I just finished reading what could be considered a perfect companion book to the Free-Range Kid movement, The ztybnadnit
Case Against Homework by Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish. Lenore has blogged about this before, and Sara’s terrific website stophomework is on Lenore’s blog roll. In a nutshell: Bennett and Kalish state that there is little or no correlation between homework given in elementary and middle school and increased scholastic achievement. And health professionals state very clearly that children should be outside PLAYING and not spending time indoors doing schoolwork. As a matter of fact, some of the actual homework “incidents” mentioned in the book would make your hair curl—four hours or more of homework each night for example. The authors clearly present the issue, discuss facts, and advise parents about how to bring sanity back into their children’s lives. If you do have a too-much-homework issue, this book will be your champion and your guide.
What struck me most about the real-life stories, though, was how many moms and dads are allowing hours and hours of homework eat up their children’s childhood—as if it just isn’t under their control. As a society it seems that we have forgotten how to be parents; we are letting “systems”—be it after-school sports, media, toy companies, or schools—parent for us. So next time your child sighs and lugs his/her backpack to the “well-lit, quiet homework space”, say, “Forget about it! Go outside! I’ll write you a note!”
This is my last post; Lenore will be back starting tomorrow. Thanks so much for listening to a slightly different perspective on the very important Free-Range Kid movement! –The Deputy