As I complete yet another stage in Diablo (it’s this spooky computer game and I don’t care if you believe otherwise), I catch my sister peeking into my room, from the corner of my eye.
‘Can you please help me out?’
And I oblige. What choice do I have? At first, I’m always enraged…as to why she can’t do it herself. At her age I was quite self dependent except the odd math assignments where I sought after ad’s help.
But she gets it easy. Because, I more or less know all the answers. There is a difference of about five years between us. And by the time you reach under-graduation you have mastered ninth grade stuff.
If its math, I politely decline. I do not want to screw up her basics. But when it comes to English her pitiable expression gets the better of me and I sit to help her out. And mind you, these are the rarest of occasion and that too, during my Summer break.
Today it was synonyms and antonyms. She had circle some forty of them. I needed something more than Roget’s While she did some other learning thing, I sat before my PC and began typing in the words on thesaurus.com and copied down the results. And boy, is it tiring and monotonous?
And now she has to learn it all. I understand vocabulary is highly essential. But I’ve noticed her doing other homework that has no connection whatsoever to the syllabus or general proficiency…and yet it is graded. I mean, that stuff only makes the kid feel disinterested in the subject and burdened. And a loss of interest can be the doom of grades.
And hence, I only wish teachers thought over the kind of work they give their students. Something that they take interest in and don’t just cut-copy-paste or jot down. I mean that’s the whole point of teachers, isn’t it? To cultivate the basic interest towards learning! Instead they are acting as dictators (exaggerated) and repelling the Kid’s love towards them and their subject.
Why? Heavens know.
A little bit of effort make a huge lot of difference.
You don’t give kids homework so that their parents and elder siblings can finish it off for them!
Secondly, there should be some kind of coordination between all the subject teachers … so that the kid has manageable loads. Of course the Math teacher believes his subject is more important than the Geography teacher and vice versa. And thus, both end up giving kids mountain-loads of work…and things go apeshit.
This has two repercussions : The kid either gets into a frenzy and overworks.
Or he completely gives up on the work and watches a game of cricket with his father or dozes off at the study table.
This is not what we want.
Another thing that happens is, busy parents often send their kids for tuition, beneficiary classes, enrichment courses etcetera. This stuff at graduation level is okay…but for secondary and primary (even worse) is crazy. We instill a very negative shade of competition and workload on the child. A lot of development nodes are shut down.
The kid comes back drained from school, grabs a quick lunch (or not) and heads off for tuition which last until dinner…then the kid completes his homework (or at least until wherever he can) and dozes off.
Where is the learning and understanding happening? Some kids absorb stuff instantly…idea-tic memory like Doctor Cooper and Mike Ross but some need to sit in peace and ‘learn’ it. And we rob the children of that. Not to mention, play time, family moments, rest and hobby space. It’s a little child, not an automated robot.
Parents usually run behind the kid until high school…and once that level is crossed, they are so tired, they give up…and the kid goes wayward unless he/she is determined. So, don’t treat them as racehorses, you all!
Let them explore their personality, take their time, enjoy the journey as they learn. that’s way more wholesome.
Everyone should give this a thought and treat the kids accordingly. Its for their own better 🙂
Remember, it’s their Childhood we are playing with.