I don’t support our cram-and-puke education system. Never have, never will. In fact, I almost did not want to send my son to school, instead wanted him to learn his ABCs, give him the education he needed and learn things as he went by – without the aid of textbooks. Yes, I am notorious for saying irresponsible things like that. But can you blame me when the education system does not encourage questioning or curiosity, only an unfaltering submission to syllabus-prescribed heavy loads?
A recent conversation with my son brought another question to my mind – one that has been there somewhere ever since I was in school. Recently, my son began showing a little hesitation to go to school. I, of course, mistakenly believed it had something to do with it being winter and early mornings are the time to be bundled up in many blankets. I also assumed it was probably because we recently started sending him on the school bus and he was uncomfortable with that. My son isn’t the “let’s open up about problems” kind, even though he is just four. But after a lot of cajoling and coaxing, he said, the problem isn’t the waking up or the yellow bus. It is homework.
At the beginning of the school year, when they first sent a note that they would be sending homework each day, I thought “Homework? For preschoolers?!” The very idea was ridiculous to me, but then, if you’ve read my previous post on schools (linked above) or even my personal journal entries from fifth grade, you’d know my views aren’t the kind that garner applause from other parents. It was one page of homework at first – write a letter, write a number. Of late, he has been getting three pages of homework. It may not seem like a big deal to us but it is to a four year old.
Before children start school, they are fascinated by everything, like shadows and bubbles. Now, I see that light of curiosity and wonder gradually declining. Where do you have time for shadows and bubbles when all you’re doing is writing and writing some more? Where is the time to do anything else? Why are these school syllabuses so tightly packed that what cannot be completed in school must be sent home? As adults, would you like your bosses to expect you to work from home after your office hours? You’d quit and then throw that laptop under a bus (do not do it. I don’t want your bosses’ rage on me)
My question is, aren’t kids under pressure at school already to perform and “study hard”. Why must they be forced to bring more work home, when they could spend that time playing, or indulging in activities or projects that would truly stimulate their minds, instead of repeating the same lines over and over. It is their age to play, after all. If schools are doing it to “keep kids busy and out of trouble”, why can’t they find more creative ways to do that?
Should schools do away with homework in its current form? I think yes.
Linking to #MondayMusings