Welcome back to Stop Homework. I’ve enjoyed the respite from blogging, just as many of you have enjoyed a homework-free summer.
Over the summer, I received a grant from a non-profit foundation to help fund my stop homework project. This is fantastic news, because it allows me to devote more time to helping all of you change homework policy and practice.
Also, the paperback version of The Case Against Homework arrived in bookstores last week. This is also great news, because the book is now more affordable.
And one more piece of good news: Washington Post reporter, Jay Mathews, who calls himself “Mr. Homework,” wrote an article in early August calling for an end to homework for elementary school students. Considering that earlier last year Mathews denounced the message of The Case Against Homework, it was exciting to see him change his mind. Let’s hope other pro-homework people change their minds as well.
3 thoughts on “Welcome Back to Stophomework.com”
I am now reading your book “The Case Against Homework” and I am, though I find it sad to say, heartened to find support to my third grade son’s current experiences in an expensive private school.
His current teacher is notorious for giving excessive homework and projects. Though I’m told that she has cut it way down this year, it is still at least an hour and usually an hour and a half a night. Even on so called “Family Nights” when no homework is to be assigned, he has to do some work on a weekly “due Friday” project otherwise the other nights would be two hours of homework.
She has stopped teaching him multiplication. I have to do this at home, so that she can “test” him. She tests by having each student stand up in front of the class and “perform” the number they’re on and if they get it done under 30 seconds then they have “passed” and it’s written in a book. And they get to add a new paper element on a paper “sundae” posted on a bulletin board. So everyone knows where everyone else is at with regard to their multiplication tables.
I’m told by parents of her former students AND by other teachers in the school just to “grin and bear it” because fourth and fifth grade are so much better. However, I am watching my son lose his love of learning, begin to hate school, already hates homework and be humiliated in front of his class by his teacher. My husband and I are paying for this. I am stunned by the lack of interest in the other parents and the response of “Oh well. It’s just one grade. They are the experts.”
Today he was told that he was only allowed to go home this one time due to being sick because he did not have a fever. He can only go home if he has a fever. And he was told this in front of his class in a way that was humiliating. At this I did speak up with the assistant head (the head was busy on a telephone interview). But I want to ask you, isn’t this illegal? To prevent a child from going home when they are ill? Our pediatrician confirmed that a fever need not be present when a child is ill.
(We live in Southern California and our new school head comes from a heavy high school and jr high background. She still does not “get” the younger kids and approaches issues as if they were older).
Thank you for your excellent book with Nancy Kalish.
Oh, also I wondered, has anyone anywhere brought suit against a school for violation of child labor laws? They are strictly enforced in California when children work on set as actors. I would think this could be applied to a school, especially a for profit school.
Hi L.J. Show,
As far as I know, it’s not illegal to prevent a child from going home when s/he’s ill, but it is a crazy policy, and one I would definitely take up with your school’s administration.
Also, as far as I know, no one has yet brought a suit against a school for violation of child labor laws, but someone has to be the first. The only lawsuit around homework that I’m aware of is one brought by a high schooler in Wisconsin over summer homework. That case was dismissed.
I hope you can find at least a few other parents who share your concerns. It’s lonely when you’re the only one.
I hope you are able to use the ideas in The Case Against Homework to talk to your child’s teacher. If you try them, and you don’t get anything you’re looking for, feel free to email me directly and I’d be happy to brainstorm with you by telephone.
I have read your book on The Case Against Homework. You have added some valid points in favour and also against the homework and assignments that the students have to deal with on daily basis.
I must say, it gives one a different perspective altogether