Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Thoughts

Now I will be the first to admit that our family has a killer schedule. Between having two children in two different schools that start two hours apart, just getting up in the morning and out the door takes a real balancing act. Add to that Girl Scouts, Music Lessons (2 each child for a total of 4), at least two nights of karate, church, my church job and the LH's job and bowling league -- it gets crazy at times.

I've wanted to give things up and the question becomes -- what? What exactly do we give up? Girl Scouts seem to be next on the chopping block -- but the schedule will still be overloaded. Music? I don't think that's really good -- music is high priority for me because it helps the development of the brain, creating neural pathways that just can't be developed any other way. Karate is important because we all need the exercise and it is an activity that the entire family can enjoy together. Church -- well, it's a distance but that's not really a problem in that we more or less HAVE to spend time together as a family unit. We've had some really good bonding time, conversations and just plain fun on Sundays as we spend the day together.

But we are being pinched in the push and shove of all this activity. I suppose what is pinching the most is the lack of "personal time" for each of us. Plain old down time. The hours the kids have at home seem to be all taken up by the incredible amount of homework their teachers are assigning. It seems that on some days, the kids work continually from the time they get home to late at night at their homework. There have been days that Chaos has done 6 hours of homework after getting home after school. This is a ridiculous amount of work. In addition, I seem to have to reteach portions of the curriculum, especially the math bits. I ask what the teacher said during class and Chaos tells me that the teacher is usually tied up in trying to keep the classroom disciplined.

The 5:30 am wakeup time is killer. The 6:30 bus is killer -- she's home at 2:45 pm and she's so tired. Entropy doesn't get home until 5:00 pm. On most days (except Tuesdays) we have additional stuff -- karate or music. To add 4 to 6 hours of homework -- well, it's not pretty.

I taught Math. I usually gave a dozen problems for additional practice and most kids would complete them in class. I wonder about all this homework. Is it truly effective? I know that she's really particular about her homework -- is she stressing unnecessarily? Is the homework well thought out or is it the "shotgun" approach?

Chaos is home from school and she started her homework -- and has gone asleep across it. Maybe she'll learn by osmosis.

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