Homework?

I think John Spencer has many great things to say, but this blog post is incredible: “A Week without Homework Challenge.”

In this, he proposes teachers take a week where they assign no homework. Tweet about it at #weekwithouthomework, check out the Facebook group, and see the Google doc he started.

I wish we could get back all the time we’ve struggled with my daughter, in particular, over homework. She has hated homework since 1st grade. Spelling practice, math drills, worksheets. I totally agree with the premise of this concept that learning at home or working at home is fine. It all depends on who is initiating the work.

For example, I’ve never seen her work harder than she did doing a History Day project. She had a topic that fascinated her. She was able to demonstrate her knowledge in a medium that works for her (she made a 10-minute documentary, as opposed to another multiple choice test.) She loved doing that project, and it showed in the outcome. The multiple choice tests? math tests? spelling tests? not so much.

They mention the parent struggles. We’ve fought with her, we’ve accused her of being lazy, unfocused, and more. I’m not proud of that.It’s been an issue in our family for years. Yet, I watch her doing the things she loves- she’s incredibly focused, works very hard. We always joked that my kids learned more in the summer camps where they were allowed to explore their passions.

Tomorrow, Sunday, she will probably spend 8-10 hours doing homework. We’ll argue, I’ll feel stressed because she’s not done. And what does it get her? another multiple choice test. What does it keep her from? It keeps her from focusing on her music, it keeps her from spending time with family, from getting outside to ride her bike and help with the yard. In the end, it defeats her spirit. And why? “To be ready for college” is what all her teachers would say.

So, please keep up this no homework movement. As a parent, I thank you. I wish my kids were in your classes!

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