I had a question given to me by a person who attended one of my presentations this week and they asked, "How did you deal with homework?"
When I was in school nothing made me more fearful of the evening than homework. When I was first made aware of homework in kindergarten I was confused. Granted, there was no homework in kindergarten, but it made no sense that I would have to bring work home. Schoolwork was made for school, not home.
When I made it to the first grade and homework went from myth to reality I began to panic about it. School was hard enough for me because of just the amount of effort I had to put in to deal with all the input throughout the day, but now I was in a position to taking that environment home with me in a way. I was not thrilled.
I never understood the concept behind homework and I would do everything I could to get the work done before I got home. I would bring a paper outside during recess (one windy day I got some good exercise running after my paper!) to complete it, or the lunchroom, and many times I would be working on a morning paper in the afternoon in the middle of another class. Yes, I wasn't really listening to what the teacher was saying, but I had to get the homework done at school.
As the grade levels increased I had a couple teachers that simply refused to let students complete their work at school. I had to come up with tactics a spy would be proud of and my trips to the bathroom increased as well as having my head down on my desk as I did the work on my lap.
So why was there this high level of anxiety? I was so scared of homework because, in my mind, I thought I could never get it done. Now I could handle one paper, but if I had two or more assignments I had to do at home I was instantly overwhelmed to the point of crying and shaking because I thought there was no way I was ever going to get it done.
What made all this worse for me was that I missed a lot of school and would get all the day's assignments at once. This was truly crippling and I would struggle to get started because what is the point in starting if I believe I am never going to finish it?
I also saw home as a place to reset the stress level I had and when I would get behind there was no place I could hide. I was in school mode the entire time and this process would just feed upon itself which made me miss more school because the stress headaches were too much.