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Homework, Kids and Basset Hounds

October 8th, 2007

     I am continually amazed at the requirements and expectations that schools have for children… especially the younger children!  We are of course the proud parents of a seven year-old first grader.  We went through an interesting Kindergarten experience last year involving tests, assessments and grades, but thankfully- no homework.   And he “graduated” with flying colors.  That has changed since he is now in first grade.  Now he has classwork, homework and many other assessments throughout the week.  The school system seems to pride itself on finding ways to measure children of course.  But it’s not infallible.  We received a “notice to serve” recently that our child was recommended for “accelerated reading,” which of course means remedial reading.  I was amazed since he was already reading above grade level, and after volunteering in his class the previous year it seemed he was well above the average.  So after writing a lengthy letter outlining my concerns (I didn’t want him missing other aspects of class if his reading was fine), it seems the teachers and principal were enlightened enough to agree with me (this time!).  And it seems the statewide assessment that was given the previous year didn’t really assess anything about reading in Kindergarten-  he wasn’t paying enough attention at the time for them to have any real idea about his reading progress, and they sent the assessment in unfinished!  So naturally the state bureaucracy mandates an offer for accelerated reading services.  Very nice!  They really did their homework on that that one, huh?   

     He’s doing very well though and reading like crazy now.  But I must say the homework aspect scares the heck out of me.   Jeff Opdyke at the Wall Street Journal has written an honest appraisal of How Homework is Hurting Our Family.  If that is any indication of things to come then something will have to change.   Maybe we’ll cruise through it without the same stress and impact on the family.  Maybe our son will love the homework he brings home each day as he does now.  Maybe it just won’t be an issue.  But I kind of doubt it.  And I’m a little more concerned about my own response, because I don’t want him to end up as a lonely homeschooled kid! :)    How did you handle the homework your kids faced at school?  I’d love to know…

I couldn’t write something without a picture to go with it of course, so here’s the picture for today- an over-loved, under-worked Basset Hound named Justin!  He’s about as carefree as dogs come, and gets his homework done on time every single day!

Running Basset Hound

And if you don’t believe me, just ask him.  But watch out for that nose… it’s dangerous!

Smiling Basset Hound

 

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