Is this a bad word in your household? Do you too hold your breath when your children come through the door after getting off the bus in anticipation of how heavy their homework load is for the night? Or should I say how heavy your homework load is? We moved in the middle of the school year, and in Virginia there is no Common Core, we have SOL’s (great term huh?) The Standard of Learning, to my understanding is that any child in Virginia will be learning the same thing no matter where in the state that they attend school. So our transition should have been an easy one right? (Insert laughter and eye rolling.) Surprisingly enough it was not!
My children went from a school where their teacher’s policy was no homework. They backed it up with studies showing that homework does not help the child to progress or retain the information, so all they were supposed to do at night was read for twenty minutes. I’m not going to lie, it was AWESOME! Not having to worry about getting homework done before practices or meetings was fantastic. We had so much more family time and I loved it. There was however, a small voice in the back of my head that worried whether or not they would be behind when we moved. That voice was of course dead on. To be fair my oldest was not behind, he does fantastic. Seriously the kid is an academic rock star, so no worries there. My middle child was ever so slightly behind in math, but nothing unmanageable. My youngest however was REALLY behind. It was a struggle the first few weeks. She went from no homework to a packet of homework due every Friday, as well as additional sheets to complete throughout the week, spelling tests, and flash tests. In addition to all of that she had to learn cursive, something that was not taught at here previous school, (neither was spelling). It was a shock for her; there were tears, hers and mine. At first I was a bit angry, how could two schools within the same state have such vastly different approaches to their curriculum? (Seriously if you know the answer to this please enlighten me!) Time passed and she adapted, and she caught right up to where she should be. She’s growing in ways academically that she had not been before.
So with some time and perspective I’ve gained appreciation for the homework. Not that there isn’t still the occasional blood, sweat and tears involved, but it’s getting better. I think homework is great and is definitely needed (at least for my kiddos). And it really helps them to be busy with a purpose (see what I did there?) So parents what are your thoughts on homework? Is it beneficial or strictly a pain in the butt?