Family time is most important

By From page A6 | February 21, 2013

Thank you for Sunday’s article on the homework policy. I am a parent of a fifth-grader and an eighth-grader. I am not a teacher and will never claim to be an expert on education in the classroom. However, as a parent, I know what my girls need to round out their lives beyond their formal education.

Stephanie Schoen seems to disregard the education her child receives outside of the classroom and through homework. I am not an advocate of eliminating homework; I understand there is a need for it. However, in order to become productive, kind and responsible members of our society, our children need to do more on the weekends than build missions or complete more algebra equations.

Schoen states, “It’s not the job of the district to create family time.” True, Ms. Schoen. However, it is also not their job to unjustly interfere with it. My children gain valuable knowledge and skills from their outside activities, hanging out with family and friends, and by having down time.

Examples of some recent learning situations include one daughter spontaneously writing a creative story last weekend when she got bored, doing household chores, going shopping on their own and making the family dinner, learning to ski, watching a musical and enjoying the soundtrack at home, and learning at swim meets what it is like to work hard for a goal and reach it (or not). Education is emphasized in our family and our girls know what is expected of them — to do their best work both in the classroom and at home.

However, I do not expect or want them to maintain the same schedule as an overworked adult (as Schoen mentions in the article). My eighth-grader’s weeknights are filled with homework and swim practice, which she chooses to do for a physical and mental release. We cherish the free time on the weekends when we can spend family time together.

Education is very important, but nothing is more important in our home than family. I hope the district keeps that sentiment in mind when handling this issue.

Kim Maslaniak

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