I ran into Walnut Creek writer and dad R.J. Lavallee at last weeks’ Community Coordinating Council meeting, a gathering of PTA presidents and representatives from the schools in the Walnut Creek School District. The discussion was homework. The district is in the midst of drafting a new policy that should answer the questions: How much? What should it cover? Is it even necessary?
Lavallee seemed to be the lone voice in the room, saying he didn’t mind homework being assigned on weekends or over holiday break.
Gasp! Including one from yours truly.
In his latest essay, “Protecting Children, published on his website, Bent Spoon Media, Lavalle admits: “I had made a passing comment to the district superintendent that maybe I was too much of a hard ass, thinking kids almost don’t have enough homework.”
Like me, that meeting prompted Lavallee to reflect, not so much on the debate surrounding school work that’s assigned to kids to do at home, but on the bigger questions it provokes–about education, society, parenting, and family life in America.
“Bottom line, what do we expect public education to provide?” Lavallee asks. He goes on to say that he doesn’t think that “public school is the place for [his sons] to learn right from wrong, or how to resolve conflicts, or how to be a child. …
Check out Lavellee’s “rant” as he calls it, on homework and public education. You can also check out some of his other essays on parenting and kids and technology. Lavallee is the author of a book on kids and technology, IMHO (In My Humble Opion): a guide to the benefits and dangers of today’s communication tools.