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5 thoughts on “Forums

  1. I am looking for ideas for how to approach the homework question through the PTA.
    There are quite a few parents fed up with homework in the first grade our twin sons attend. I don’t know if those parents would go so far as to voice their concerns in public, but I want to try to leverage that discontent into some concrete reductions in homework. Any ideas on how to form a committee? Who should be on a committee? Should I start out with an anti-homework group of parents, or include everyone interested in the question, pro- and anti, including teachers and parents?

    Also, what would the goal of a committee be? Would we try to recommend guidelines for homeowrk? Or just clarify mutual expectations? (When I mentioned in a PTA meeting that our six year-old boys spent 40 minutes on math homework the night before, the embarassed math teacher came up to me afterwards and told me that is that is the case just don’t do it. I had not wanted to put her on the spot, but it was certainly news to me that it was optional).
    Any ideas would be much appreciated


  2. I am trying this very thing right now at my children’s school in Canada. I am a member of our version of the PTA, and have brought the homework issue up at meetings now for over a year. On a positive note, homework is now on the agenda every time, the principal has done a lot of thinking, has helped to mediate parent teacher conflicts over homework and is starting to think about how to rein it in. The problem, for me, now lies with the teachers (95% of them in a recent school poll believed that homework was important, which indicates to me that they haven’t done any research) and parents. I am up against a faction of parents who want more, not less, homework for their children in the misguided notion that their kids will be getting ahead. Too bad they haven’t done their reading…

    I have also organized an anti-homework group of parents. We have met and composed a letter to the principal. In the original meeting we had some pro and con parents present (which can make for balanced debate), but obviously only the anti-homework parents will be signing the letter requesting an elimination of all homework except for nightly reading.

    If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend that you read Sara’s book. I thought it was great, gave some very good starting points and could well be used to demonstrate to others the issues around homework.

    Best of luck,



  3. Thanks for the useful comments. I am interested in why you have exempted nightly reading from a proposed ban? I find it the only homework which we all seem to enjoy? Just wondering if there is some correlation between that fact and some other reason for not trying to eliminate it too.


  4. Thanks for this site! I have had enough! My seven year old has seven pages of homework and 15 minutes of reading in third grade! I am seeing the same problems in my home that I hear from the families I see in my private psychotherapy practice.

    There is no time left for family activities, the children are tired and frustrated and so are the parents.

    I am thinking of starting a parents action group in my community and will be visiting this website often. I look forward to reading your book.

    Thank you,


  5. I have to tell ya, this is utterly ridiculous. Stopping homework??? Why? This country has gotten so lazy. Look how spoiled the kids are these days. Cell phones, Ipods, DVD players in a car.. A CAR! All of us (parents) had homeork, same load, same time,same kind. We did it. Our parents didnt start coalitions and picket lines trying to ban it. It was for our own good. What are your kid gonna do in college and high school? Work load is ten times stronger there then it is in elementary schools. You are giving your children the message that when an authority figure says to do something, they dont have to if its too hard. Difficulty is a part of life. Hard work is a part of life. They need to learn it now. I am not saying I have my children doing push ups or cleaning my entire house or not being there for them during difficult life decisions. But I do give them the freedom to make their own choices. Because here will be a time that Mommy and Daddy won’t be aorund to do it for them. Stop complaining, sit next to your child and help them. Do not let them whine and cy their way out of it. My mother not once told me “its ok honey if its too hard just leave it blank, ill tell the teacher” No, if I had trouble, she helped me. At one point she got me a tutor when it just got to be too much. Yes, we pay these teachers. Let them do their job. Do your job as a parent and back them up on it. Obviously they got this work for a reason. Find out what it is before thinking their trying to enslave your child. This country is lazy and thats the bottom line. Soon everyone will be out of jobs beause we will have lazy people making robots to do all the work for them. And all because “I didnt have to do my homework”.


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