I can’t believe it’s only been 1 week back to school and I am wrecked. It feels like we’ve just been through a whole term already. Is it just me that feels like this?
I planned my leave differently this year. I thought I was being super clever by taking leave during the last week of school holidays and a few days after school starts. It was amazing spending some much needed quality time with my kids. We spent most of it at the beach, different beaches around Cape Town. It was so so hot and Cape Town’s ice cold beach water was just so refreshing! I don’t even need to get right in, I just stand at the shore and let the water rush over my feet and ankles.
The holidays seemed to have gone by quite quickly though. The 2016/2017 December school holiday period felt alot longer than the 2017/2018. This year, we had a break of about 6 weeks from homework. If you read my previous article, “We worked together with our childs teacher and he improved” and “The homework crisis that we face“, you will know that last year was such a very difficult year for us. And I say us, because, Liam struggled at school, which inevitably mean’t I had to spend abit more time doing homework with him.
This also mean’t Cole would be a lot more needy since homework begins just when I get home from work. It also means I would be alot more tired at night. And it also mean’t that we would either eat supper much later, or it would be a quick meal that tasted very bleh! If you are a mom of a school going child(ren), you will understand that homework with kids is almost never what we imagine it to be.
Infact, before Liam started getting ‘real’ homework, I always wondered why other moms would have this terrifying look on their face when the homework topic came up in conversation. I mean, how difficult can it really be? Well, erm.. it’s actually not the homework itself. Not all of it at least. Firstly, your child has spent pretty much their entire day at school. Learning all sorts of new things. You have either spent the day cleaning, running after a toddler or two, driving around running errands all day, in the office behind the computer and looking at alot of numbers or data, or whatever it is that you do between 9-5 everyday.
The thought of putting your heads together and having to use your brains, again, is just dreadful. So you’re stressed before you even begin with it. There are loads of arguments, because for one, teacher said do it this way but mommy wants to do it the way they did it back in 1995! There will be at least one homework session that both mother and child end up in tears haha!
Also the school your child attends, and more specifically their teacher, will determine what and how much homework is given. I recently learned that not all teachers give the same amount of homework. And, they all have their own individual expectations. For example, in Grade 2, Liam had homework from Monday to Thursday and abit (ok ALOT) of work in each subject. This year, he has homework from Monday to Thursday with no more than 2 subjects to do. And his teacher does some of it with them before school finishes. Also, there is alot more focus on those two subjects given for homework. It’s too early in the year for me to tell whether this years or last years method is more effective. I will do a follow up on this later this year.
So although the amount of homework seems alot less this year, I am still struggling to get back into back-to-school and back-to-work mode. I am tired everyday, cannot wake up on time, and everyday feels like a Monday. So I am reaching out to all the moms out there. What do you do to keep your head above the water? Is this even possible? Or are you like me and just winging it everyday?