Each week, I get more and more email from parents around the country about how to handle homework problems. On occasion, if a person has a particularly difficult problem, I’ll answer their questions through a telephone conversation rather than just email.
I know there are a lot of other activists with ideas on how to change homework policy who can also provide advice and support. So, please post your suggestions, similar experiences, etc., in the comments.
NS and her husband, who live in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, have been meeting with their son’s middle school teachers and the school principal to try to reduce the homework load, but they aren’t having much luck. They have been discussing homework overload with their children’s teachers for years and, last summer, told the school that their fifth-grader would not do any summer homework. This year, though, they are having difficulty getting the middle school to reduce their son’s homework load and are unilaterally deciding which homework is worth their son’s time and which isn’t. At a recent meeting with their son’s teachers and the principal, the teachers had to admit that their son’s grades were reduced significantly because he hadn’t done much of the homework, but that if homework were not part of his grade, he would have received all A’s. Nevertheless, the school is now suggesting that their son be tested for a learning disability. These parents are also having trouble finding like-minded parents to join their efforts and are feeling a little isolated.
Is it possible that they live in a place where everyone else is comfortable with their children’s workloads, which, by the way, include weekend, vacation, and summer homework? Do you have any ideas of what they should do, how they can find other like-minded parents in their school of 1,500?
I suggested that she try writing a letter to her local newspaper to highlight the problem and to find other like-minded parents. Do you have any ideas? Do you have a sample letter you’ve written to your local newspaper?
Please click on the “Leave a comment” button below and help her out.