Is it so wrong to expect a little family time?

Canada
March 6, 2007 9:48am CST
I guess I'm frustrated. This week is March break (or spring break) for both my daughters. I am a (work from home) mom that LOVES having the kids around ... I like to think of these breaks as a bit of "down time" for us to have together, where there is so much less stress and running around and adhering to schedules. I'll stop for my "lunch break" and the three of us will eat together, which is a nice thing. Sometimes, though, it seems that the school is bound and determined to stop this from happening. Both girls have multiple projects to work on over the break. They have large group assignments that will involve them being driven around to different classmates' homes, not to have fun but to do homework. Granted, they are in high school and not "little kids" anymore... but is it unreasonable to want them to get a break? I mean, it's right there in the name... March BREAK LOL Some families say to heck with it all and they travel during this week (which ultimately complicates the assignments for those students left behind). We can't do that anyway... but we would like to at least do a few small things like going to the movies, shopping, meals out, whatever we can fit in. But, every time we start to plan, it becomes "Well, I have to go to so and so's house that day for the history project" or "I have to invite three people over to make a video for our group project" ... sighhhhh. I thought the point of a break was to let them recharge a little before entering the home stretch of the school year. What's it like for your family? Do your kids get to really enjoy their break or is it pretty much planned out for them like most other weeks?
4 people like this
11 responses
@missyd79 (3442)
• United States
11 Mar 07
well my son isn't in school yet, but it does seem to beat the purpose of the break. but my question is, i graduted hisgh school almost 10 years ago and we did not have a March or spring break like that. i can only every remember have the week off in between christmas and newyears and that was it. so too me it sounds like the school rather give the kids off and make them do the work on their own then have them in school and have the teachers do their jobs.
2 people like this
• Canada
12 Mar 07
Funny you brought up the teachers, missyd! My 16 year old said to me last night, "You know, Mom.. it doesn't seem right. We had to do homework through our whole week off and yet I still have about six papers that I wrote months ago and the teachers haven't graded them and returned them yet." Several of her teachers announced they were going to be taking trips to warmer climates over the break so I think she's feeling that life's mighty unfair when you're a kid ;)
2 people like this
@missyd79 (3442)
• United States
26 Mar 07
that's a hard lesson to learn at such a young age, but then maybe it is better that she will see that there is alot of people out there like that, who like to push their work off on other people, that way she will not be one of those people that get taken advantage of.
1 person likes this
@babystar1 (4236)
• United States
12 Mar 07
The spring break here starts next week on March the 19th. I have grandkids from age 17 to 1 week old. and just one of my granddaughters that is in the 5ht grade has homework to do. I think this is not the time to do homework. The kids need a break to.If they want to call it spring brake than why give them homework to do.
2 people like this
• Canada
12 Mar 07
Thing is too, babystar, when I was their age, we used to have much harsher winters and we often had a lot of "snow days" ... sometimes a few in a row until the weather settled down and we could go back to school. I could see having to do work over spring break to make up for lost class time, under circumstances such as those. This year, they have had only one single snow day and, strangely, it was the Friday before their break started, when we had a huge snowstorm. Since they hadn't missed any class time all winter, I thought their break would be a lot more relaxing :(
1 person likes this
@weemam (13389)
12 Mar 07
In Scotland a break is a break , I have grandchildren from 10 to 17 and when they are on a break they have fun , I think it is really not fair to expect them to do this , they should be given EXTRA before the break then let them enjoy the time you have together xx
• Canada
12 Mar 07
I think both my girls would love with that idea, weemam... working even harder for the week before the break, for example, and then having some true free time :) They just went back to school this morning and I can honestly say that, while they did get to sleep later and they didn't eat sandwiches for lunch every day (LOL!), they didn't seem all that "rejuvenated" by their time off. They will both be working this summer so it would have been nice to see them have some carefree fun.
1 person likes this
@dana234 (2126)
• Spain
7 Mar 07
I absolutely agree with you. In Spain, kids have tons of homework and group projects during the holidays. I wouldn´t mind if they "just" had to study while they are on holiday. But one thing is studying and something very different is slaving for school and not having any free time left to do things with your family and friends.
• Canada
8 Mar 07
That's exactly it, dana234... having no time left. As an example, today my older daughter and another student took the bus to a classmate's house. The group worked on their filming project from 10AM until 5PM. She came home, freshened up, ate dinner and at 7:30PM my husband had to drive her to another classmate's home for a different project and I don't expect her back before 10:30PM. I know she's 16 and should have responsibilities and such... but I feel sorry for her not getting to enjoy her "break" like this. Then, tomorrow, my other daughter has two girls coming for the afternoon so they can work on THEIR group project in my office. I guess I'll be working from the dining room table tomorrow lol Man, it's such a whirlwind :(
1 person likes this
@villageanne (8579)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Family time is very important and I think that society is taking away from family time by having so much stuff to be done when you get time off. Schools should not give so much homeworkd and projects that take away from family time but it seems to be getting worse all the time
2 people like this
• Canada
7 Mar 07
You're so right, villageanne! There is such a push to be the biggest, best and brightest... seemingly without any thought to the impact on the family. We are a family that eats dinner together every night (even if it means eating at an "off hour" just to have all of us at the table) and we would love to do more activities but we pull our hair out trying to make enough time. I fully expect them to get homework and all... but, gee, it would sure be nice to get an actual break for a few days.
1 person likes this
@kims374 (300)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I agree, high school kids have way too many "projects" to do over vacation.....and it ultimately inconveniences the parents. I am not one for doing my kids homework for them, it is their responsibility. Every time I look around, my daughter has another project to do, and everything must be done involving a computer- what about those who can't afford one in the house? I think this is definately unfair to those less fortunate; and causes conflicts between myself and my kids because I don't want them on my computer- it's the only thing of value I have to my name!
• Canada
7 Mar 07
I understand completely, kims374! The "big thing" in both of my daughters' programs now is making movies and videos. The teachers want to watch their projects instead of reading them. It's really hard for those of us who have very old video cameras (the one I have is about 15 years old!) ... I don't have the money to put out on a digital video camera JUST so the kids can use it for homework. YEESH! They definitely expect families to have greater technology than some can afford or even be comfortable purchasing. My older daughter has only one student in her program that doesn't have access to a computer at home now... it's expected :(
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Mar 07
That's too bad. I can understand why your a little upset about it. My daughter is only 9 months, so I don't have that problem but here in canada all of the other kids seem to actually get a break. My friends son is 14 and he got a break all week. He didn't have to go here, there, and everywhere.
2 people like this
• Canada
6 Mar 07
Hi from another Canuck, PurpleTeddyBear :) I'm envious of your friend's son (my girls are 13 and 16, btw) ... I'd like to have just one break like that LOL Somehow I'm thinking, though, that it might be best that I don't hold my breath ;) Thanks for responding and have a great day!
1 person likes this
@cjthedog64 (1554)
• United States
13 Mar 07
I agree that a break should be a break. I think it's not unreasonable to expect a kid to keep reading a novel for english class, but that's about it. It's only a week, and they're not going to forget much during that time like they would over the summer. Also, lots of families take off some or all of that week to do family things or travel. I don't think kids should be expected to work when everyone else is off. Maybe an hour a day or so could be devoted to school work, but not group projects or things that are going to take hour after hour. They have enough to do as it is.
2 people like this
@KrisNY (7609)
• United States
29 Mar 07
I agree with you- My daughter is only 10 and on her breaks she always has some big project. She is in the middle of a project right now and break is 2 weeks away... This one gets turned in and they start another right away- 5th graders!. I agree-- we aren't going to be able to go on vacation either- We usually do but there are some things going on where I work so I can't take the week off. We are still planning on taking mini vacations- Movies, manicures, shopping, etc. I'm not letting school work get in the way of her break! Kids have to have time to relax also!
• Canada
29 Mar 07
Good for you, Kris!! I'm glad to know that you're going ahead with some fun activities for her break. My sister said the same about my niece who is 8 years old -- on her March break, she had to build a castle! Naturally, at that age, she and HER PARENTS have homework because what the teachers expect is not made out of paper, you know? sighhhhhh Anyway, I hope you have a great time with your daughter!! If you see any good movies, please don't hesitate to recommend them -- we're movie buffs in our house ;)
@whyaskq (7553)
• Singapore
3 Apr 07
I don't think it is wrong to expect a little family time as a parent. Once I started work, I would leave home in the morning and would not be back home until at least 12 hrs later. My mum would be alone at home. When I wanted to go out on weekends, she would comment I am out almost everyday and hardly at home. At times, she would compare me with a neighbour's children. She complain I don't talk to her, or give her a call in the day. I sort of feel bad at times, I understand she yearns for my company, but I have my own schedule. I can only give her material comfort.
• United States
22 Mar 07
this stinks. bush's newfangled education plan has done more to disrupt families than heal education woes.