At the beginning of the school year, Kristi, the mother of a second grader in public school in Indianapolis, IN, refused to sign a “pledge” that she would do hours of homework with her child. Here’s what she did, why, and the outcome:
I refuse to sign a homework pledge
In the first week of school my child brought home a “pledge” for her and me to sign together. In this “pledge”, I was to do at least 3 hours of homework a night with my daughter. My daughter is in second grade and I found that profoundly idiotic, especially considering that she isn’t even released from school until 3:40 pm and is usually in bed by 8:30 pm to get the proper amount of sleep. There is no possible way for her to complete 3 hours of homework, nor is it necessary.
Needless to say, I refused to sign it.
They made a big fuss but, I stood my ground.
Unfortunately, she attends an inner-city school and they are more concerned about test scores and grant funding than making school a fun learning environment. I don’t want to move because of the school district and was willing to give them a chance. I have lived with their outrageous rules and regulations since Kindergarten and I’m fed up with demands. I read with my child nightly, she has a library card and we go weekly together, and she also is in a book club. We do flash cards and spend tons of time on Wikipedia learning about things that interest her. I feel she gets more out of that time with me than going to school but, like many mothers out there, I can’t stay home and teach her myself.
The Principal and her teacher both fussed at me regarding not signing the “pledge”. After several attempts to talk me into it, I still refused and they eventually gave up. Of course, they tried to say that this “pledge” is a district mandate and everyone must sign it. I simply told them that it was not my mandate and it was never discussed with me or any other parent who sends their child to a school in this district. Therefore, I would not sign it and there was nothing that they could say to make me change my mind. I also interjected that I could not teach my daughter to uphold her morals, beliefs and values if I did not do the same by example. I believe that statement is what hit home for the Principal and is partially the reason why she eventually dropped the issue. My daughter is a very successful second-grader and has proven as such by being a honor roll recipient and has had no issues in keeping up with her peers in the classroom. She’s achieved this accomplishment as well as receiving Good Citizenship and Perfect Attendance awards and did so without doing three hours of homework every evening.
I would say to all the other parents out there that it is time for us to stand up and tell the schools that we want change. The only way that this can be accomplished is for each one of us to take an active part in knowing what and how our children are being taught.