“My mother worked as a saleslady at the well-known Five Corner bakery in Journal Square during the day. Her orders were that I do at least one page of homework for every one of my subjects before she came home. It didn’t matter what my teachers would assign, those were her rules and I didn’t dare to violate them! However, I usually allowed others to make the rules and then decide whether I would follow them. Turning on our small Bakelite radio, I would ignore my mother’s rules and listen to my favorite adventure shows.
“Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy, Superman, who could leap tall buildings in a single bound, and Tom Mix were my favorite daily half-hour radio programs during the week. Tom Mix was forever solving some mystery that I could help him with, since I had a decoder badge that cost only 10 cents, along with a box top from a Ralston Purina’s “Wheat Chex” cereal box. Since it tasted like straw, wanting to get a decoder badge was the only way I would eat this blah cereal for breakfast.
The radio shows were way too exciting, and my homework always took second place. When my mother finally came home and saw that I had not done my work, she would get quite upset and make me do twice as much, seated at the kitchen table where she could keep her eye on me. Being under her direct supervision wasn’t much fun, but I would sit there until she was satisfied that I had finished my assignments. My mother showed no mercy! If my father found out about my being lax, there would be hell to pay! For whatever reason, I never seemed to learn….
Oh, woe is me, woe is me…. I was in trouble again… No, I was still in trouble!”
― Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One...."
The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing3.94 · Rating details · 798 Ratings · 132 Reviews
Death and taxes come later; what seems inevitable for children is the idea that, after spending the day at school, they must then complete more academic assignments at home. The predictable results: stress and conflict, frustration and exhaustion. Parents respond by reassuring themselves that at least the benefits outweigh the costs. But what if they don't? In The HomeworkDeath and taxes come later; what seems inevitable for children is the idea that, after spending the day at school, they must then complete more academic assignments at home. The predictable results: stress and conflict, frustration and exhaustion. Parents respond by reassuring themselves that at least the benefits outweigh the costs. But what if they don't? In The Homework Myth, nationally known educator and parenting expert Alfie Kohn systematically examines the usual defenses of homework--that it promotes higher achievement, "reinforces" learning, and teaches study skills and responsibility. None of these assumptions, he shows, actually passes the test of research, logic, or experience. So why do we continue to administer this modern cod liver oil--or even demand a larger dose? Kohn's incisive analysis reveals how a mistrust of children, a set of misconceptions about learning, and a misguided focus on competitiveness have all left our kids with less free time and our families with more conflict. Pointing to parents who have fought back--and schools that have proved educational excellence is possible without homework--Kohn shows how we can rethink what happens during and after school in order to rescue our families and our children's love of learning....more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 21st 2006 by Da Capo Lifelong Books