I grew up always hearing my father say “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” I never really appreciated that until I started having to help my kids with their homework. I tweeted the other day, out of frustration, “Homework is cruel and unusual punishment….for parents.”
The problem with homework is either it’s painfully simple and boring, or far beyond your ability to recall arcane crap you learned over 30 years ago. So for the first kind, say your 8 year old son has about 40 multiplication problems for homework and you have to sit with him while he spends 5 minutes on each problem and gets every two out of three wrong. How long before you start just giving him the answers? 9, 12, 15? Painful right? Because it’s so easy to just say “Eight times seven is 56. Now remember that.” #baddad
And the next one….My daughter actually asked me other day what is the second layer of earth beneath the topsoil? Is she fucking kidding me? This made me realize that either she really is still young enough not to understand the world at all or thinks I’m a fucking genius. I’ll go with the former. Or lots of questions about rock…igneous, metamorhpic. See, I know this crap now because I had to “test” her on it. Apparently there is no way anymore to test yourself. It probably has something to do with every kid getting a trophy.
I don’t think I EVER (that’s for emphasis) asked my parents for help on homework past elementary school. I was on my own. If I had trouble I called a friend. A smarter friend. Why is it that every parent spends so much time on homework now? Are our kids all dumber than we were? Is there more homework? Were we just bored, because we didn’t have iPhones, so we didn’t mind? I don’t know what’s going on, but it sucks.
If I were president, I would outlaw homework.