Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer Homework

Maybe I'm an uneducated mama on this front, but this is the first summer The Rabbit has homework. Which of course means I have homework.

Forgive me, but didn't summer used to mean orange yogurt pop-ups dripping down your arm, sun burns, and riding your bicycle with your friends and trying not to hear mom call you in for dinner? Didn't it mean hours at the beach ferreting sand crabs, itching mosquito bites and sleepovers with chocolate pop-overs for breakfast?

The Rabbit's assignment this summer is a "fun activity" to run a scavenger hunt through the city, collect 13 "artifacts" (a subway map, local newspaper, etc...) and then write 5 stories about them.

She's 6.

This is absolutely meant without the slightest disrespect for any of her teachers (who, to date, I have adored)....but this is truly inane, some administrative Grinch-move that comes from focusing excessively on test results.

To me, summer is meant as a time to unwind. To not have to roll out of bed every weekday morning, wolf down a sleepy breakfast, and push through hours of "expected work." Sure, there's recess. Yes, The Rabbit giggles throughout her day. But in the summer she can spend 3 hours building a paper house for her ponies. Or play with the neighbors in her pajamas at 2 pm. Or spend all day on a sculpture from rick-rack, toothpicks, masking tape and string. It's when time disappears. And frankly, I think we all need a little bit more summer in our lives.

As for The Rabbit and her assignments? She'll do it. In between rides on her scooter and quite a few orange pop-ups.


sweetpeabart said...

Amen, Sista!

I abhor homework, even during the school year because it does end up being parent work, too, as you say. (Especially when your not-yet-reading 6-year-old has to give 3 speeches in kindergarten.)

So I must cheerfully hide my disdain from Baby Girl, who is also 6, so as not to taint her love of school.

I'm hearing more and more of this summer-homework phenomenon ...and dreading its descent upon our home here in PA.

It makes my skin crawl. HA.

Oh, and also no disrespect meant to teachers from me either. All love and big thanks. It isn't your fault that homework is the bane of my existence.

Manhattan Mama said...

I know - I'm actually dreading the school starting because of the homework insanity it creates: the fights, stress, screaming...and that's me!

I would LOVE to hear from some teachers and principals with concrete examples of homework turning into better school work.

My opinion (and concern) is that this is HURTING school time. And turning students into autobots — and not creative thinkers or true problem solvers.

YLM said...

Totally with you. Firstborn has had so much homework this summer it hurts - and of course she is raging mad about doing anything that doesn't involve running wild and eating sweets. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

So this is the new fangled way to teach children - get them to spend all their leisure time writing fictitious accounts about 'leisure time' - 5 times! What ever happened to 'experience', that great teaching tool? A 6 year old needs no homework if the teacher is doing her job - of teaching and opening young eyes to the world around them. FUN ACTIVITY! That's life, isn't it? Teachers are taking all the fun out of it.

Ashley said...

That's a lot for a 6 year old to do. They can't expect her to do that all by herself so it's like her teachers were saying, "I have a great idea! Lets give the parents homework!" And do you live in Manhattan? I love it there! My husband wants to move us there with his job but I had to give him a big fat NO because, holy cow, it is expensive!