First Monday

Today is the first Monday in May. As suggested in The Case Against Homework, and in this blog every month when I remember, I recommend that every parent send a note expressing her/his views on homework to teachers, administrators, or School Board members on the first Monday of every month.

Today is the perfect time to let your children’s teachers/principals know how you feel about summer homework. It will give them time to think about it and time for you to have a discussion with them. You can use some of the information here as fodder for why a vacation is so important. Now is also a good time to find out what your school’s policy is on summer homework. (A few years ago, I co-authored an op-ed for The New York Times on summer homework. After the op-ed was published, I found out that the student who’d been assigned the most homework of all actually came from a school that had a policy against summer homework.)

4 Comments on “First Monday”

  1. northTOmom says:

    It’s funny, I didn’t know about the recommendation to write a note on the first Monday of every month (though it’s a great idea), but I actually wrote a note to my daughters’ teacher this morning asking her for a meeting to discuss the number (and type) of projects she has assigned this term. As a family we are drowning in a hell of projects this spring.

    As for summer homework, I’m wondering if it’s an American (as opposed to Canadian) thing? I’ve never heard of it here, but my daughters’ American cousins always have summer homework, and my girls are appalled.

    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:11 am
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  2. PsychMom says:

    Yeah, this idea of summer homework was a new one to me too. There seems to be such concern about kids forgetting everything over the summer…but that belief system is only valid if you consider school a cram factory. Do kids in Grade 2 go back to using diapers too for the summer? No. Do they need to start fresh with the alphabet in the Fall? No. Are the kids dreamy and fresh and not interested in listening to some boring teacher come Sept 1?….probably. And this leads the teachers to the conclusion that if they just keep the kids yolked for the summer as well, then they won’t have to spend 3 weeks beating them down again in the Fall….

    My daughter’s reading of chapter books booms in the summer when …..all of sudden, holy cow, she doesn’t HAVE to read anymore. If she follows the same pattern this summer as she did last summer, it’ll officially be a trend and therefore will require adjustments at school next fall. I don’t want her to stop that enthusiasm. So if this forced reading is shutting her down, I’m going to shut down the forced reading.

    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:29 am
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  3. FedUpMom says:

    PsychMom, excellent point. If the kids “forget” over a 10-week break, maybe they never really learned anything in the first place.

    So much of what gets “taught” and “learned” at school happens at a completely superficial level. Kids forget their vocabulary words and disconnected factoids the way I forget where I left my sunglasses. Do they forget things they actually use or care about? Of course not.

    May 4th, 2010 at 10:07 am
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  4. ödev says:

    It’s funny, I didn’t know about the recommendation to write a note on the first Monday of every month (though it’s a great idea), but I actually wrote a note to my daughters’ teacher this morning asking her for a meeting to discuss the number (and type) of projects she has assigned this term. As a family we are drowning in a hell of projects this spring.

    As for summer homework, I’m wondering if it’s an American (as opposed to Canadian) thing? I’ve never heard of it here, but my daughters’ American cousins always have summer homework, and my girls are appalled.

    June 23rd, 2011 at 11:23 am
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