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!