More from Suburban Chicago

In October, I posted a piece by Mary Sullivan, a freelancer writer and mother to two fifth graders and a seventh grader in suburban Chicago. She has her own webpage, Too Much Homework, where she recently wrote about opting out of homework after she read the stories that I had written about a family in Calgary, Canada, who opted out of homework.

Mary wrote to Harris Cooper–sometimes called “homework guru” and the person I hold responsible for 10-minutes of homework per grade per night even though his own research doesn’t show any correlation in the early grades to homework. Cooper told her:

I have no objection to this policy. I tell parents that if they have done their homework (e.g., provided a proper studying environment, seen to it that their child was doing homework diligently so any problems were with the amount or quality of assignments and not with study habits) and assignments are still a problem in their household they should approach the teacher about reductions.

You can read the rest of what he had to say, other comments about opting out of homework, and post your own comments here.

2 Comments on “More from Suburban Chicago”

  1. Mary Sullivan says:

    Thanks for the post, Sara. And thanks in advance to anyone who comments on the homework opt-out page, which was created specifically to provoke discussion. If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry–there’s just an approval process to thwart spam (not to edit content from legitimate commenters, of course).


    December 15th, 2009 at 10:34 am
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  2. Mary Sullivan says:

    ps The opt-out page also has a comment (under Parents Speak Up) from researcher Ken Kiewra, whose work was featured in Time mag —,8599,1918263,00.html — and elsewhere, in articles about how most parents are fine with HW volume. Prof. Kiewra’s comment on the opt-out page shows an interesting contrast between his findings as a researcher and his feelings as a parent.

    December 15th, 2009 at 11:34 am
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