Parents, quick question: when you get home from a hard day at work, what do you do?
I can tell you what I do: I fling my bra across the room, change into my polka dot jammie pants, crack open a beer or pour a dram of whisky or maybe smoke something, put on some gangsta rap or a little death metal, maybe watch a movie, or read… Basically, I chill.
And it’s great. I separate from my work, and I just am.
I love it.
Guess what? Our kids “work” too. It’s called “school” and it lasts many hours, just like any given work day lasts for us.
And it’s even set up like a work day. They get a short coffee (snack) break, and a lunch break, but basically they’re expected to sit at their desks and write and work and be “on” until they get home.
Fine. Fair enough. That’s their job.
So what the fuck is the deal with our kids doing several hours of WORK once they’re “off?”
Instead of frolicking around outside in the meadow with butterflies and singing deer, or baking cookies, or even vegging out with a good book (or GAWD FORBID, TV) they’re expected to… (WTF) sit down at their desk AGAIN and do more work.
Two hours worth of homework on average. Often more.
And what happens? They’re tired—(because they’re kids and they should be tired) and they start acting like assholes, and then we get drawn into the whole drama and feel like failures because we don’t remember how to divide fractions or some shit, and then it turns into a huge power struggle all before bedtime.
Well, I am done.
I think learning is awesome, but I think homework is bullshit.
I think there is nothing remotely helpful about making our kids do word problems, or memorize spelling lists when they should be writing stories for fun, or getting paint in their hair, or learning how to measure salt and sugar and cream of tartar when they bake meringues… There’s so much they COULD be doing that contributes to their learning—and instead, they’re learning that grownups suck, and that “having to learn” sucks, and I am DONE.
BUT I can’t do this alone— I can’t be the only mom who tells her kids “fuck this noise, don’t do your homework. Let’s bake cookies, or plant sage, or go look for different kinds of rocks out there in the fields, or clean up trash in the park, or … anything!”
But maybe if a bunch of us do it at the same time, we can change the system, and unchain our kids from their desks, and give them back their childhood AND their freedom, and a great learning experience called life to go along with it.