The Obligatory Winter Vacation Homework Post

Winter vacation as a kid in the US involved a lot of staying up too late and eating too many sweets with people from the various churches my father pastored. He’d get lots of homemade sweets and, invariably, every year at least one giant tin of popcorn.

Winter vacation in Japan is… less vacationy. We have people over for Christmas (on which I let my kids stay home, rebel that I am.) We might go to one party at a friends’. But what really puts the damper on any fun one might have is homework.

It’s oppressive.

Not just because of the amount, which this year consists of 14 worksheets (2 per day,) reading, and caligraphy homework. It’s the fussiness of it all.

You just don’t do homework while lying on your bed, kicking your feet to the rhythms of New Kids on the Block while simultaneously admiring your new friendship bracelet. No, at the Hamakko house at least, it’s a big frickin’ production.

Today, Me First did his caligraphy homework with the PILs. He had three pieces of paper from school, with instructions to bring in the best one.

The in-laws start off by covering their table in newspaper (understandable,) then propping Me First up on several cushions until he is 3/4 inches higher than he was to start with. Then giving him a blanket. (?) After that, they made him practice several times before letting him use the paper he brought from school. Then coached him on approaching the blank paper with proper feeling. And some yelling about sitting up straight.

All in all, this particular fiasco cost an hour and a couple of tears.

And people wonder why I don’t get the Japanese relatives to help with homework…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. chrysanthemummum
    Jan 02, 2014 @ 19:32:50

    There is definitely no joy in learning in Japan.

    We got no winter homework because I didn’t send the kids in to school (or hoikuen) for Christmas week. Nothing was sent home either as normally happens when you are off school.

    All the best for 2014. Hang in there!


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