My son’s second and third grade school years were so bogged down with homework every day, that he had little time to play, or just be a child.
I remember the hurt and frustration I felt, sitting down with Josh at the dining room table for another night of “Homework first, then you can play.”
Also another night of pitiful tears, and “I never get to play.”
He had a daily journal assignment to complete, at least 3 pages of math (which he didn’t understand at all) spelling words to study, sentences to write, usually reading in his “Literature Book” and whatever else the teachers would assign for the night.
All I can say is that from the perspective of a mom, it really hurts to see your little one (he was 6 at the time) have to sit in school all day, then come home and sit in the dining room and do “school work.” Generally he did not get to play, because dinner was usually done before all of his homework, and by the time both things were done, it was usually dark outside. This cannot be good for a 6 year old.
I felt frustrated because he didn’t understand what he was supposed to do on a lot of the assignments he was given, and there were often no directions on the papers he brought home. He also didn’t understand a lot of what his teacher taught during the day, so I was showing him how to do everything, and teaching him the majority of what he was learning, at home, even after he’d been stuck behind a desk all day.
My choice to home-school my son was not entirely based on this problem, but it was a huge factor in the decision. Once I realized that I was doing most of the teaching, and saw how unhappy my previously joyful little boy had become, it was only a small step from there to decide to remove him from the public school system.
Please understand that we were never talking about a “slow” student. We are talking about a kid who was put into first grade at 5, because he was so far ahead of other students. He could read, write, do basic math, and was well behaved, with a very easy manner about him.
I never have and never will regret my decision to home-school my children.
They had class every morning and were finished with school by 1:00 or 2:00 pm.
They had no homework to complete, because their work and their learning were done during the hours we set aside for them. My son played outside with his brother and their friends, they hunted bugs and toads and salamanders, they played kickball in the field, and they tell me now, at ages 18 and 20 that they are very glad they were home-schooled. They have a chance, unlike many students, to be children and to enjoy the days that childhood brings you.