Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Dirty Word

There's a dirty word out there and it seems to happen in homes all over the country. It's so appalling that I shudder at the thought of it. It's such a common word that people use it without hesitation. Children come home from school and it's one of the first words out of their parents mouth. Even June Clever said it to her children. Children say it with complete disdain, and at times add expletives to enhance their hate for the word. The word has lead to many fights in households across the world.
"Z, do you have your homework?"
"REALLY?!?!?!!? Do you want to fail school?"


"Z, do you have your homework?"
"Great, lets get it done."
(20 minutes later)
"You've made no progress - what the heck hav you been doing!"


"A, lets read your book."
"Ou              t"
"Put it together"
"Ou              t"
"Put it together"
"Ou              t"
"COME ON! Put it together!!!!"
"WHAT?!?!?! Where in the world did you get where?!?!?!"
"Ou              t"
"Ok, put it together"
"Ou              t"
"What's the word?"
"Ou              t"
"Go take your bath before I get really angry!"
(20 minutes later)
"Mommy, the word is out."
"YES! Great job!"
"Bubba told me."


"Z, there's another 0 in gradespeed. Where's the work?"
"I think I have it."
"I remember doing that assignment. Why didn't you turn it in?"
"I don't know." or "I forgot" or "She didn't ask for it" - you pick your favorite.

See it's a dirty word!

How about this:
"Mrs. Smith, I'm calling today because Johnny hasn't turned in any homework this grading period. He has a lot to make up."
"Really?! He told me that he gave it to you and you lost it."
"I never received the assignment."
"Check again, I'm sure he turned it in and you've lost it."
(Imagine the ending to that conversation.)

So if "homework" is such a dirty word, and the source of such conflict, why do we still us it? I think it should be classified with the expletives, and banned from our vocabulary. It's just one of those things.
It's on my hot list right now because I was reading a blog post on Forgetful One and she posted about being a teacher and then having to come home and help with homework. Being a teacher I HATE coming home and having to sit with kids to do homework. I'm exhausted from that type of interaction all day long and having to know all those skills as well as how to teach them. Then I come home only to have to teach them again. I feel that kids should be able to do homework with minimal support. If it requires more than one or two quick questions they should just go to tutorials. It should be reinforcement of skills learned. Most kids though, bring their homework home and expect their parents to do a reteach. Hint kids - we forget how to do these things. We weren't in your class that day to relearn how to do them. Or how to do all the crazy math techniques that the math teachers these days do. I don't remember my parents walking me through every step of my homework or planning out my projects with me. I had homework. I got it done before they got home so that I could go out and play. I had a project. I... well got it done. My mom definitely did not go out the night before the project was due to get the supplies. If it wasn't on the shopping list for the weekend it waited until the weekend when she went to the store. Homework drives me nuts! There I said it - I hate homework! I hate the word, I hate doing it. I hate all the tracking of it and subsequent arguments with it.
OK, I feel better. Must be the spring fever talking.

1 comment:

  1. So frustrating! My twins are in high school now, and there is so much homework it's crazy! The thing is, it's their homework, but you'd think it was mine!


Thank you for commenting. It makes me so happy! I'm not a widely read blog so I always wonder if anyone is reading or if I'm just talking to myself.