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!