Advice Columnist Suggests Parents Define What They Want for Their Children’s Education

In an advice column in The Jackson Hole Star Tribune, Dr. Yvonne Fournier responds to a parent who is concerned about the homework overload her child gets at a “good” school. Dr. Fournier notes,

In many cases, the “good” schools have given students and their families a one-size-fits-all definition that makes “good education” synonymous with “more education.” Consequently, students at the “good” schools are given more homework, more tests and, often, more stress.

She goes on to suggest:

As you define “good education,” make two lists: one of everything a school should be and one of everything a school should not be. Consider what values you want for your child and what impression of learning you would like to instill. Here is a sample list:

I want a school that:

Teaches my child to love learning and teaches what he is ready to learn.

Offers structure with flexibility.

Praises my child for his work and effort.

Believes my child needs time with his family each evening.

Helps my child find his own special strengths.

I do not want a school that:

Treats my child as an adult.

Expects me to be my child’s math and spelling teacher.

Uses an accelerated curriculum to raise scores on standardized tests.

Next, you will need a list of questions to ask as you search for your own “good” school. For each point on your lists, you can create questions to determine if a school meets your criteria.

Finding a “good” school is like baking a cake. Decide which ingredients will make the very best cake, and then combine the right ingredients in the proper amounts. Do not fall for schools that offer the frosting and forget the cake.

3 thoughts on “Advice Columnist Suggests Parents Define What They Want for Their Children’s Education

  1. I am a retired teacher who worked in public schools for 35 years. During that time, I gave the minimum of 10 minutes per grade level and no homework on weekends and holidays. Believe me, I took a lot of heat from parents and other teachers.
    Now that there is data to prove that homework has little educational value, I feel that what I did was correct. Schools of education should discuss and evaluate the homework issue with the future teachers. Administrators and teachers should have workshops on this issue.

    Like

  2. I am a retired teacher who worked in public schools for 35 years. During that time, I gave the minimum of 10 minutes per grade level and no homework on weekends and holidays. Believe me, I took a lot of heat from parents and other teachers.
    Now that there is data to prove that homework has little educational value, I feel that what I did was correct. Schools of education should discuss and evaluate the homework issue with the future teachers. Administrators and teachers should have workshops on this issue.

    Like

  3. I sincerely hope that when Ms. Orazietti says she gave “10 minutes per grade level”, she was the ONLY teacher assigning homework to the students!

    If 4 high school teachers per day assigned 10 x 10 (100) minutes of homework per class, that would be over 6.5 hours of homework per day!

    I’m going to assume that this teacher was referring to elementary level classes with only one teacher. That would be homework of:
    1st grade = 10 minutes
    2nd = 20
    3rd = 30
    4th = 40
    5th = 50
    6th = 60 …. though even one hour of homework, or 120 minutes per day for a high school senior, seems excessive to me. If the schools can’t teach the kids in the 8 hours they already have them each day, why on earth would they think adding MORE studies would be of any benefit?

    Like

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