Mommyish blogger Rebecca Eckler asks people not to hate her for doing her fourth-grade daughter’s homework: The girl is tired from school, play dates and activities, and playing is more important than homework, she writes. However, Eckler hates math, so she lets her daughter do that by herself.
You’re teaching your daughter to lie, resonds Madeline Holler on Babble, who wonders why “Eckler sat down and cut out and mounted pictures of elephants for a research project so that her daughter’s board would stand out among those of her peers’.”
A lot of homework is a waste of time. My question is, then, why create a charade? A charade that the fourth-grader is complicit in. Sending in finished homework sends a sign to the teacher that the daily assignments are manageable when they are not. When the daughter gets praise for her standout poster on elephants (or a gold star for a completed word search), what does the mother expect the daughter to do: say “thanks,” or say “thanks, my mom did it”? If it’s the former, then she’s teaching the girl to lie. If it’s the latter, then why do the homework in the first place? What’s wrong with a crappy elephant poster?
. . . If the consequence of not doing homework is too steep, there are other avenues, like cutting back on after school activities or, gasp, talking to the teacher about homework expectations.
Sometimes your child’s best isn’t great, Holler writes. That’s OK.