Tuesday, April 8, 2008
My friend over at Smiles and Trials recently wrote a post titled Pro-Homework. I have been thinking about it for several days now, and wanted to write a friendly rebuttal. The funny thing is, though I have a completely opposite viewpoint, I found myself agreeing with many of the points she made. That's the wonderful thing about parenting... so many styles, and so many ways to make things work.
Many of our friends are shocked to learn how anti-homework we are here in Fitzville. I mean, we are a two teacher family... what gives? But honestly, I think our backgrounds in education is a big part of why we are so anti-homework. We have lived the day to day school life with these kids, and know how hard they work... why pile on more on top of that? As kids get older, I do understand the need for studying and reinforcing, but when they are young... the grade school years... I just don't see the point. If my child is struggling in any area, I am very open to the teacher talking with me about it, and I will help reinforce at home. But so much of the work that is sent home are mindless worksheets.
Our main reason for being anti-homework is that there are way to many other cool things for our kids to be doing other than more schoolwork. Like building forts... or catching bugs... or fighting with their siblings. Seriously.... there is a lot to be learned while fighting with a sibling! The fine art of negotiation, compromise, debate, logic... an entire curriculum could be built around sibling squabbles.
Last spring, I met with Pipo's teachers and the principal of the school he would be moving up to. We talked about the progress he had made, and what we would want for him in the coming year. Many suggestions were made about things we could do with him over the summer. I took this conversation to heart, and honestly meant to follow up on these suggestions. Honestly... I swear! But time got away from us, and summer is so much fun, and there are so many cool things going on... besides the fact that we spend a decent amount of time in the world's coolest place ever. As school approached, I got a little nervous that I hadn't broken out a single flashcard, or given him any writing assignments, or even had him read any of the recommended books. But a funny thing happened when school started. His teachers came to me raving about the amount of progress he had made over the summer. "What did you do with him? He has come so far!" Nothing more than letting him be a good old fashioned kid for the summer. All that learning comes from places beyond the books. And those are the places I am interested in showing my kids after school... not extending their school days.