Friday, January 21, 2011

Q and A Friday: Homework

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.


  1. Becuase of that you never went to college becuase of you anxiety levels were never control soom anaeith! But you are ok now and not in school and your happy but i am doing great in home school i can not wait to go off to engineering college!

  2. That is why, when I collapsed from chronic fatigue (which was caused by neglected Asperger's), I didn't need to finish homework anymore. Only the stuff that I needed to get done to get into the exams.
    The homework took so much energy from me, that I couldn't have it on top of my chronic fatigue. If my school wasn't so flexible as it was, I don't think I would've made it. (They knew I'd always do my best, so when I say I can't do it, I can't do it. Believe me, I tried.)

  3. I still have nightmares about my daughter and homework. She had the most violent meltdowns every Thursday night when I tried to get her to do the week's homework due on sheet of paper, which she actually zipped through when she stopped screaming enough to do it. I ended up saying to her teacher that her homework was between her and him...because I was not going to have the weekly fight any more. That was when she was 9. She's 17 now...and I have no idea if she has homework. And I don't care.