What do you think about homework for parents?
I USED to think that homework was a great idea. After all, it reinforces what the children learnt that day, and yes I think parents should be involved in their child's learning.
But what makes me positively furious is the homework set just for parents.
By the way, last time I posted this I got called up to the principal's office ... just say'n.
I'll give you an example. Little Johnny comes home at five years old having to do a project on dinosaurs.
He will be graded on information, pictures and presentation. The thing is, even though little Johnny is learning how to read, there is no way on God's green earth that he can write "dinosaur'', look up information on dinosaurs, or find a picture of a dinosaur that wouldn't be in his colouring book.
Even I have to think twice before spelling dinosaur correctly, before typing it into Google to find the picture of the one my kid is talking about.
This is what I call Homework for Parents. Work deliberately out of reach of the children, that in reality parents have to do. The thing is most parents these days are both working full-time.
They struggle to get a meal on the table by 6pm and are expected not only to supervise small humans but also ensure life necessities are provided and standards of living are met, every single evening.
One of the good things about being an adult is that you don't have homework any more. We've done our bit; we've mustered through all those useless algebra and excessive literacy facts that realistically you will never use in your adult life. Now it's our own kids' turn.
And I don't recall my mother ever having to assist me in the completion of a "project'' at the age of five, so why am I expected to finish my day of work then have to complete an hour's worth of homework that my child should be doing, but intellectually cannot?
So my kids hardly ever do homework. Yes we read, yes we do some maths games. Yes I care about how they are going at school. But I refuse to conform. Refuse! Homework needs to be either done in a homework club at school (during school hours), or something light, such as reading for 20 minutes a night - which we do anyway. As kids get older, yes of course they can do more, read more, understand more - and do it them-bloody-selves!
Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: stayathomemum.com.au