Homework — work a student does at home without the monitoring of the teacher — is an important part of the school day. Homework is about learning to be self-disciplined. Homework is about learning to manage time and materials. Homework is about becoming an independent learner. And homework is about taking oneself seriously.
But let’s face it. Homework is WORK. Sometimes it is complicated or difficult. Most of the time, it is not the first thing on the list of things your child wants to do after school. At least some of the time, it also requires us as parents to pitch in when we would rather just sit and read the paper or watch TV, not help with long division or quiz the spelling list.
If we let ourselves off the homework hook, we lose a major opportunity to teach our children a positive attitude about work and about themselves as workers. These values are just too important to leave to chance.
If seeing notebooks and the paraphernalia of studying triggers anxiety, nausea, and a flight response in you, it’s time to give yourself a long-overdue pep talk. You are a grownup now. You are old enough to know that homework doesn’t have to be hateful. You can do something for your kids that no one did for you — you can help them to be curious about assignments and help them to feel good about themselves when the job is done well.