Classwork and Homework. Home… work?

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

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23 thoughts on “Classwork and Homework. Home… work?

  1. My Era January 25, 2016 / 12:30 PM

    As a mother of a 4-year-old I could completely agree with you. What started with writing a letter 25 times has now reached writing simple sentences (in both Hindi & English) along with numbers, every damn day.
    My daughter says NO to doing the homework all the time and I don’t see anything wrong in that because even at her tender age she’s so pressed to find time to play, watch a cartoon or do anything her curiosity guides her to 😐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva January 27, 2016 / 10:09 AM

      Exactly! My son is fond of writing (sometimes on walls, sometimes in books, but well…) only when he feels like it. He likes school too, but once you bring him home and tell him to sit with the same school books, he gets fussy and cranky. I can’t blame him either.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shailaja V January 25, 2016 / 1:48 PM

    This isn’t right at all! Gy started getting home play, yes not homework, in lkg. The teacher insisted that I should not make the child do it at all and she was right. It was only colouring and drawing. But the school never insisted upon kids completing the work. Writing began only in late ukg as a way to help them come to terms with the concept of writing but no insistence again.

    I’m so glad for that. I completely understand your son and his reluctance. What is the sense of doing three pages of homework at age 4??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva January 27, 2016 / 10:12 AM

      That sounds like a great school. These guys, on the other hand, they keep charging us throughout the year and sending us more books and whatnot. We only sent him there cos it’s close by. I was never impressed with its principal or the quality of teachers.
      If you force them, that’s when they develop an aversion to study and to school in general.

      Like

  3. Lata Sunil January 25, 2016 / 2:54 PM

    3 pages is a lot for a 4year old. My 4yr old nephew also gets the same…2 pages of HW and he refuses to do even that. Its a challenge. They should not give Hw at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva January 27, 2016 / 10:13 AM

      They shouldn’t. They will refuse, just like we would if we were asked to, say, work on weekends or something.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rekha @ Dew Drops January 25, 2016 / 3:37 PM

    Wow! I am glad that there’s someone else with the same views. I had met the principal of the school and complained about the load of homework which my girls have to do after they reach home at 5. She told me that it is just a page or two. What she didn’t listen is that it is just 1-2 pages homework in each of the 5-6 subjects. I sincerely feel that the concept of homework must be ommitted from schools. Kids these days are falling ill because of reduced playing and other high-energy activities. All this because they hardly get time to finish homework.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva January 27, 2016 / 10:18 AM

      You know, when I was in school, a parent complained that we were being given too much of homework. That was in seventh grade. We didn’t get any homework for the rest of the year. We were told to revise our lessons, and once in a while, we had like a surprise quiz or something, but no homework. We all performed better that year, I remember quite well.
      Principals need to take in parents’ concerns seriously. I mean, they can’t hide behind some wall they have in their minds. And more than the principal, the teachers should understand. Why grate the kids against so much work repeatedly? Sad state!

      Like

  5. Beloo Mehra January 25, 2016 / 5:04 PM

    The way our schools are run these days (for the most part) soon we will have a whole generation of only non-thinking machines with no individual creativity or free expression left. Children need maximum freedom (within some reasonable guidelines) to blossom. Thankfully, some progressive schools are changing, but we need a mass scale change to see any results.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva January 27, 2016 / 10:20 AM

      Exactly what I had mentioned in an earlier post titled “Another generation of automatons” I wrote that when my son joined school and his principal’s words angered me to no end. She basically said the school does not encourage questioning!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Elizabeth January 25, 2016 / 6:31 PM

    My pre-schooler gets 6-8 lines each day. I dont mind that load, but my daughter can make that an hour long activity by being a bit difficult. But I have never thought too much abt that workload increasing progressively 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva January 27, 2016 / 10:23 AM

      The workload will increase, that’s the sad truth. Plus, the more it increases, the less your daughter will be interested in it, which is a lot worse.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth January 27, 2016 / 12:32 PM

      I am dreading that now itself…and I have a 1.5 yr old son also to send to school…and my hectic work schedule also to manage… mummy…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Beat About The Book January 25, 2016 / 10:37 PM

    Oh yes homework is the bane of the kids’ specially since they have long school hours. I remember the kids getting two or three pages of ‘sleeping line’ and ‘standing line’ – and it was B.O.R.I.N.G. I hated the thought of making them slog through it but I had to – this, when there’s is one of the so-called easier schools where academics isn’t the end-all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sreesha Diva January 27, 2016 / 10:26 AM

      Sleeping lines and standing lines, oh I remember those! Yeah, a “smart school” right? My son’s is also one of those, but so far I’ve seen nothing smart about it. They keep sending more books every now and then. And increasing the homework. I don’t know why they told us, they’ll be giving a “playful environment for your little one”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Beat About The Book January 28, 2016 / 6:41 PM

      I have learnt to be grateful for this school as although there is homework at least most of it makes them think and not mug up stuff – just a lesser evil, as I see it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva February 3, 2016 / 10:57 PM

      Oh yes, mugging up is the worst!! I don’t know if my son will need to do that, he’s still in Junior KG. Hopefully I’ll send him elsewhere when he’s older. That’s what I want, at least.

      Like

  8. shanayatales January 25, 2016 / 10:53 PM

    I have an almost-four-year-old at home, and he does not get any homework -at all. I am assuming that this is how the US education system is structured. And while I don’t agree with the American education system wholeheartedly either, the Indian one is just too hard on the kids, and even the parents for that matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva January 27, 2016 / 10:28 AM

      The American education system, from what I’ve heard, makes the child think more independently, vs the cramming that most Indian schools encourage. The cramming and the competition has to stop – kids have to be themselves and be independent.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Maliny Mohan January 28, 2016 / 6:21 AM

    I agree to your points. Not mother myself, but your post made me go back in time. The main reason our children aren’t inclined towards chosing a creative profession is because anything creative is considered a waste of time by many. Why write poems when you can perfect that maths problem over and over? why read when you can learn? What they don’t understand is by doing that they are denying the wholesome growth of their own kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva January 28, 2016 / 12:21 PM

      One of the schools I studied in actually used those exact words – we weren’t allowed to write poetry because the principal (a strict nun) was convinced poetry would lead to us falling in love! We were told it was the age to study and not the age for “such activities” (she said this while tearing the page (in slow motion) on which a classmate had written a poem)
      When I moved to that school, I was shocked to find out that the library was still handing out Cinderella and Pied Piper to fifteen year olds. None of them had the habit of reading, and at first I was laughed at cos I picked out slightly fatter books from the shelves.

      Like

  10. pins & ashes January 28, 2016 / 6:41 PM

    Too much work to kids! They will lose interest in studying itself!! O remember once in school we were punished, the class as a whole and asked to write something irrelevant some 500 times by a teacher. .. (Something like I will not disobey..some such.). This was I’m class 8 or 9. 90% of the class did biy write. 10℅ wrote not fully.. Somewhere.. We were sure to be punished again! But we were surprised because the teacher was happy with the 90℅ of us.. As we did noy do it. She appreciated us for reacting to it and not doing such a frivilkous work..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva February 3, 2016 / 11:01 PM

      Huh! That’s interesting. This one time, we didn’t like the teacher who taught us Civics, and we refused to do the homework he gave us. About 4 nerdy kids did it, the rest of us were out. All of us. The guy couldn’t teach just the 4 of them, so he gave them a free period while we enjoyed outside!

      Liked by 1 person

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