My first grader and second grader have been in school for three weeks now. They have adapted to their new situations, mostly. I have not.
If I were to sum up everything I hate about the public school experience in only one word, it would be this: homework.
Our girls have had homework since kindergarten. Sometimes it can be done in twenty minutes. Other times it takes over an hour. Last night the first grader had double homework to make up for a missed sick day. It took us almost two hours to finish.
The kids get home around 4 pm. I make dinner. We eat together as a family. Then we read aloud as a family. Then there may be baths. Fitting homework into this evening means squeezing out something else important.
And like every other parent, I wonder, What do they do all day? Why can't they get this work done at school?
I hate homework because it requires me to organize my home life by the public school's schedule and priorities. I work hard to encourage my children to be lively, curious, intelligent people. Books are central to our family life. Every teacher the girls have had asks me at some point how I raise such smart, interesting kids. And the same teacher (because of school policy) assigns homework that interferes with my efforts. I do not think I should have to give up family reading time or shared meals or imaginative play so that my child can repeat on paper exercises she already did in school.
It is exasperating.