Wednesday 7 October 2009

Homework, sweet homework

I don't have much time to post today, I have homework to do. Well, my two-year-old has homework to do. Yes, that's right, my two-year-old got homework from her kindy - as she can't read or write or take photos yet that means I have homework.

I'll admit it's a cute project - everyone has taken turns in bringing home the kindy's mascot (a stuffed animal) and we have to take photos of what adventures we've been on and print it all up and bring it back. It was cute until reality hit me. I have spent the past few days organising 'photo shoots', dragging this stuffed animal everywhere go and praying to god I don't lose it. I tell you, it's more stressful than the uni! The kindy that Lil-lil goes to is just two hours a week and she attends with her Grandma who stays with her the whole time. So I guess it's really a glorified playgroup. My mum has told me that some of the parents have put quite a bit of effort into the project, so I'm feeling pressured by the whole thing! Apparently, parents have gone to the Blue Mountains, island holidays, boat rides and all sorts of things. We went to.... Coles.

I'm not a big believer in homework. Especially for kids younger than secondary school age. When I went to school we didn't get homework until year three. Now kids in kindergarten get nightly homework, even preschoolers get homework! It's madness!

I asked some people why a two-year-old needs homework, apparently the thinking behind it is that parents are so busy these days 'homework' offers them an opportunity to interact and learn with their kids. I kind of find that a bit condescending that the 'experts' think parents need instruction about how to spend quality time with their kids. Also, if they do, in fact, need it, what the hell are we doing as parents?

I spend countless hours every week reading, singing, chasing, drawing and talking with my girls. We watch clouds in the sky. Count how many peas they eat. Look for rainbows. Pat dogs in the park. We dig in the dirt. We laugh like hyenas. These are the best types of 'homework' in my book.

I do have to say, I've enjoyed having our little stuffed friend around. Though I know I'll be feeling like that little fifth grader again when I hand in Lil-lil's homework and it doesn't quite reach the heights of the other kids' work. God how I hated those kids who spent hours colouring borders, doing special lettering, etc, etc, etc.... 


  1. I was one of those kids who did special lettering and fancy borders, only because I hated doing the actual "real" work! I spent time tarting up what would otherwise be another shining example of mediocrity, hehe.

    It does sound like a cute project, even though I disagree with the "homework for toddlers" principle.

  2. I could never make my work look pretty even if I tried and I usually got bored of what I was doing halfway through.
    There is another school of thought that 'busy' parents like their kids being occupied with homework. It means less time has to be spent with them. We often get parents at school insisting that we give their kids more homework (it seems 3 hours a night is not enough for the poor things).
    I firmly believe that homework makes little or no improvement on kids learning and they have a pretty long day of being talked at as it is. Remember sitting in meetings all day and how exhausted you feel by the end? Try it for 6 hours, 5 days a week.
    Homework is awful and I never did mine till Yr 11 - just don't let my classes know;)

  3. Oh thank you for writing that Sar, I was expecting the teachers to come in and espouse about the wonders of homework. If truth be told, I don't really believe in homework until tertiary education or senior secondary school at the least.
    Everyone used to say 'wait to you get a real job' when I whinged about school, but I was so happy when I got a job and had evenings and weekends to myself!
    Most teens have a part-time job, social life and extra-curricular activities, it's a wonder that they sleep at all!

    We got our homework in with a last minute rush to get it printed. They then said 'Thanks' and put it in a folder!

    I did look at the folder that had the homework projects from a few weeks ago. They sent home a piece of paper we had to stick photos on to tell about the child. Lil's had two pics on it - one of her and Goosey, the other of Winnie the Pooh (her fave). One of the other kids had three pages covered in photos - one photo for every month of her life. Poor Lil's looked crap in comparison!


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