’t read and didn’t understand so what would be the point of that.
I understand children have to have homework but shouldn’t it be tailored to their specific abilities!? Are schools not just setting children up to fail with homework that is too complicated for them to understand let alone complete!?
‘Write a poem’ – all good and well providing they know what a poem is.
Research X and present your work in either a poster, power point presentation or article – First they need to know how to research and Im not even going to go down the power point presentation route with them!
Write a book review of your favorite book – Well first of all they’d need to have a favorite book or even an interest in reading but to then be able to write ‘why’ its their favorite, well that would require them having understood the story wouldn’t it.
Write a Chronological report – Seriously!?
Complete an experiment to show what happens to bread when its left to deteriorate and write about your findings – That would require the ability and patience to be able to notice the tiny changes and have the vocabulary to explain what you can see.
Research and create a project on the River Nile – Urgh more research!!!
And these are just examples of ones I can remember off the top of my head!
You might be wondering why they dont know how to use the internet, well, they just dont, they have zero interest in computers, they each have a tablet computer of their own and show very little interest in them, they play the odd game that I’ve downloaded for them but have no interest in expanding their use of them at all. I have a laptop, Mr FO5 has an Ipad, they show no interest in using them either. They dont know what Facebook is (which im secretly super happy about), they have never looked at Utube, they dont know what Amazon or Ebay are or how to find information using Google. Their lack of technical ability and interest does worry me, but, I cant force them to be interested in it, can I, and honestly, Im not sure I want to. The internet is a dangerous place for vulnerable children.
So, Tell me about some of your homework nightmare stories and share tips on how you handle things, do you have any ‘technology uninterested’ kids in your family or do you have primary school ‘whizz kids’ that are creating code, developing software and social networking with their peers?
Do you also hate homework as much as me! I cant be the only parent out there that loathes it, can I?