Wednesday, September 19, 2012
My Kids' Life Without Homework
John Spencer posted a blog this morning titled, Homework and the Real World. I started to leave a comment but my comment grew into a blog post.
Every time I read post like this it reminds me why the school I send my kids to is awesome! In spite of the title of this post, last night my kids each had "homework". However, even though it could technically be called "homework", it is far from what would be considered traditional homework. They both had to spend time reading books of their choice. My seven year old is having some struggles with comprehension and his teacher suggested that we talk with him about the story after he reads to us.
My oldest son does a spelling test the first day of the week. Whatever words he misspells on Monday, he has to be able to spell by Friday. His teacher gives his ideas on ways he can learn the words he missed on Monday. My seven year old has spelling words too. He practices them every day. Not because he's forced to but because he wants to do well on his test. I never ask him to practice or remind him. It's not written in his agenda book. He just does it because he knows it will help him and I think he likes it when he spells all his words right.
Everything my kids do as "homework" are just suggestions. There are no real consequences if they don't do them. My wife or I initial our sons' agenda books each night to show that we've looked at it. It usually just has some announcements in it. Reminding us of an upcoming PTA meeting, a field trip, or the next family night.
My oldest son's teacher emails me weekly these awesome notes, like the one below, about how much joy she is getting out of teaching him. She puts notes in his agenda book about how hard he's working and how proud she is of him. She talks to us in person when he struggles. She probably has time to do all of this because she doesn't have to waste her time grading pointless homework.
When my kids get home, they get to be kids. They read, play, do chores, draw comics, smile, laugh, wrestle...you know...the things we wish all kids could do at home each night. They couldn't do those things if they went to a more traditional school that assigned homework every night. The other Friday my oldest son went over to his 8 year old friend's house after school. He was sent back home because his friend had too much homework. Think about that! An 8 year old...on a Friday night...had too much homework to play...
Teachers, I encourage you to check out The Teachers Against Homework page on Facebook and sign the Abolishing Homework Pledge!