Friday, January 27, 2012

The first-grade grind

This week my son got a break from homework. Just as a reminder, he's 6. Years old.

Here's the school's reasoning behind this one-week homework vacation, which they call "The Week of the Family":

During the week of January 23, Encinal and Laurel schools will celebrate the Week of the Family to honor the vital role that families play in supporting the growth and education of children. Traditional homework will not be assigned during this week, although students should continue to engage in nightly reading and fact practice. 

Strong family connections along with adequate sleep and abundant opportunities to engage in free play are some of the most critical building blocks for a child's success. This week provides an opportunity for families to enjoy a slower pace in the evenings, reserve some time for simple fun, enjoy a warm meal together or ask our children how they would like to spend this time together. 

The obivous implication here is that it's ok to NOT have time to enjoy your family, have a quiet meal, kick the ball outside or, you know, just play, because when you're 6, all the kid stuff is done and you better buckle down because next year you'll be in second grade.

I've made it known to the higher-ups how absurd I believe this to be and was met, on one occassion, with the following statment: "Well, everyone wants their kid to get into Harvard." Um, no, everyone does not. When our kids are in elementary school, we want them to color and play and yell be kids! 

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