The primary school our family has been attending for many a year has a No Homework Policy.
Back when I was a sanctimonious cow who had no concept of reality, I would purse my lips and nod in agreement and rave about how fabulous and forward this concept was.
Despite the mountains of evidence that suggest homework is ‘useless’ (always stated in terms of academic achievement) I now fervently disagree with this view. I believe it is important for establishing not just a link between home and school, but some important life skills such as planning and organisation and prioritising.
I think it is also useful in terms of checking on on how your Tolerance Levels are going and How Much Pressure your brain can take.
I think regular homework is important for enabling some sort of parental routine to happen so that when, after months and months of No Homework At All you are able to cope at some level when a project comes home. You’re so in your groove of Nothing To Think About and suddenly *BAM* you have this thing that worms its way into your life, requiring concentration and input into something you have no desire to learn about and are not interested in. Also, your showers don’t get cleaned.
One such ‘thing’ entered our life a few weeks back. The due date was for this week, but “June” had been crossed out and replaced with “July”. I figured Godzilla – by which I mean ‘we’ – could do a bit at a time.
I tried assisting with A Bit a few weeks back and my head broke. There were lots of tears and “I don’t want to do it” and “This is stupid,why do we have to do this stuff?!” and the like.
Godzilla said a few things as well.
Then, because of the habits that had been formed in relation to homework after years of no homework, we promptly forgot about it. Until I remembered again last night.
I encouraged doing a bit more. More tears. More tantrums. Not helped by the fact that my brain is currently overwhelmed, not cooperating to its full potential and often referred to as Brian, due to copious amounts of misspelling. This is coupled with a small dose of Asperger’s on the other part, and the combination of the two is disastrous in and of itself.
I get him started, he shuts down for a bit, I cry and go off to have a bath, he commences doing stuff, Grumpy aids a little by adding his own, unique type of encouragement. Godzilla and I have both calmed down enough that he is able to continue and I am able to hold my ground on my direction that he is not to leave until it is finished (stated earlier in a fit of pissed-offedness – but I have to stick to it now).
It’s not that it was so complex that he couldn’t do it all in fifteen minutes. He just chose not to. As did I, initially.
We located the information we required and set about interpreting it. I was feeling much better about it all until I attempted to decipher a paragraph to extract the details required. Grumpy Pants, from the couch on the other side of the room, kept interrupting with his version of events.
“Shut up!” I requested nicely. “I’ve got it, I’m trying to work it out. You’re annoying me! You do it!”
“No, you’re good,” he replied. Which, honestly, felt like a contradiction given he contradicted everything I was saying.
I was also a bit miffed. I figured I had it under control. Well, now I did.
Godzilla was calm and cooperating. All was good.
“Dad can help,” Godzilla pipes up. “He knows everything.”
HA! I thought. I was a bit more miffed, then thought fuck it, and I relayed Godzilla’s request.
Of course, at the point of translating the information and Putting It Into His Own Words, technology felt it needed a say and the internet connection failed.
I save the information to a USB, move it across to my computer, add the images required and print it out. I don’t save it to my computer as we have it all saved to the old one and a USB.
Done – all that is needed is A3 sized piece of cardboard to offset the white paper with green writing; Italian Style as was the theme of the project.
And we all go to bed.
Grumpy returns home from doing the school dropoff today with a A2 sized piece of black cardboard in which Godzilla may past all his information and images.
One out of three isn’t bad, I guess, and I do not have the energy to care.
Godzilla is remarkably calm about the blackness of the ‘red’ cardboard and sets about chopping his work into pieces, smothering the back with glue and laying them out on the cardboard. It is, as Godzilla does, slightly messy and random and we are often torn between being a bit anal about neatness or accepting that he has done it and he’s done the best he can.
Grumpy asks if I have seen it, to which I reply “Let it go. He’s done it, it’s fine.”
Then “Italy is stuck on upside down.”
Hmm. Ok, well that bit needs to be fixed. Sadly, it was discovered after the glue had dried. Yes, the very glue that never