Wednesday, December 07, 2005


More and more I hear from parents who are tired of performing what's being called "afterschooling". Their child is up early, boards a bus (carpool) spends all day in the school and then carts home an impressive burden of books and assignments that eat up what precious little family time there is with homework. They wonder what on earth is actually being taught in school if so much of it still has to be done at home?

I ran into Glenn Reynold's piece today which comes complete with a photo of the book burden his young daughter must lug around. It appears that obesity in children may be necessary to keep them from just toppling over. Anyway, Glen writes:

Given that they seem to find time during the school day to have kids write D.A.R.E. essays in which they promise that alcohol will never touch their lips, I wonder why they can't find enough class time to get all this work done during the school day?

Some of these parents are using the term 'homeschooling' to describe the tutoring they do their own children in the evenings. My experience tells me that it's not too far from the truth and some parents have figured out that if they can do 'afterschooling' they can do homeschooling. In fact, it'll be easier once you don't have to interface with the school system.

There are studies about how homework impacts family life, reports of parents who handle the issue badly and newspaper living sections now devote inches and inches to the issue. But the question remains unanswered.

Why can't it all get done during the day?

Of all the social issues that schools might impact for the positive, family life and interaction ought to be very high on the list. A friend of mine (Hey, JJ) points out that we're creating a Chinese knot of sorts with parents taking on the education of the children at home and the schools taking on the parenting at school and working at cross purposes. Only coming together or dropping your end is going to bring freedom to either party.

Oh, and Glenn...Spunky thinks you ought to just drop your end and homeschool already. ;-)

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