In the secular humanist quest for an earthly paradise, no stone is small enough to be left unturned.
My hometown school board, as reported today in our local paper, has “enacted guidelines for assigning homework.” It seems the kiddies are all stressed out from too much homework, after a special committee worked on it for two whole years.
To quote from the news article by Claude Deltieure, “The recommended daily homework load is ten minutes per grade level”–ten minutes?–or a whopping 15 for reading. So a kid in 8th grade might be saddled with as much as 80 minutes per night, presuming all his teachers that day assigned homework.
It seems the board’s chief concern is “stress.” Homework is stressing out the kiddies.
No normal kid wants a load of homework. Back in the Bronze Age, when I went to school, you learned to do your homework efficiently, expeditiously, so you could move on to more important things, like playing stickball. Homework was just one of those things the adult world saddled you with. By the time I was in high school, I’d learned to finish almost all my homework in study hall.
As a teacher, I knew many teachers who hardly ever assigned homework–because, after all, they would have to read it and grade it. Most of my teachers went over the homework in class the next day, rather than take it home and grade it.
There’s something creepy about this whole drive to protect young people from stress of any kind, with all kinds of unavoidable stresses waiting for them in the world outside. Who’s going to tell their employers, when these kids grow up, “Only this much work, and not a minute more”?
My parents insisted that I do my homework, and helped when I needed it. As a boy, I would have loved to pass it up altogether. But doing it taught me how to work. And work can be stressful. You have to learn to handle it.
Well, easing way up on the homework will surely prepare these kids for collidge, and Play-Doh, and coloring books, and demonstrating for tampons in the men’s rest room, and shouting down, or assaulting, anyone whose opinions expose them to stress.
You could, of course, homeschool your kids and preserve their minds from the ravages of public education. But then we wouldn’t need school boards with multi-million-dollar budgets.