I am a mother AND a special education teacher. My 5 yo son is in kindergarten this year, at the school where I teach, which is really nice! We get to see one another through the day.
He is enrolled in the afterschool program, which is run on site at school by a non-profit organization. It is a grant-funded program that is nationwide. My son gets a homework packet to complete every week, due on Friday. In my mind, that means that he brings it home on Monday and, through the week, his dad and I get to work with him on developing homework habits and to see what he is learning.
The afterschool program, however, has homework time, and offers their own "Rainbow Bucks" to kids who get their homework done there - not at home. They can earn 2 bucks per page of finished homework, which they can trade in for prizes on Fridays. I just found out about this policy. Until now, I have made sure to bring his homework packet home with me on Mondays, circumventing the issue altogether - the afterschool program teacher is also his kindergarten aide in the morning, so she has that continuity with the kids into the afternoon. She has been providing Hayes with a different packet to work on while the other kids are doing their "homework" with her! So no problem, but today, my son saw that I had left his homework packet in my classroom by accident, and was adamant that he should take it with him to class, so that he could work on it in the afterschool program and earn those Rainbow Bucks.
I had to go to the teacher with this -- she is a colleague. It seems so crazy to have to fight for the right to parent my child and support homework at home, but that is what I am doing! As a teacher, it frustrates me, too, because now our school culture around homework is that parents expect it to be done at the afterschool program.
Our compromise is that the teacher will print a SECOND packet for Hayes to take home and do with us, to turn in on Fridays. He will do the homework packet in his folder at the afterschool program for the Rainbow bucks. So....double homework.
If we didn't need the child care, and if Hayes wasn't getting alot out of the program socially, I would definitely pull him out.
I want to address this issue with the program coordinator, but I don't want to be snippy or negative....any suggestions from other moms on how to approach? It's awkward, because I work with these people.