What is homework Dic- tionary.com defines it as, “schoolwork assigned to be done outside the classroom
(distinguished from classwork).” Webster
interprets it to include “research or reading done in order to prepare for some-thing.” More often than not, homework is
work that could have (or should have) been
done in school. Savvy older students often
finish their homework at school, in study
hall, during lunch, or even during other
classes, a fact which provokes misgivings
about the efficiency and efficacy of our
nation’s education system.
After seven-plus hours in school, how is
there any remaining work for a youngster
to accomplish at home? Cleaning people
don’t leave dishes in the sink, and the gardener never hands you his rake, but most
public school teachers send home schoolwork, some as early as kindergarten!
Parents nationwide complain about
needing to sit down at the kitchen table
each night with their children, who strug-
gle to comprehend what was “taught” to
them in school that day. These are the same
parents who claim to be unskilled and inca-
pable of home education.
Newsflash! If you have ever helped your
child with his homework, you have home-schooled.
Let’s not fool ourselves anymore.
Teaching your child anything is committing the basic act of home education,
despite our delusion about some fantasy
public school alternative for the upbringing of our children.
Wikipedia ingenuously puts a positive
spin on homework. After defining it as re-
inforcement of what students have already
learned in school, it adds, “Homework also
provides an opportunity for parents to par-
ticipate in their children’s education.” I have
little doubt that this entry was written by
a teacher, having just shared a flight with
someone from a family of teachers, who ada-
mantly alleged that all our schools’ failures
could be laid squarely at the feet of disinter-
ested and distracted parents.
Legislatures, recently picking up that
refrain, are showing interest in holding
the parents responsible for educating their
children. In an adorable but oblivious
New York Times article, writer Lisa Belkin
likened the new state measures to “
grading the parents.” The legislators and educators freshly declare that parents must be
involved for the child to excel. Apparently,
this is news to them.
This latest turn is only the education bureaucracy’s most recent confession of inadequacy. But why take their word for it when
we have hard data?
A 2013 study by the US Department of
Education found that thirty-two million
adults in this country cannot read. Most of
these individuals went through our school
institutions. Twenty-one percent of adults
in the US read below a fifth-grade level, and
nineteen percent of high school graduates
can’t read at all.
by Sam Sorbo
Newsflash! If you
have ever helped
your child with his
homework, you have