“home work”

If I were in charge (and I’m not!), homework for children from K through 8 would be listening to/reading a continuing chapter book every single night for one- half an hour.

That’s it.

A  large variety of books would be provided at school for children to take home to read/to be read to/to share.  Instead of homework struggles, there could be imaginations and thoughts exchanged, anticipation shared, minds enriched.

Simplistic – perhaps – but the tales I hear about the struggle in getting kids to do their homework begs for some simplicity.

Parents battle with this homework issue as much as children do.  Resistance is high – and so to make sure it’s accomplished, children are often expected to do homework immediately when they arrive home before getting to do anything else.

And in the two families I spoke with this past week, that scenario was not working well.

One of the moms shared that she was trying to be a responsible parent and didn’t most responsible parents insist their child do their homework right away?

Yet both she and her son were frustrated and felt disconnected.

I’ve been enjoying observing a young boy who gets picked up and brought back from school to The Parenting Place while his parent finishes working.  I feel as if one can sense an inaudible release of tension as this little guy eats his snack, colors, draws, looks at books, ponders, imagines with a toy car, pretends to “work”, day dreams – all in his own very relaxed, dreamy world, very personal, very connected way – secure in a spot near his parent.

Empty space – a snack – that’s what I would suggest to these two struggling parents -the time for a child to refuel, to trust each child to find what she needs most – to concentrate and encourage their personal “home work” first.

The mom of three that I spoke with feels her children only want to play.  I say – let them play – let them shed the stress of the day, release their pent-up energy, go outside, laugh,  run and chase and use their outdoor voices.

And then, well-fed, de-stressed, reconnected,  their personal “home work” satisfied, everyone might be ready to face sitting down and doing their school homework.

I believe so.

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