Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Do your homework

Homework is my daughter's specialty. She's super-conscientious about it. She's very organized. She writes assignments down in her assignment pad and on her wall calendar at home. She often completes the work well in advance of its due date. Whatever scores she gets on tests, her homework scores show a solid line of 100s. It's saved her grade average more than once, and also endeared her to teachers who are happy to see somebody, anybody, taking their assignments seriously.

In that, she appears to be in the minority. And I really don't get it. From what I overhear from teachers while volunteering in the school library and what my daughter reports from her classes, it appears that not doing the homework is the norm, and that a decisive majority of kids don't even bother. Now, I can understand kids with learning disabilities having trouble doing the homework (although my daughter manages despite that), and I can see kids with executive function problems or attention problems not doing the job, but surely that doesn't describe a majority of kids. Parents complain about too much homework, but are they really telling the kids to just blow it off? It seems so; or at the very least, they aren't going to the trouble of enforcing it.

If you're looking for a way to get your kid noticed in a good way by a teacher, though, or to give him or her a leg up on a passing grade, I'd sure reconsider that policy. The teachers I've seen are incredulous, too, at the fact that nobody takes assignments seriously, and fairly discouraged as well. Being the student who does, faithfully, complete that disrespected work has got to put a little plus in your child's column. It seems to have worked for my girl, anyway. We'll take academic excellence any way we can get it.

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