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January 2013 / Manhattan Family

Letter from a reader

Letter from a reader

Dear editor:

Homework is a battle I continue to face on a daily basis, so I enjoyed the many points of view expressed in your November article, (“Homework: A conversation with parents and experts”).

As a working parent, I sympathize with parents and their children, but as an educator I understand the reason behind the madness. Homework should be carefully thought out in order to review new concepts learned, but also, and more importantly, indicate where your child needs help. Homework re-enforces basic skills, comprehension, time management, and discipline.

It is not the responsibility of parents, caregivers, or teaching assistants to get homework done. Parents who take charge of homework and parents who ignore it do incredible damage to their child’s ability to achieve through success and to learn powerful lessons through mistakes. It is up to parents and teachers to have faith in each other, their methods and judgment, and to work together to make homework and school a valuable experience for all children with all types of needs.

If academic achievement and self-esteem is the common goal for our children, then homework, including tutoring and extra help, should be the first, and most important, activity after school. Once this routine has been established, other activities, such as sports, music lessons, etc., can follow. It becomes engrained that after one’s work is done, and done well, there is time to play. A well-balanced day combining school, homework, and enrichment activities creates strong, independent children, and a better opportunity for families to enjoy and share free time together.

Alicen Harrad, After School Director

Rhinelander Children’s Center

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