I’ve heard parents of kindergarteners discuss the amount of homework their kids bring home. Well, did you know daycare comes with homework? Ok, not a lot, and yes, they are family oriented projects, but somehow I never get them done.
It’s not about being lazy, unaware, or even about being exhausted. It’s about prioritization. We go to a wonderful daycare and the kids do lots of great projects and activities. When they come home, the last thing they want to do is a daycare-related craft. I bet your saying “just don’t tell them”, but somehow they always know. Home time is free time. It’s time they can open one of their many coloring books and paint without regard for the lines on the page or the fact that the pages may stick together as they turn them over for a new canvas. It’s about using kiddie scissors to aimlessly cut up a bunch of index cards, watching in amazement as one card turns into two pieces. It’s about having mama cut out hearts and gluing them to a piece of paper, simply because glue is new to them and magically makes things stick.
So it’s not that we don’t do arts and crafts at home, but we are free form. My guess is that the daycare homework is intended to be family building time – where everyone can contribute to an activity that the kids are proud of. An activity that hangs in the school as a reminder of that special family time.
It just doesn’t happen in our house. Tonight, instead of focusing on the new family tree assignment, Morgan, Jake and I played dress up. Then Jake dragged out the brand new cardboard box we just got in a shipment, and we made up a game throwing a soft ball into the box in various ways (I was officially dubbed princess mama because I was still wearing my tiara from dress up. Jake assumed the role of Jake the T-Rex). Then of course, there was story time and song time and bedtime.
I had a beautiful night with them. I suppose one of these nights I will sit down and do the family tree. I do feel bad from time to time when I walk into the daycare room and see the collages the other parents completed. I feel even worse when I see one that was clearly done collaboratively as a family.
But today I’m cutting myself some slack. I’m sure the memories and fun we had as a family tonight was just as meaningful as family photos hanging on the daycare wall for my kids. And the homework? There’s plenty of time for that.