Let My Children Work

I just finished reading Let My Children Work, by John Blessington, who I was lucky enough to have lunch with several weeks ago. Blessington, the one-time head of the Whitby School in Greenwich, Connecticut–a school that revived the Montessori method in the United States–wrote Let My Children Work in 1974. (It was re-issued in 1999.) His book provides a wonderful critique of education and homework that still feels fresh today. Here’s how one of the chapters begins:

Let’s make a real distinction between the teaching functions of home and school. Homework is a farce. It is ill assigned, poorly designed, thoughtlessly and subjectively corrected or discarded; it wastes class or teacher-child relationship time; it causes cheating at home and in school; and the lies about it abound.

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