The Lydster, Part 125: The homework tradeoff

The assignment is actually a good exercise for the future learning, but it was introduced, essentially, as a punishment for cheating

LydiaGREENThis is what I think about The Daughter’s homework:
1) It’s often too much, in terms of time
2) It’s too often taught to these bizarre Common Core standards so that she might know the answers to the questions but doesn’t know how to show it the way THEY want her to

Yet:
3) I found it odd that she could earn a homework pass, for one subject, if she brought in ten returnable bottles and/or cans.

Generally speaking, she has three areas of homework: spelling (alphabetize words, put in sentences, take a word and make it an acrostic); math (doing geometry and algebra stuff I didn’t do until much later); and reading. She LIKES reading, a lot actually, has at least since the above picture was taken five or six years ago. We’ve literally had to take a flashlight away from her so she wouldn’t read under the covers.

But she HATES writing the reading responses because they are not “fair.” Her class used to just keep a reading log, but apparently, some other kids were writing down titles of books they actually didn’t read. So now everyone has to write a narrative about what they read. The assignment is actually a good exercise for future learning, but it was introduced, essentially, as a punishment for cheating, and she wasn’t cheating.

Thus, the bottles collected are always in lieu of the reading assignment. They are painfully easy to come by. After her soccer game one June afternoon, we collected from the top of the trash 17 returnables, almost all of them water bottles. Why people don’t take them home for the nickel apiece is beyond me.

Still, the collecting has been its own lesson, about people’s wasteful, polluting nature.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “The Lydster, Part 125: The homework tradeoff”

  1. This post saddens me. How can – or should – homework be substituted by collecting bottles? What, then is the point of homework?

    And she loses the practice (and hopefully the joy) of writing. Granted the assignment is on the stupid bland side, and doesn’t even address the Common Core.

    The problem with Common Core isn’t that it’s bad. It’s that it’s terribly misunderstood by teachers, not adequately trained and supported by schools, and the means of addressing accountability make despised by all.

    Instead of writing a summary of the books, whey not write possible sequel suggestions or why not write a blog or editorial review or even a create a graphic novel review. THAT would address creativity, different forms of communication and Common Core State Standards.

    This teacher ticks me off.

    Your daughter, though is uber cute as they say!!

  2. That’s really sad that the school is making a kid who used to love to read scale back her reading. Just because some dumb kids lied about what books they had read.

    It also feels weird to me that someone can get out of doing homework by recycling. Then again, I have some strong negative opinions on ‘extra credit’ as a way of getting out of doing the regular class work (some of my fellow profs hand extra credit out like Halloween candy).

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