Homework consumes far too much of our after school time. They have homework packets. Then flashcards. Then spelling words. Then nightly reading. And suddenly it’s almost dinner time. I don’t like it. I’m okay with some homework but loading on the home work isn’t productive. If Hallie gets 100% on every spelling test, why must she spend an hour and a half writing weeks worth of spelling lists in alphabetical order. It’s unnecessary.
This is how our typical afternoon looks:
The kids file off the bus and they are famished. We talk about the day and eat some food. Then the backpacks are opened and notebooks litter the table. I park it at the table next to them in-between keeping Briggs happy and helping Cannon in the bathroom.
Hallie can do most her work on her own. She starts going through her list and ends up asking me questions on how to do math problems in ways I was never taught. I proceed to teach her the way I know and she tells me she can’t do it that way. We then have to search the internet to figure how to solve the problems the way the new curriculum requires.
In between helping Hallie – Bennett is not so patiently waiting to be helped. He has two homework packets. One in english, one in spanish. He works through his packets quickly but usually doesn’t follow directions and ends up erasing everything. One day he’ll learn to wait for me to read him the directions. His homework requires more parent involvement and I’ve recruited Steve for reinforcements when he gets home from work. Steve speaks spanish with him as they do the homework which mimics his classroom setting.
Hunter is at the table with us as well and we don’t hear a peep from him. He has the least amount of homework of the three and Hallie can’t stand how much sooner he finishes and can leave the table. His classroom is really focusing on teaching the kids how to code working with robots so the minute his book work is done, he wants to do coding lessons on the computer.
As much as I wish this was a nice quiet library setting for them to finish their homework, it’s not. Instead, it’s loud and chaotic and there always seems to be three people that need something all at the very same moment. Which is why I despise homework time, but it does have one redeeming quality. While we sit around the table together – they talk and talk. They remember things about their day and they share it. They talk about the boy who got in trouble at recess or something funny at lunch. They tell about things they learned or things they observed. They’re little chatterboxes. I suppose that makes the homework time worth it regardless of how trivial the assignment may seem.