The homework myth
Original post made by Menlo mother on Mar 7, 2007
It seems to me they have a thoughtful and well-reasoned policy on limiting homework for young children.
As the mother of a future Oak Knoll kindergartner, I wasn't aware of the homework policy until I saw it on the news. After reading Principal Ackerman's letter Web Link
I am even more pleased to be sending my child to Oak Knoll.
I'm sure that the school gets plenty of grief about the policy from pushy parents with an eye to their first-grader's ivy league college applications, but personally, I am this close to sending Ackerman a fruit basket and a thank-you note.
By the way, I think the Alfie Kohn book he's quoting is "The Homework Myth." (Read about it here Web Link but buy it at Kepler's!)
on Mar 7, 2007 at 4:55 pm
Principal Ackerman and the school district didn't "backpedal on the homework ban" because THERE NEVER WAS A HOMEWORK BAN. The specific directions that Principal Ackerman provided in his email to parents last fall about the future of homework (emphasize reading as the primary homework activity for young children, don't assign homework for homework's sake, don't go over the district time limits, etc.) are entirely consistent with the district's homework policy which has been in place for several years. The only news media that has actually gotten the story right is The Almanac.
on Mar 7, 2007 at 5:03 pm
This comment is neither here nor there, but is about homework in elementary school.
My chief memory from first grade is the smell of heated yellow paper with blue lines.
I never completed my arithmetic homework. Instead, I balled up the partially done assignments and stuffed them into my desk. Don't ask me why; I don't remember. I was just ornery.
The nun who was teaching the class eventually discovered this undone work and made take it home and complete it. My mother ironed every one of them and handed them off to me to finish. It was a rueful day for me. And I don't know if I learned anything.
I was never a good student and never liked school. I still can't stand entering a classroom as a student.
on Mar 8, 2007 at 11:04 am
Mr Man - I had to laugh at your story of balling up the homework in first grade as that was so reminiscent of my own experience. I remember thinking very clearly that all of the "make work" was just stupid and pointless.
That all worked out fine until my parents looked through my desk at teacher night parent conference. My dad came home and lost it yelling at me.
After that I learned to clean out my desk and remove my name from any assignments getting tossed in the trash prior to my parents coming to school.
I guess it worked out ok, I still graduated from college and grad school with high honors and went on to earn a reasonable eight digit net worth.