When I was a kid back in the seventies, I remember my days of trying to do homework. Every day after school, I remember trying to do homework in what I like to think of now as "swimming against the tide”. To me that meant, trying to do homework and study amist the chaos going on in my home life.
I realize that I was no different from my friends and most kids in the world. We all had to do our homework in a home filled with the everday stresses of our familes and life. Some homes were more stressful or less stressful than others. And some kids were lucky enough to have parents that respected study and encouraged their children to do well in school.
I remember thinking those kind of kids probably came from families where the mother and father were doctors or lawyers or scientists. Surely those kinds of parents understood the importance of giving a child a quiet supportive place to study.
When I was young, I remember feeling resentful that I always had to try to study in the midst of whatever chaos was going on at the moment. Looking back, I remember my parents as two loving and good people, but I do wish I had a peaceful place to study when I was growing up.
Back then I knew deep down inside that studying in this manner was not good for me or my education. Somewhere in my mind I promised myself that when I had kids, I would make things different for them. I would treat homework and study as a special thing, and give my own kids a special quiet positive place so that they could actually find peace and think about what they were reading and learning.
My own experiences swimming against the tide continued until I went to college, when I learned I could go to the campus library for some peace and to actually comprehend what I was reading.
All of this was brought into my mind recently when I talked on the phone with my eight year old nephew who I love more than anything. I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was working on a science project.
I could hear the stress in his little voice as he struggled to do this homework in the midst of chaos going on around him in his house. Ahhhhhhhhh I thought to myself, he is swimming against the tide, just like I was once upon a time. I felt bad for him and wished I could do something to help him and other children just like him.
I think that all children need a sacred space to study, a place they can be at peace to think and read and understand homework. Having parents that support learning, education and the need for all of this means the difference between succeeding in school and failing.
Having parents that support education is so important. This kind of support helps children to actually enjoy the process of studying and learning and advancing to higher education and a great job as the years go by.
If you an adult at this point in time, you are probably like me and most of the world, in that you did not have this kind of support growing up. But it is very possible to give to your children a special place and time to help them study and learn every day, so that they can feel good about themselves and grow to their potential. It doesnt matter what is going on in your home life, a studying space is still possible as everyday stress is a normal part of life.
It is my hope that more parents will create positive quiet places for their children to study. Even better are the parents that take the time out of their busy lives to sit down, help with the homework, talk as a friend to their children, get to know them and what they like. Its parents like this that children love and cherish for a lifetime.