Homework bribery & deal-breaking

Published by Lori Pickert on October 23, 2008 at 02:25 AM

Ran across this interesting homework story on Lisa’s blog Do Life Right:

One girl told of how her class was given homework every night (she’s either 9 or 10 and gets an hour or two of homework every night). The deal with her school is that if the entire class does all of their homework on a given night, the whole class would receive a reprieve slip from doing homework on another night of each individual child’s choice (each kid gets one night off total).

Apparently in the two years this girl has been attending her school, this has never happened. So she was thrilled to report that since telling us about the school’s deal with the kids it has actually happened four times so far this school year. The first time it happened, everyone celebrated. The second time it happened, the teachers and parents got together and decided that an entire night of homework reprieve for the whole class was too much of a reward. So, they changed the rules mid-deal.

They certainly taught those kids some valuable lessons. Go to Lisa’s blog to read the rest of the story.


Comment by Sarah Jackson on October 23, 2008 at 04:24 AM

that's just wrong on so many levels. wow.

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 23, 2008 at 04:36 AM

so awful .. yet .. so believable.

Comment by lupingirl on October 23, 2008 at 04:54 AM

So if you can't hold up your end of the bargain, just change the bargain? What a great life lesson.

Comment by Candy Cook on October 23, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Poor kids ought to go on strike and just refuse to do any homework at all. LOL I put my youngest in a 3-hour/3-days a week preschool.. I did it to give him the opportunity to be a bit more independent from his brother (he's got a bit of a speech impediment that seems to be improving in the absence of his brother who has gotten into the habit of translating everything for him.) Anyway.. they actually sent HOMEWORK home with him. He's in preschool for crying out loud. I just let him decide if he wants to do it or not.

Comment by amy on October 23, 2008 at 12:41 PM

I was in education for years and I do not believe in homework. I think it is a dumb idea. There I said it. :) I just love yr blog babe!

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 23, 2008 at 01:22 PM

lupingirl — nothing like teaching them early about deception and double-crossing!

candy — thanks for starting my day with a laugh! but hey, you don’t want them falling behind; you know what a puppy-eat-puppy world kindergarten is!

amy — i always thought it was the school’s job to teach and they can get it done in the 1/3 of the day they claim, but hey, that’s just me! ;^) and thanks, girlfriend!

Comment by Angela Norton Tyler on October 23, 2008 at 05:07 PM

What kind of people change the rules half-way through? These adults are providing a poor example to their students and children. All of this, for homework? It's ridiculous!

Many people all over the world are finally realizing that homework is not going to solve every educational problem. In fact, too much homework and the wrong kind of homework actually makes things worse! Students are over-worked, stressed-out, hate reading, don't want to go to school, fighting with their parents- it's a mess! This school needs to look at the schools and parents that are finally using common sense and scientific studies to do what's best for children.

Comment by Sam on October 23, 2008 at 10:19 PM

Unbelievable! I'm speechless. As Lisa says "Unschool your child".

Comment by JoVE on October 24, 2008 at 01:39 PM

What is really unbelievable is that the PARENTS were on the side of the teachers. In this province, it is the parents that have lobbied against homework, especially for primary school children on the grounds that it unreasonably eats into family time. The issue has actually be debated in the legistlature and I think the rules are going to change.

But even so, our rules are 10 minutes x your grade. So grade 1 kids get 10 minutes, grade 5 kids get 50 minutes. That sounds a lot less than what some American kids are getting. There is something really wrong at the POLICY level.

Comment by Molly on October 24, 2008 at 01:45 PM

... and it never ends. my husband's former employer did the EXACT same thing with their company bonus structure. seriously. "What! you all exceeded our expectations???? -- okay then, we'll just change up that bonus plan so that you cannot reach the goals." guess they learned that in school.

I think some schools are unfortunately falling over themselves just trying to figure out what should be done and how to do it. The students are pawns in the process.

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 24, 2008 at 07:51 PM

JoVE, i know a second grader who is doing almost 2 *hours* of homework a night.

molly, that is .. i wish i could say unbelievable! when did we start thinking we needed to keep children (and adults) in a constant-failure scenario in order to motivate them? the carrot should never leave the stick, evidently.

schools unfortunately have a more complex agenda than simply helping their students. sad but true.

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