Sep 13 2006

The Myth About Homework

Tag:Tag , Cyn @ 16:28

As the days go by, Katie’s time gets more and more pre­cious. I’m not the only one who is miss­ing lazy days of cud­dling up to do our lessons togeth­er at our own pace, doing as much as is need­ed and no more, then going on to Girl Scouts or dance or friends.

Every night, every week­end is full of more and more home­work. Some of it is very obvi­ous­ly work for the sake of assign­ing home­work. She has four class­es, and only two of the teach­ers assign home­work. I can’t begin to imag­ine when she’d sleep if she were tak­ing four “seri­ous” cours­es, but we’ll know next semes­ter, when she adds a third one.

So this arti­cle real­ly hit home. It’s some­thing we railed about when Sam’s chil­dren lived with us, and now it’s an issue for our fam­i­ly again.

Think hours of slog­ging are help­ing your child make the grade? Think again

Too much home­work brings dimin­ish­ing returns. Cooper’s analy­sis of dozens of stud­ies found that kids who do some home­work in mid­dle and high school score some­what bet­ter on stan­dard­ized tests, but doing more than 60 to 90 min. a night in mid­dle school and more than 2 hr. in high school is asso­ci­at­ed with, gulp, low­er scores.

I sup­pose it’s time to start cam­paign­ing, which means first get­ting involved in oth­er ways. You can’t walk in with a com­plaint and expect to be heard very well if you haven’t already estab­lished your­self as a pos­i­tive asset.


Aug 05 2006

Neat resource!

I was brows­ing through a mag­a­zine about writ­ing today and came across an arti­cle about online writ­ing labs (OWLs), sug­gest­ing that writ­ers make use of them as ref­er­ence tools.

I was dis­tract­ed, though, by this: Ink, “A Free, Mul­ti­play­er, Online Game for Writ­ing & Com­mu­ni­ty.”

Imag­ine that you’re surf­ing the Web and you dis­cov­er a site called Ink…You click Enter, and your brows­er loads a chat win­dow and the image of a cityscape. A cap­tion informs you that you are in the City Cen­ter. Almost imme­di­ate­ly, some­one notices that you’ve arrived and begins talk­ing with you in the chat win­dow. “Wel­come to Ink,” the stranger says. “This is a great place. But we have a prob­lem right now, and I’m hop­ing you can help. Our neigh­bor­hood isn’t doing well. We need to get a group of peo­ple togeth­er to address this prob­lem. Can you help us? We need to design a fli­er that will moti­vate peo­ple to come to a meet­ing where we can talk about this prob­lem. We need to draft a res­o­lu­tion that we can cir­cu­late to those who show up. We also need a brochure that explains why oth­er cit­i­zens should vote for our pro­pos­al. And we’re going to need a white paper to explain to City Coun­cil the prin­ci­ples that inform our pro­pos­al. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Can you help us?”
The pub­lic beta opens on August 15, and they’re doing this as a Cre­ative Com­mons project. I need to put that date on the cal­en­dar!