Every night except Friday night, MBA Son who is a first grader, has homework. Sometimes it’s a math worksheet, other times it’s writing in addition to 20 minutes of reading. Lately, more writing has been coming home. Most of the time he can complete homework on his own with no help from me, and I am grateful for that.
Yesterday on the way home, MBA Son was talking about school when he said, “Mommy, my friend is going to have twin baby sisters any day now. And that’s our homework.”
“What?” I asked.
“Yes, for our homework tonight we have to give my friend advice on being a big brother.”
“What?” I asked again, even louder, this time my jaw dropping. “What if your friends don’t have little brothers or sisters? Do they have to complete this homework?”
Look, I am sure this assignment was well-intentioned on the part of his teacher. However, for me this one ripped off a band aid that had been glued on nicely for the better part of three years. If this assignment had been given to my son exactly four years ago, I am sure my IVF hormone-crazed self, would have given his teacher an earful. That was IVF cycle number 1 for MBA Toddler, and IVF cycle number 2 for me. I wanted MBA Son to have a sibling but for a long time that looked like that wasn’t going to happen. It really almost didn’t.
But let’s forget about siblings for a minute. What if MBA Son were simply MBA Only Child by choice? There is a small but very vocal group of families in the one-and-done camp. This is not a fair assignment for them.
But now let’s forget about children altogether for a minute. Why was one child’s family singled out? This child’s name was used on the assignment. Now, it’s very possible the teacher obtained permission from the family but to me the larger issue here has to do with the topic itself. Why are we as a society so fascinated by anything having to do with babies, especially for celebrities? I am sure many of the other families in my son’s class have done some very exciting and interesting things over the course of the school year, but you wouldn’t know. This is the first time a child’s family has been featured for a homework assignment, and it’s because new babies are involved.
I might email the teacher and inquire as to the impetus of the assignment but again, I do believe it was well-intentioned so I probably will just let it go.
Have your elementary school children brought home homework that was too personal for your liking?
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