Today I am highlighting a Comment posted by a former teacher:
I don’t remember what bunny trail led me to your blog, but I have a few general comments.
I am a former public school teacher who started teaching at age 21. I hate to admit it, but for 8 years or so, I was so clueless. I was the kind of teacher that, as a mom, I would now hate!
What did I do that was so bad? Upon reflecting, it was assigning STUPID “projects”. Most of the time, the ridiculous projects ended up being homework. Why did I assign them? Did I ever think about whether they provided any real educational benefit? I don’t know and no. What I DO remember thinking about was how great a particular project was going to make my room look! I actually thought that having all these projects made ME look like a great teacher! Ugh!
Fast forward to my having kids and subsequently making me THINK about what was important-my husband and I decided we would homeschool our children. (He’s a gifted, insightful, award winning and well-loved educator who HATES homework, as well.) I am not writing to persuade you on homeschooling, but to merely affirm that 1. extra time does NOT equal more understanding and 2. kids absolutely need to play and have down time. My 4th grade son spends about 5-51/2 hours on school each day – and this includes 2 hours of reading (which he LOVES). The rest of the time, it’s play. His scores on standardized tests are exceptional, and he is 2-3 “grade” levels ahead in all subjects.
Now, I don’t think that his (as well as his sibling’s) academic success is due is to his being exceptionally smart. I truly believe his success is due to our “less is more” philosophy, and his being given time to simply be a hard-playing, inquisitive child. I know without a doubt that his love for reading and learning would be squashed if he were to have the work load of his friends that are in the schools around us.
I am not sure where I am going with all this, or why I even took time out to comment, but I wanted to let you know that I applaud you in your efforts to curb homework and worthless, silly, time-consuming assignments (which, as you saw from my own experience, is what most homework turns out to be.). Unfortunately, there are more out of touch educators than you would care to believe. And I can say that because I used to be one.