When the homework load increases

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Day Care & Education

My son is in the 8th grade this year. He attends a Waldorf school where there have been no grades for his entire academic career. Since his school only goes through the 8th grade, his teachers are trying to prepare the class for the time when they must enter mainstream schools and deal with concepts such as tests and grades. I can only say that the transition has been more than a shock for my 13 year-old's free spirit. Gone are the days when homework was more of an option than a mandatory activity. Now he must deal with the fact that a paper is not only unacceptable, it must be completed again and again until it is perfect. This new regime is just beginning to sink in after a full month of struggling. The battles do not just pertain to homework but they also apply to the fragile balance that makes up life at home. Now I must be much more of an enforcer every afternoon and evening. I sometimes feel as though the days of old when we would go to the park and play are gone, only to be replaced by eye rolling and sighs as I insist we get out Charles Dickens and a pad of paper for notes.

I remember being in the 7th grade when the transition from fun to difficult occurred. It was hard to realize I couldn't do whatever I pleased with my time. But it was a valuable learning lesson and helped for the years when I was in college and studying microbiology. I try to tell myself that someday my son will be grateful that I cracked the whip over his head to make him study, sometimes it helps but other times I wonder if he just sees me as a big meanie.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.