Monday 26 May 2014

Children's Homework

But you don't have kids living at home anymore, why are you blogging about homework?

I tutor a 12 year boy in study skills 2 days a week after school. He has the knowledge but like a lot of children his age, he doesn't have the concentration span and is tired after 8 hours at school.

I don't recall homework being this difficult when I was a child, I don't remember my parent's forcing me to do it. Maybe they did, maybe I didn't get any, maybe like most parenting experiences I've just blocked out the pain of persuading and bribing my children to do theirs. Maybe it's just easier when it's 'someone else's child'.

When my eldest now 22 used to get homework, it was paper based, in a world before google, it was reading, spellings and maybe an experiment, it also involved collecting a lot of things to take to school from what I recall of walks in the wood, with plastic bags full of leaves and I remember ageing a document with tea and putting it in the oven to age. We had a gas oven...oh the hysterics. The now 19yo was a pain with homework, never had any, never did any and TBH, I really wasn't that keen on homework anyway.

And then homework changed, it became computer based, google this, google that....and dial up internet, what I used to write in the homework diary 'no internet access' and no I wasn't prepared to traipse to the local library with 3 kids most days after school.

Homework has changed a lot over the years. I remember being taught in school, copying off the board then tracing or copying a picture from my text book and colouring it in at home.

Last week a mother to a 5 year old tweeted that she, not her daughter had been issued with homework, the reason why it was her homework and not her child's was that it required her to find out the differences between Indian and African tell me? How is a 5 year old supposed to do that?

This week the 12 year old's homework has 'done my head in' we started with 'write 10 lines about your Easter holiday and translate in Sepedi'.

So the child writes his work out, then pops it into google translate and guess what? Sepedi isn't an option. So what does he do? Nothing, that's what. What do I do? Give me a Sepedi dictionary and tell him he has to use that. Ha, a 12 year old and a dictionary, it just doesn't work. We've had homework in the past on using a dictionary, but it's only been to find the definition of maybe 3-5 words. He wants to download a programme on my laptop, that costs money, when I say no, a full strop begins.

So we get out his Sepedi book and silly me, I assume that there will be work in the book similar to what he's been asked to do for homework, you know, a few clues to key words and sentences, but no, nothing, zilch?

And now he is revising for a Math test tomorrow, no text books, only workbooks that are complete and marked. How do we revise a subject when the answers are there in front of us? Well it's easy, I just do this........

Now how many parents have the time to do that?

1 comment:

  1. My mom always says I'm the only child she knows who never had any homework...I did mine in between periods and in lunch breaks. Once I got home I didn't want to drag school with me.

    An african elephant has bigger ears than an indian elephant.