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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

kids, homework and why I think there's more to life than cake......

Today I am left wondering why kids hate homework so much; and not just this generation, mine was exactly the same – so, apparently was my late mum’s.  I definitely remember many occasions that I’d left it until the very last second to do, only to be sat in my form room frantically scribbling away whilst my friends did the exact same thing.

So is this need to avoid it genetic; some kind of DNA level quirk that makes children treat homework the same way Dracula responds to sunlight? Or is it just that kids feel they do enough work at school during the day, so why devote more time to it at night, during holidays and at weekends?  For me it was the latter; I hated school as it was, so to find myself having to commit more time to the cursed place when I wasn’t even there seemed like specialised torture.

Personally I think children have been trying to avoid their homework since schooling began and the general response has been horrified outrage at being made to do it; kids might also toss in a throw away “whatever”, but generally the response is, as no doubt it's always been - frustration, followed by martyred acceptance as if they’re going to face the firing squad rather than doing algebra.

I’d love to say it’ll change, but of course it won’t.  But I would really rather homework be more ‘life’ based – how to boil an egg without burning the water (instead of making the omni present upside down cake and Victoria sponge that cookery classes seem to always teach), how to avoid spending more than you earn, how look for the cheapest food, how to sew basic clothing, or alter ones they already have (rather than stitching random bits of fabric together as 'sensory art'; no, I'm not kidding).

These are things kids are definitely going to need in today’s society – the banks have done a good job of completely screwing up the world, the world leaders are certainly not helping the tilt to why can’t they see what the rest of us do?  Greece will default; plan for it, adapt for it and move on.

So our children need more than just knowing what happened in 1066, why frogs legs still move when they shove electricity through them and what the square root of Pi is – they need to be able to fend for themselves on shoestring budgets and learn to cope with not receiving a wage rise for a very long time (our longest had been four years, but I know of others that have been longer).

They need to learn how to survive without living on credit; our parents did, and I don’t know where my generation lost the skill – perhaps cooking all those cakes and sponges instead; as if that would solve all our problems.   More likely it’s because we were the eighties generation – the infamous Generation X; we were taught that greed was good and loans were even better.  

Live life on tick (credit, to those of you younger than me); the bankers assured us that credit was great, we could all afford it – the huge mortgages, the loans, the credit now, worry later.  Some of us worried then; but life carries you along and before you know it's 2007 and some people have houses (mostly in London) they paid double for and now find it's not even worth half of that.

So we need to give that ‘live within your means’ psyche back to our offspring because, from what I’m seeing all around us, around the globe, our kids are going to be living like paupers for decades to come – I don’t care what the likes of Cameron and Obama say.  

We need our children to learn that whilst there’s no rationing as such like there was for their grandparents, money is still scarce and so they need to learn the basics on just how to survive; nothing fancy, just surviving on nothing.  Because we’re not all avaricious bankers who still get their huge bonuses; and, whilst victoria sponge is nice, let's not forget what happened to the last person who said "let them eat cake".....

This is Simi, thanks for reading.......

1 comment:

  1. OMG! you got it in one!
    I have a relative that did just that. Went out on a 'plastic' limb.
    Owes an ass in plastic. Is in debt SO badly and yet, acts like this is the norm. Not even 30, and in debt X that in the thou. So sad.