Monday, August 26, 2013

Oh, Monday...

I used to think people were just so dramatic with all their "I hate Monday" whining.

Then my kids started school.

I hate Monday.  

Monday is the day that my kids come home from school absolutely exhausted... and promptly melt down.  And that's before homework. 

Monday is the day that I start off skipping around in a field of daisies, singing about how magical the week will be.  And then I run face first into a tree.

Tuesday... now Tuesdays, I pick myself up and resolve to make the week a good week, instead of expecting fairies and butterflies to spit happiness all over me.  On Tuesday, I go back to a reasonable positive attitude.

But I have to do Monday before I get to Tuesday.  And by Monday nights, I'm a mess.

I am terrified of this school year.  My children are bright, intelligent, pleasant children.  Last year, I felt like the biggest failure at the end of the school  year.  They hated school.   They refused to do homework.  Olivia even refused to do class work.  They are bright, intelligent, pleasant children, so I felt like *I* had to be doing something wrong, that *I* was failing them somehow.

That was with TWO kids in school.  Now I have THREE.  I am terrified.

I'm not going to say that I've been a perfect parent, I know I have plenty of faults.  But I really can't and shouldn't take all the blame for school.  They have so much pressure put on them.  Our Kindergarten teacher told us that before she took time off to stay home with her kids, she was a 1st grade teacher.  When she came back and started teaching Kindergarten... she was still teaching the same material.  Kindergarteners are doing the work that 1st graders just 10-15 years ago were learning.  That's awesome, but scary at the same time.  How many of these kids are really ready for it?  Isabelle wasn't.  She struggled... I felt like a failure.

The next year, Isabelle gets a teacher who thinks 1st graders need homework every night.  We fought every. single. day.  She hated school.  Still does.  She is always tired when she gets home.  Always.  And to have to push her to keep going, to do homework, to not play... it's just not fair.  To her.  To me.

Fortunately, this year won't be a problem with Isabelle.  Her teacher doesn't like homework.  I don't really know about Olivia yet, though.  But I worry about her because she starts the gifted and talented program.  If she's out of the classroom 150 minutes a week, she's missing something in class.  Is she going to have to take it home to do?  I spent over an hour this afternoon to get her to copy her spelling words three times.  Whining, moaning, refusing, crying.

And Zoe just thinks that's how you handle homework.  Her homework was super simple.  Color certain shapes certain colors.  45 minutes of tears.

I had someone suggest that I just tell the teachers that we will not accept homework.

A little extreme, especially for me.  But I wish it could be that simple.

It's not fair that they spend all day in school and have to come home to do homework, too.  IF they would just do it, I'm sure it would only take up a few minutes of their time.  But they're tired, mentally and physically, so they end up fighting it for an hour or more.  They get no time to be a kid.  Relax.  Play.

I don't like it.

It's just the second week of school.  I'm supposed to still be on the "this is going to be an awesome year!" wagon.  But it's Monday, and I'm discouraged, and tired.

Tomorrow's Tuesday, though.  I'll be OK then.


  1. My kids get very little homework, which I think is a good thing. The fourth grader has one double-sided sheet of homework a week, she can choose when to do it. The first grader is supposed to do a home reader (read a very easy book out loud) every day, and does most days.

    My daughter also learns violin, dance, and has swimming lessons. My son does three afternoons of gymnastics and swimming. They both have to come along when my husband and I have our dance lesson. I already feel they are overburdened. I feel guilty just asking them to unpack the dishwasher, or telling my daughter to practice violin. They don't get enough "free play" time.

    My kids' teachers have always said to tell them if the amount homework becomes a problem. Maybe you should talk to yours.

  2. You aren't the only one. My son is about to go into yr 3 in the uk and has just turned 7. Quite often he has had to be prised off me crying. He was shouted at by a teacher and wouldn't write for 6 months. The teachers seem so concerned with the stats they forget to see the child. I got told how my son was behind and all sorts but I found out he was dyslexic. The teacher hadn't bothered to ask why he was behind. He needed glasses but no one noticed. If I was well enough I would teach him at home. He has been bullied but they don't tackle the bullies. He now has a scar across his face for life. I hate making him go to school. As for the homework - how did we manage. We got a reading book a week and didn't need all this homework. I know a few mums have refused to do it all. I do extra with my son trying to get him caught up as school let him down. When is he meant to be a child?

  3. my daughter was the same way when she started school. The first three years (k-2 grade) homework time was a nightmare...she would be at the table crying non-stop from the time she got home (around 3) til it was practically time for dinner (around 5). My husband and I decided that maybe we let her go outside and play for an hour, unwind, relax, let go of the day, then do her homework. It worked well for a little while..then it was right back to the same two hour crying jag. I wish there was an easy answer, but it does get better. She's in sixth grade now and will come home and automatically do her homework without an issue. I would suggest trying a few different options to see if they have a time when it is better for them to do their homework that is better. Fingers crossed for you, though. I hope it gets easier :)

  4. I've had the homework problem on and off with my kids too. I think it is most difficult at the beginning of the year when everyone (kids & parents) are not quite into the swing of things yet. I have talked with teachers in the past, either afterschool, by email, or at conferences and told them point blank - this homework is too much, we are spending ___ # of hours on it each night. Most teachers then reply, have your kid do 30 minutes of quality work and then write on the paper how long they worked, sign it and send it back. We did this a few times, and noticed a decrease in the amount of homework assigned in some classes.



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