Homework is Stupid.
I’m sure the educators of the world are plotting their responses as they read the headline. Disagree with me. Go ahead. Let’s have a discussion in the comments section or online.
I never liked school. Grade Primary (What sensible people rightly call Kindergarten) was sold as a promise of daily fun and learning. That wore out quickly even though my teacher was a very nice lady who as of this writing recently retired. Because I went to a rural country school I had the same teacher heading into Grade one. Primary was where I met my oldest friend. Thankfully we are still in occasional contact.
It was either Grade two or three that homework was introduced at our school. We had homework in language arts and math almost every week. There were rules written on the fronts of our homework folders which we had to have with our stuff. Those rules indicated that we had to have homework completed within two days. If we didn’t have it done we were sent to the principals office.
For as long as I recall, the very idea of homework seemed completely ridiculous. There were parents who often brought work home from their jobs. Then they complained about it. Engineers who worked on designs, lawyers who needed to draft legal papers well into the early morning hours. Homework to me took away time from being a kid. There were other responsibilities I should have been learning at an earlier age. Helping out around the house, yard work, things like that. This isn’t to blame them for that though. They did the best they could with what they knew. Their disagreements on what our responsibilities should have been acted as a frequent revival of tension in their marriage. My folks both would want to help with homework but it rarely ever worked out. The old man would get easily frustrated with me. My brother picked up on things much quicker in school. What I lacked in book smarts I more than made up for in street sense.
Come fourth, fifth and six grades homework became more frequent. The punishments for not doing it were more ridiculous. Looking back, the “punishments” run similar themes to that of administrative segregation at a prison. Real stupid things like having to remain in during lunchtime, or stand facing a wall while you get berated with others for how much of a disappointment you are to the school. Writing lines was another absurd form of punishment. It was one I escaped multiple times because those teaching me knew that I saw writing as a pleasure, not punishment.
Moving into high school I started to do more homework during a lunch hour or in between classes. Or it just did not get completed at all. If I did not have time to do it, I was completely honest. Sure it affected my marks. Some classmates who managed to get part-time paying work seemed to get off easy. They would get passes for not completing anything because they had to work.
Unfair would be an understatement. In my younger days it was extremely difficult to get a part-time job. The few that were available went to people whose parents knew the right people. Many of us were singled out, wrongfully.
To possibly be continued....