Monday, August 6, 2012

Homework: Helping to Make Round Pegs Fit in Square Holes

"Homework may be the single greatest extinguisher of children's curiosity that we have yet invented."

This quote comes from the video below.   I agree wholeheartedly with its message.

When my eldest was approaching kindergarten age, we lived in a subdivision with a school within walking distance.  It was actually right in our neighborhood.  Sidewalks from our front yard led straight to it, and every day I watched streams of my neighbors' children flow there and back.  They were so cute!  I loved watching them every day.  However, talking with their parents about the day-to-day expectations of the school convinced me that I didn't want my children to go.

One of my main concerns was the homework.  They had loads of it.  They even had science projects in kindergarten!  This sounds impressive to a lot of people, but I soon realized that the parents were the ones who were bringing the science projects to fruition, not the children.  The pressure to get the homework and the projects done in the limited amount of free family time caused a lot of tension between the parents and the children.

I saw that the school was reaching into the home and robbing the parents of their right to direct the children's after-school time.  And even this was not enough.  Nationally, movements to keep the children in school year-round re-surfaced on a regular basis, on the false assumption that if the system used to educate children wasn't working well, the solution was to add more hours to that system.  At least that was the reason given.  I think the real reason is that the government wants to be the primary influence in our children's lives, so the less time at home, the better.  It wants all the children to think the same, to be predictable, and submissive.  Having free time gives children the opportunity to become individuals, to discover what their interests are and develop them, even if those interests are not going to channel them into college, which has been set up as the path that must be followed to "SUCCESS".  Of course success is narrowly defined as something that will allow you to get a "good" job at a place that provides "good" benefits.  This is usually not going to be self-employment.  It is going to be a corporation.  The corporations with the best benefits are usually the multi-national ones.  This means that they have a cozy relationship with the government.  They will provide all the social "training", otherwise known as indoctrination, that the government regulations require, through programs on sexual harassment, affirmative action, etc.

And it all starts with a little worksheet.


Anonymous said...

Yes! That was absolutely my experience of homework. But you'll never defeat the homework lobby.

Wendy Haught said...

Never say never! :)