Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Homework or Life

I don't know why I continue to be shocked by this every year, but I do. A child who was born the same year as my Sweetheart (actually her mom and I shared a first grade classroom the year they were both born--yikes--2 maternity leaves!), is in 6th grade this year just like my daughter. Only she is in public school.

The bus usually drops her home about 5:00. Yesterday her Dad picked her up, so she got home earlier. And at 9:00 last night, she still wasn't finished with her homework. She had stopped for supper and a bath. Her Dad was working with her the whole time. She's 11.

This, after a full day at school. Another friend who I used to teach with has a daughter in 11th grade AP classes. She reports her daughter routinely stays up until 2:00am to complete her homework. Not sure when she gets started. I know many children in high school don't get started until after supper because they are in extra-curricular activities until many hours after school is out.

No wonder these children grow up and do NOT QUESTION why they must work long hours, 6 or 7 days a week. No wonder they don't think twice about going to school for 4-10 years after high school. Our niece works a full-time job and has just gone back to school for a Master's degree. This, after working her way through college and graduating just a few months ago. She's not married. She doesn't have children. She's in her mid-20s. Does she know there are other options out there besides just work and school?

Work. School. Work. School. Schoolwork. It's all the same. It's what we're made for, right? These poor kids don't even seem to question it.

I shudder to think how I would be handling it if my children were in public school right now and carrying such a homework load. Would I let it get in the way of church? Family time? Scripture memory work? Service? Chores? How is there time for anything else but school?

Oh I pray for families today. I wish people knew there was an alternative. I could list and list the things that happen in our day that would NOT be happening if my children (and therefore our family) were under such a burden.

I am grateful for each and every one of them. And I wish more people knew.


  1. yes I understand... although on the flip side I have a home schooler friend of a five year old lamenting how long the school day took? WHY.. on a really, really bad day it should take you an hour and a half.. with art and crafts! Or on the other flip side I have home school friends who dont seem to know there is a need for ACTUAL home schooling to happen.

    arggggg.... Cant we all just keep it in perspective? BUT your BUSY post SAYS IT ALL! I read it to Kaitling who is reading Beautiful Girlhood right now...I believe that it spoke to her in a way that I cannot seem to get through!

  2. balance... it's so hard, yes? but homework till morning? no, thank you.

  3. Very good post, Brenda.

    As you know, I have three older girls in public school. Actually the oldest spends most of her time in community college getting her AA but she is technically a high school senior who'll graduate in June. I digress.

    Anyway, this year I had the counselor give both of my high school junior a free period that they can use to start on homework before they have to come home. Extracurriculars are limited this year as well because kids who have a heavy extracurricular schedule enjoy zero family or down time between that and the homework.

    I will be so thankful when we are done with this insane system, where balance in totally absent.

  4. Terry, y'all are almost there!
    Carrie, I just re-read the first few chapter of BG and decided to wait just a bit longer for Sweetheart to read it. I was thinking at 12 but she's still so much an 11 year old. Maybe 12 1/2?

  5. I agree... Kaitlin is reading a chapter for devotion and then we are discussing... Kaitlin is "older" than sweetheart in a lot of ways that I wish she weren't! I say for some things hold off as long as you can!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)