This coming Monday is the first Monday in December. As suggested in The Case Against Homework, and in this blog on October 2 and November 6, I recommend that every parent send a note to her/his children’s teachers, administrators, or School Board members on the first Monday of every month.
Over the Thanksgiving break, I heard from several parents and students complaining about the amount of work that had to be done. Why not try to stop the winter vacation homework your child will get before it’s assigned? Why not have a conversation such as the one on page 205 in The Case Against Homework:
PARENT: I was wondering whether youâ€™re planning to assign homework over [the winter vacation]. Iâ€™m asking because last year Georgia got homework over Christmas break and it really ruined it. She had to drag her books to her grandparentsâ€™house and do homework while the rest of us were playing games and socializing. She didnâ€™t even have time for our family tradition of caroling around the neighborhood.
TEACHER: Well, I always assign a project during vacation. It gives the students lots of extra time to work on itâ€”and itâ€™s supposed to be fun.
PARENT: It might seem like the extra time is helping the kids, but it often has the opposite effectâ€”at least for my child. It just hangs over her head for the entire vacation. In our family, vacation time is sacred. So weâ€™ve decided that weâ€™re not going to allow Georgia to do any homework during the break. If you must assign a project, could you please give us enough notice so that Georgia can complete hers before the break or do it once she returns?
TEACHER: Iâ€™ve never had a parent object to vacation homework before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Iâ€™ll think about it and let you know.
PARENT: Thanks, I would appreciate thatâ€”and I think all the other parents will,too. Iâ€™m sure everyone would be happier with a homework-free vacation, and the kids would return refreshed and ready to go back to work.
If you have a conversation, write an email, or take some other kind of action, please let me (and other parents) know what you did by posting in the forum under the topic “First Monday”. If you put something in writing, please post a sample and the response you get as well.