One of the biggest changes to which we have had to adjust is homework. Kara and Tristan went to Montessori School of San Antonio which did not assign homework. My colleagues were very jealous of me because I did not have to help my children with piles of school work after working a hectic 10+ hour work day myself. And taking night call.
Their school here in Monteverde, Centro de Educacion Creativa, does assign homework. So far it has not been too bad. I was pretty anxious about it initially, and I am sure the kids picked up on it and they were anxious too. But after 2 weeks we have settled into a routine:
–When the kids get home, I check Tristan’s homework and communication notebooks.
–After they eat a snack, Tristan works on his homework and I am on standby close by in case he needs my help.
–Kara, on the other had, does not need me to look over her shoulder at all. The other day I actually peeked into her homework notebook, and when I asked her about some of the assignments listed that were due later that week, she looked at me reproachfully and told me she had finished them. Alrighty then! She is a very independent learner, and I honestly believe it is because of the 8 years she spent in Montessori School.
I realize that adjusting to homework has not been a big problem because I am home when they get here after school, and I am able to give them my full attention. I do not know how I could have managed helping Tristan with his homework if I was still working the insane schedule in my former life.
I used to have very strong opinions about homework: I do not believe homework improves academic achievement. I believe homework teaches an inappropriate work-life balance to children. I also think it places the burden of teaching to the parent. My job is to teach my kids morals, character development, and discipline, not math or grammar. Studies have shown that parental involvement, not homework, is a good predictor of academic success. I can think of better ways to be involved with my children’s school life than busy work at home.
But now that we are actually at a school that requires it, we do it, and it has not been that big of a deal. Both of my children are total teacher-pleasers so the thought of not doing their homework sends them into hyperventilating panic attacks.
I look forward to the rest of the school year, especially now that my homework issues have been resolved, or at least reached a stalemate.