Monday, July 2, 2012

The Homework Saga


While originally Wordsworth might’ve had many connotations to the ingenious statement "The child is father of the man", I get whiffs of the poet’s sentiments when I get little snatches of my childhood through my children.
The last weekend of a fast depleting holiday season saw us scrambling about to put final touches to the holiday ‘homework’.... (Ugh!! how I detest that oxymoron!), which resulted in me racking my brains to understand the 4th grade questions.

Just for emphasis on the fact that I am not joking about the word 'racking', let me share with you some of the questions (while reading the questions, please remember that the said paper is for FOURTH graders!):
But first, what do we hope to accomplish by the holiday homework?

Do we want the kids feeling grossly inadequate while sitting to write the answers out? Or is our primary aim to gather exceptionally skilled artwork made by the kids’ parents and adorn the school walls with them? Or better still, is the aim to take the parents back to their high school days (ofcourse I meant high school - this definitely isn't primary school stuff!).
A corollary to this question – so are we teaching our kids that it’s okay to take credit for someone else’s work? There are kids in higher classes who have now started paying professionals to create project work; I think I know who did their homework for them in the 4th grade!

Read the complete post at Parentous.

10 comments:

  1. :) but hey those questions they make you think for sure .. the biggest pollutant , what is rhyming scheme - I dont know that , what is it

    the 4th grader is obviously more intelligent than me :(

    Bikram's

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    1. hehehe! Bikram ... you are not alone! Believe me!

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  2. Anil RamachandranJuly 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I gotta send this link across to my daughters school principal.. Something I have always been wondering. Not that I do the homework but still feel pity for my wife who has to do all of it..:)I feel lucky we didnt go to school in this era..!!:)

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    1. Anil, please feel free to do so - while it definitely boosts my ego, the consequences are entirely yours to deal with ;-) !! Thanks! And yes, your wife deserves an award for that!

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  3. Oh my, If there's one thing I`ve learnt out of this post is that - I`m thankful I`m not a 4th grader and that I never had to endure Agni Pariksha's like this one.

    Those tasks are not easy by any stretch of imagination - even for parents, I must add :P.

    Cheers :)

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    1. well, do you realize that at some point in time, you WILL have a fourth grader in your hands? *Evil laugh here*

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  4. these are IAS stuffs. cannot be for a fourth grader.

    even with the help of google, i will not be able to answer them.

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    1. @Debajyoti ..... thank you for giving me some hope here - I almost thought I was getting senile! And welcome to the blog!

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  5. Oh! Thank God! I thought I was the only parent who was deranged. There are so many instances when I stare blankly when posed with a question, that my kids have started doubting my qualification. The school curriculum is like one big bully, finding amusement in teasing the little minds.

    For all the improvement that our school syllabus may be making, the graduate and post graduate courses are still as dilapidated as ever. We still follow archaic and obsolete course outlines. I think we should forward a link to the higher education board. Might inspire them to churn out something, just to get kicks out of harrying the graduate folks. But then I doubt if there's any one on the board qualified enough to take on the task.

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  6. Very well written. I am scared, the questions are seriously high school stuff. I am dreading the time when my son will be in 4th grade.

    Is Google coming handy? But even if it does where is the learning part?

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