Friday, November 23, 2012

3 Years Ago on RYS, Dante Did This Piece on the Quaint Anti-Homework Movement. Where The Moderator Has Given In to Leftovers and Hallmark TV Reruns.


Dante From Durango Gets All Up In the Homework Thing And Puts the Blame Where it Belongs, On Stupid Fucking Parents.

Anyone with good critical reading skills can see what's really going on in this buzz about ending homework. A few choice quotes from a recent article about two parents who had tender hearts and even more tender brains should suffice to illumine things for the less perceptive:


"Sherri and Tom Milley were exhausted by the weepy weeknight struggles over math problems and writing assignments with their three school-aged children.They were fed up with rushing home from soccer practice or speed skating only to stand over their kids tossing out answers so they could finish and get to bed."

"But after many long stressful nights of getting 18-year-old Jay through his high school homework, they weren't prepared to repeat history with Spencer, 11, and Brittany, 10. Being lawyers, she and her husband decided to make it official."

"For the Milleys, this means a school year that would make many homework-stricken parents envious: they are free to hang out as family without long division and English comprehension questions hanging over their heads."

"And there were plenty of frustrating nights, she said, when her kids were so tired, “we'd stand over them, saying, ‘write this, write that.' ” If that's what families are doing, she asked, “how do the teachers even know whose work they are marking?”

So who is this really about? That's right, dear readers, it's not about precious little snowflakes Spencer and Brittany, but self-centered Mommy and Daddy! Mommy and Daddy (who, in the course of their training as lawyers, have amassed more expertise in teaching than the trained professionals who instruct their children) think that soccer and speed skating are more important than drilling important facts and practicing freshly-acquired skills.

It would take far, far too long for these self-proclaimed experts to HELP their children with their homework (i.e., review the child's answers, then make them figure out where they went wrong), so why make little Brittany work through each step of her math homework when they could simply "toss out answers" and tell her to "write this, write that." In other words, these parents think their kids have too much homework largely because THEY'RE DOING ALL OF IT FOR THEM. I'd probably be overwhelmed myself if, after a full day of real work (not merely going to school, mind you), I had to sit down and do Algebra and Geography. But then, I'd do right by my children and teach them to solve things on their own; Daddy's not going to wipe their little butts for them their whole lives.

[I particularly savor the mother-lawyer's reasoning: "We help our children cheat by doing their homework for them, therefore the entire system is invalid." I can just imagine her arguments in court: "Your honor, since it is a known fact that guilty people have escaped punishment, the entire system is invalid. I demand that all charges against my client be dropped immediately."]

Naturally, THEY know what's best for their children- it would be foolish, if their children are having trouble finding time for their homework, to cut out their extracurriculars. No, no, it must be HOMEWORK that's to blame. I can only hope their children are struck down with some hideous disease- that'll show 'em:

"Well, Mr. and Mrs. Milley, I'd like to make a diagnosis and prescribe something, but I know that Mrs. Milley has spent 2 years 'collecting studies' from Web MD, so I'm certain that your dilettante-level of information easily trumps my years of medical training and experience. Just do whatever you think is best- maybe you can make a 'Differentiated Infection Plan' with the illness, so the symptoms only manifest when your children are at school- that way you won't have to actually take care of them when they're at home."

And for all the rest of you RYSers - you might think this is just a fluke, but this anti-homework thing is an entire movement, and they're perfectly willing to twist, manipulate and misrepresent the data (it's not surprising that the two parents mentioned in this article are lawyers) to achieve their goal.


  1. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. No wonder the 'flakes won't do anything outside of class.

  2. It's like the free range parent thing. Have you seen this clip?

    1. I'm sorry to see the "free range kids/children" thing coopted/corrupted from Lenore Skenazy's original idea, which was that children should be allowed/encouraged to take responsibility commensurate with their maturity (e.g. getting around on their own via foot and/or subway starting in the immediate pre-teen years). I'd be happy to have that kind of "free range kid" in class, come college time. This kind, I'm not so sure about, though it still might beat some of the most-helicoptered.

    2. This kind, I'm betting won't make it to college.

    3. I applaud Lenore Skenazy's approach.
      The ones mentioned in Cynic's clip aren't "free range"; they're feral.

  3. This guy?
    Wonder if there's homework wherever he is now?