11.04.2009

The Homework Blues

© shoutingforha

My boy is fortunate to have a teacher that doesn't believe in bogging his students down with homework. Dr. M.'s philosophy is to utilize class time to get the majority of their work completed. He's my kind of man.

On the rare occasions that the boy has homework, it is because they are working on a project, preparing for a test, or if there wasn't sufficient time during the day. This leaves ample time to play and unwind after school.

So far this year, it has been feast or famine in the homework department. Either the boy has nothing to do, or he has a mountainous pile. His assignments usually include a page or two of multiplication problems, writing twenty spelling sentences, and reading/summarizing a chapter from his social studies and science textbooks.

Most days, the boy takes his workload in stride. After a little downtime, he stations himself at the table and gets to work, knocking out his homework in short order.

Sometimes, however, the thought of having to answer even one math problem sends the boy spiraling into the depths of despair. A simple assignment that would normally take him less than ten minutes to complete can stretch into an hour-long ordeal.

Those are the days that make me wish I could run away and hide for a few hours and return when the evil homework is safely locked away in the boy's backpack.

There was a time, sadly not so long ago, that a homework meltdown would send me over the edge. My patience would run thin and I would find myself acting like a child instead of an adult. I was contributing far more to the problem than I would have cared to admit.

I have come to the realization that a case of the homework blues really isn't a big deal. If the boy decides to freak out and take hours to finish his homework, that's fine with me. All that wasted time is punishment enough.

The only demand that I've made is that the boy must remain respectful and kind to those who happen to be nearby, despite how he feels. Otherwise, I just let it go. Tears, broken pencils, papers crumpled in frustration... they don't phase me.

My new attitude has done wonders for the boy. Take last night for example... His backpack was stuffed to the max, but he didn't get upset. He sat down, cranked out his work and was absolutely chipper the entire time.

I guess you can teach old moms new tricks.

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