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Stacey Loscalzo

Dec 21

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

by Stacey

 

I am finally reading Katrina Kenison’s , The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Many people, whose opinions I value highly, have told me to read this wonderful piece of writing and I am so glad that now is when I have chosen to begin the book.

Today I was talking with a group of moms at pick up about how the four third grade teachers are taking a different approach to homework this week. One completely ignored the school wide recommendation to give no homework on the first night of Chanukah. Three did not give home work on that first night but two are back to giving it now. One is giving no homework for the week.

I think there should no homework this week seeing. Then again, I really think there should hardly be homework ever so I guess this comes as no surprise. Whenever I speak with our most wonderful principal about the subject of homework, she reminds me that parents in our community have many different thoughts on the subject. I have known this but today it became even more apparent.

Of all the moms talking today, I was only one who thought there should be no homework this week. Many of them feel like the children do not ever get enough homework. I wasn’t really shocked but I was saddened. Our little ones are eight. They have a long hard roads of school and homework ahead of them. It seems like it would be ok and even good to have a bit of a break the week before the winter holidays begin.

I was feeling a bit lonely in my thinking when I read Kenison’s words below:

I’m continually reminded that a real education is not just a simple transfer of information, not a competition,  but a gradual and at times unfathomable process of awakening compassion, deepening understanding, and fostering the development of imagination, curiosity and will. Learning well doesn’t mean scoring high. It also means aquiring the tools necessary to take on the most challenging work of all- becoming the person you are meant to be.

So from a lonely place of confused values, I opened a book and found someone who understood.

Let’s hope all our children have the time and the will to find this place in a book one day…

4 Comments

  1. kathy says:

    Stacey, I agree with you on the homework issue. Even as a high school teacher, I assigned only written papers or projects as homework, giving the kids ample time to complete it a little each night/weekend and to have time to get feedback from me for revision/tweaking. (Although I do think many of them would wait until the last minute!) After spending 7-8 hours at school all day, kids need a break. To have/not have homework is a philosophy, and I accept that others have different views. Homework may be necessary sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be a nightly event. Thanks for sharing the book title. I’m going to look for it. Take comfort in knowing there is kindred spirit standing with you!

  2. Zoe says:

    At this age, I think homework is something used as a tool by schools to try to engage parents. I don’t think it’s about the child learning anything particularly new, but rather a rough tool to try to get parents involved with their kids. I don’t think it’s appropriate for my kids to already be getting homework, but when I’m annoyed by it I try to change my mindset and see it as an opportunity to spend a(nother) bit of time with them, supporting them.

  3. Lindsey says:

    I adored this book and am glad you did too.
    xox

  4. Donna says:

    As a mother of a 28-year-old, I would never have given this book a second glance…but I’m grateful to you for recommending it. Although her writing style could be at times annoyingly repetitious, her insights were incredibly thought-provoking. It was comforting to know that what I went through ten years ago is a universal experience. And I envy your reading it now…BEFORE your girls hit high school!

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