Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Homework Myth

This year, Jack has had a homework packet every week. It contains 10-14 worksheets that duplicate the work he does in the classroom. I tried to inspire him to do it at the beginning of the year but he was very resistant. Ryan got so desperate he bribed him with screen time and I said, 'no way' to that even though Jack was very interested in the trade. So, I stopped bugging Jack about it and he doesn't do it.

His teacher does not love this and told me next year there may be consequences for not doing the homework. I have been preparing for a fight .. in the form of a discussion of course .. with the 1st grade teacher and principal next year. I read Alfie Kohn's book, The Homework Myth. He analyzes all the research around homework in the elementary grades which proved that doing more school work at home does not improve school performance or character (self-discipline, wisdom through suffering or whatever other reason adults believe the value of homework to be).

Fortunately for me, I learned recently that I am not the only parent whose child doesn't do the homework. The other mom is an ivy-league educated UW law professor (score!).  She feels passionately (and she is as articulate and intense as you suspect) that the homework our kindergartners are given is a waste of time. The kids are little and doing fine and even if they weren't, this homework would not help.  She said that we can unite next year against any punitive measures the first grade teachers may consider.

I feel like I won the rebel parent lottery.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

On wheels

While I am trying to always accept my children for who they are, I admit that I insist they learn to ride a bike and like it (dammit). I push cycling like Joe Montana probably pushed football. Sonia will not ride the scoot bike that Jack loved but she is into the scooter so we go with that. Today we are having summertime weather so we went to South lake Union around MOHAI to ride. I'd like to say that glorious fun was had by all. It was not. Sonia complained most of the time which is her MO these days. Jack had fun though.