I can’t be the only parent who feels like once the kids go back to school, I’ve got a new, demanding job. Demanding jobs are great, but I already have one!
It’s a lot to deal with, whether you’re
- helping a child adjust to the new teachers’ styles;
- figuring out which battles to fight and which to let go;
- coaching a kid through an ever increasing homework load;
- stumbling upon an MCPS website mention that the school year has been shifted by one day (with no other notice!); and
- the list goes on…
I don’t remember things being like this when I was a kid. Then again, my mother was a divorcee, a working Mom who didn’t have time to provide much oversight of my school activities. I was a latchkey kid before the term was invented.
There are plenty of kids like that here in Montgomery County, Maryland, where 44,000 students qualify for the free lunch program. But how do they cope? As early as the second grade, homework assignments become so complex that it’s a frequent topic of conversation in even the most upscale neighborhoods.
The school system does provide a “homework hotline,” accessible via cable TV — which we don’t have! — or through the computer — which we try to avoid, due to its distractions.
For many in the more affluent parts of the county, the solution to homework hassles is private tutoring. An increasing number of parents shell out $45 for group tutoring and $75 or more for individual tutoring. And it’s encouraged by some of the teachers (although officially they’re not supposed to suggest tutors, I hear). I know this is going on nationwide. My friends in San Diego tell me about their “homework nanny.”
And my online grumbling about homework hassles did lead me to a wonderful site called School Family, along with some much needed morale support on a rough day.
How’s back to school going for you? Leave a comment and share!
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