Today’s post is an op-ed published in the Contra Costa Times on November 15. It’s written by Kerry Dickinson, who was Monday’s’s guest blogger.
Homework is Culprit
by Kerry Dickinson
I was both thrilled and perplexed with the front page article “Healthy development tied to nature” on Nov. 8. I’m thrilled because our family loves being outdoors and we know that nature is good for the mind, body and soul. I’m delighted that this article promotes riding one’s bike or walking to local schools and stores. That’s great for the environment as well as for one’s own health.
I am perplexed, however, that the writer mentioned video games as one of the main reasons kids stay indoors. It’s true that after school activities such as video games, sports, or music lessons do take up a considerable amount of time, time that could be spent playing outdoors. But let’s not ignore the fact that children are spending one to three hours on homework after school each night and sometimes more on the weekends. Add homework to after school activities and it’s easy to see why children spend so little time outdoors.
As parents we have a choice about our children’s extracurricular activities. But we DON’T have a choice about the homework they are given. I would much rather send my boys outside to play after school than nag them about doing their homework.
Imagine a time when you came home from school and the first question out of your mother’s mouth was “Who are you going to play with today?” instead of, “How much homework do you have today?” Chances are, that time was 30 years ago when you were a kid.