Letter to Homework -- Guest Posting by Missy Stowell

Missy Stowell lives halfway across the country from me. I've never met her face to face, but we've become friends through the internet. I recently read a posting on her blog that sounded like she had taken up residence in my head. She expressed my thoughts exactly. She's graciously allowed me to re-post her letter here.

But first let me tell you how much we loved Thanksgiving break. Savannah had a little work to do on her science project, but other than that, we took a break from homework and it was peaceful, pleasant and fantastic. On Sunday, Joe remembered  he needed to have a book read for his book report this Friday, so he found a book and started reading it. He was loving it, even resisting "lights out" because he wanted to keep reading. Then at school Monday, he found out it had to be a Newbery winner, so he found a book at school and started reading it, setting aside the book that was longer that he was loving. Now read Missy's letter to homework and tell us what you think.

Dear Homework,

I hate you.  There, I said it.  In fact, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you! 

I hate how you follow my kids home from school every day.  I hate how you stay way too long and suck the fun out of everything.  I hate how you make my kids feel guilty when they want to spend time with anyone (or anything) else while you’re still here.  I will admit that there have been times I have felt your meaningful contribution to our lives.  Sadly, those times are rare.  Mostly, I just hate you and the black cloud that hangs over my house when you are around.

When you tell my kids they have to read, then they get no enjoyment out of reading.  When you tell them to do math, they complain because they already did math at school.  When you tell them to write, they disappear and try to hide from you and say their tummy hurts and sneak outside because they’d much rather run and play.  But when they come in, you’re still here!  You never take the hint.  I’ve tried to help them get rid of you.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down right next to them to try to help them meet your daily demands.  I’ve colored their maps for social studies. (Since when is Social Studies an art class?)  I’ve helped them brainstorm for papers even when they tell me, “That’s not how my teacher does it!”  If it’s always supposed to be how the teacher does it, then I say let them do it at school where the teacher is!  Actually, I say that even if it’s not always supposed to be how the teacher does it.  So there.

The teacher has my kids for over 7 hours a day.  You know what?  I think that’s enough.  If you always follow them home, when do I get them?  With you here, meal times are always stressful.  With you here, bedtime gets later and later.  Sometimes you even have the nerve to still be here when they wake up in the morning!  When do my kids get to be kids?  When do they get to read for pleasure?  When do they get to be excited about what interests them without having to write a report about it?  An amazing thing happens when you leave them alone:  My kids are curious.  They use their imaginations.  They read and play together and laugh and sing and joke together.  But when you’re here, they fight and cry and yell.  You are a bully.

I hate you.

The Mom


Aim Aug said...

Yes. Yes, and yes!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Homework can become so stressful and it never leaves!

Scott / Lori said...

How in the world did you peek into our home and make an account of it here? Amazing! I have one daughter that comes home and sits at the counter for a good 2 hours working on her homework. Don't forget, school isn't out until 3:30 so this puts the time between 5:30 and 5:45pm. By the time she is finished, it is dinner time and then nearly bedtime. Oh, and she hasn't done her reading yet, don't forget! Even though they have reading time at school every day!!!!!!! She doesn't want to be forced to read again at home. Especially when she has had exactly 15 minutes to be a kid and I haven't even had a chance to have her help me set the table or anything else family oriented. Wow, sorry I think I am on a rant. Thank you Missy for expressing the hateful thoughts of this MOM too!

missy said...

Thanks, Karey! I've never been a guest poster before. :) I'm still trying to figure out a way to conquer the homework beast. For now we're all anxiously waiting for Christmas break. (Hurry!)

Leslie said...

i only have a kindergartener and i already hate homework. luckily he is not having to be as accountable as a kid in junior high or high school, but i want to be a responsible parent, so i have to force or bribe him to sit down every night to do his page of homework and read his short reading book.
i wish i could hear that it gets easier, but i know it will just get worse!!!
do the work at school!!!!!!!! we should start a campaign.

Amy said...

This letter should be sent to the schools! My kids leave for school at 7:30 am and don't return until 4:20 pm, then I have to fit dinner, homework, baths, and piano/singing lessons, or basketball, soccer, whatever is in season and still feel like a family before bedtime comes at 8:30. Kylie starts middle school next year and I'm already dreading what her homework will be like and how many more hours we'll learn to squeeze out of the day. (I know all of us Mom's do this...I'm just worked up and mad at Homework after reading this letter!) hahaha