Thursday, October 18, 2007

More on the Case Against Homework

I'm finally getting back to a subject worth far more consideration than it gets, homework. About a year ago, I brought you the first part of an excellent article. Here's part two.

After listing (all of the bogus reasons) Why Schools Give Homework

1. It gets parents involved in their kids' education.

2. It gets younger kids used to the idea of doing homework.

3. Parents ask for more homework.

4. Happiness is bad for children.

5. Foreign kids do homework.

6. Homework teaches responsibility.

Orson Scott Card goes on to offer some very interesting insights;
Most teachers really want what's best for their students. Most of them don't realize -- because nobody has ever told them -- how useless homework is. All they need is a friendly conversation in which the parent and teacher are partners in finding a way for each child to have a good education and a happy childhood at the same time. They will be happy to lighten the load.

Here's the guiding principle: You don't try to force them to do things your way at school. They shouldn't try to force you to do things their way at home. Each of you should be master of your own domain. They only get to assign homework -- work done by your children in your home -- with your consent.

Few teachers and fewer school districts ever really think of it that way. That's all we need to do -- remind them that their legal and moral authority over our children ends with the final bell and the children's safe departure from school premises.

After that, we're responsible.

We're not employees of the school district. They're not our bosses. We don't have to do their bidding.

And no matter how much they love our kids, we love them more. They were our kids before they went to school, and they'll be our kids when they get out again. They're still our kids during all the years and days and hours in between.
We'll return to this issue again.

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