December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, now do your homework

My son started his winter break by walking into the house and announcing that he had homework to complete. As much as I hate homework, I thought, How much homework would teachers really assign over our two-week holiday break? Some light reading and maybe a few math worksheets won't be too damaging.

Then, my son produced two packets, one for reading and one for math, and I realized just how wrong I was.

These collections of worksheets totaled over 40 pages. If my son does some homework every day during our two-week break, including weekends and Christmas eve, Christmas day, New Year's eve and New Year's day, he'd have to complete just under three pages of homework daily.

Of course, the likelihood of him working on homework on the holidays is, well, unlikely. If he does homework for, let's say, eight days, that's five pages daily -- five pages of this homework madness on our holiday break! That's homework in place of reading, games, time with friends and family fun.

My son is a wonderful student, who completes all activities and homework, even though he admittedly doesn't like it, so he'll probably get it done. As a father, teacher and researcher who knows the negative effects of homework, I won't encourage him to complete it.

This may upset his teachers, but they should have considered this, before they sent him packing with a gleeful, "Merry Christmas. Now do your homework!"