My husband and I, after being faced with the stress of homework for the last 2.5 yrs (oldest child is finishing 2nd grade this year, middle is finishing K), have decided to broach the subject of opting out of homework for our kids. My child in K hasn't had any homework yet, but we've talked with my oldest's 2nd grade teacher who at first was very resistant. All they have is spelling each day, which I know is very minimal, but I've already heard that goes up a lot next year (and for the record my eldest only switched to this new school this year). However I emailed his teacher two summary resources I had, which is the page from the stophomework.com site as well as a few pages from Alfie Kohn, and she actually read them. Her daughter is also in the 2nd grade class and even she agreed it is very difficult to basically "bribe" our kids to do the work after a long day of school. She was surprised to hear the findings by Harris Cooper, The Battle Over Homework, second edition, page 26, and Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of the Research 1987-2003, the Review of Educational Research [Spring 2006] that there was no correlation between homework in elementary school and achievement. However, we made a deal b/c I agreed that we would still orally go over the spelling words each day instead of just doing the written copywork that was the homework. And we are still going to do book reports and science fair projects. We are in a very very small private school (in 2nd grade, my son is 1 of 6 students, in K my middle child is 1 of 10).
But next year is another year and another teacher, and the teachers my kids will have for 3rd and 1st are much more "old school" teachers, in both experience and personality. For those who have opted out of homework, did you meet with the new teacher for the next grade at the end of the school year before the new year even begins? Have all teachers been open minded about it? What things have you learned? Have you had any resistance from other parents if they found out? I ask about this b/c I can imagine Johnny sitting next to my son and saying "Why doesn't he have to do his homework?" then asking the teacher and going home to tell his mom. It just seems like I would be inviting some stress into others lives unintentionally.
II was wondering if since our school is such a tiny private school with a really available principal, I should just skip ahead and meet with the principal to request his approval so I don't need to meet with each teacher individually every year. I honestly don't know if that would make my job harder or easier. In the past, I broached the subject with him about showing the "race to nowhere" documentary at our school and though he said it sounded great, he refused to show any kind of movie without him being able to screen it first. And he is SO SO SO busy (at such a small school he does a TON of work) he wasn't able to make any of the free screenings nearby at other schools.
Any thoughts? Thank you!!