In November, I wrote about how Jodie Leidecker, a mother of two from Berea, Kentucky, who has been involved in the movement to save recess, had started to organize other parents to see about getting a low or no homework policy in her district. (You can read the previous entries here and here.)The principal wrote to her to tell her that there was already a homework policy in place, but invited her to a meeting of the Site Council the following day to discuss the issue further. There, they talked about surveying the parents to find out current attitudes on homework.
About a month later, Jodie heard again from the principal. He told her that the Board was leaning towards not surveying the parents, but again he invited her to give him “her perspective.” So Jodie wrote to him:
My perspective is that we would be losing a valuable and needed survey that would give us great insight and help improve our children’s school experience. I know that many parents are concerned about this issue. Our policy is bare-bones and leaves much to interpretation, but why should we settle for merely adequate when we can make all kinds of progressive, family-friendly changes? We could even try a two-week no homework period if all parties agree. There is so much we can do to support our kids and I strongly believe that we should make all efforts to do so. The question we should be asking is not “Isn’t this good enough?” but “Is there something more we can do to improve the lives (and learning) of the kids we are serving?” Revamping the homework policy is one way we can show the kids of BCHS and their families that our school is responsive to their needs and willing to go the extra mile for them.
Apparently the principal was convinced by Jodie’s response; he invited her to the next monthly site-based council meeting for further discussion of the issue.
One thought on “Moms (and Dads) on a Mission–Even more from Berea, Kentucky”
The years of middle school – 5th through 8th grade, was the biggest nightmare of my life when my daughter was in school. She brought home stacks of books every night, and I struggled for hours to get her to do it. Only to find out at the end of the term that the assignments were never handed in, because it was too hard to walk up to the teacher’s desk and turn in an assignment. Between 7th & 8th grades, I finally had her tested to find out that she was Inattentive ADHD, despressed, with mild schizophrenia. I found out what I needed to do to work with the school, and asked them (as required by law) to work with her. Finally, half-way through the year, I allowed her to be home schooled, although as a working single mom, I didn’t know how she would manage to do it on her own. I also told her that she would have to take the test at the end of the school year, and if she didn’t pass it, she would have to go back to school. She loved it, and excelled in all her studies, and passed the test with flying colors. When she started high school, it was a completely different story. Class times were longer, so she was able to complete her assignments at school and therefore had no homework.I don’t believe that homework is beneficial to learning. If teachers can’t teach children what they need to know in the 7+ hours they have them every day, they’re not teaching them right. My daughter was bright and loved learning in elementary school, but the enormous load homework caused her in middle school turned her off from school so completely that she never finished high school, with only a couple of credits left, and is completely against going to college. instead, she is doing an on-line writing college course where she can learn on her own, at her own speed.