Fri, Dec 19, 2014 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

A problem with homework

I have written this letter because I know so many parents are facing the same problem. My son Louis tries hard at school and wants to be a good citizen, but he has started to come home with increasingly more homework. He is 10 years old and it got to a point were he was up until 11:30pm every night, and worse, still homework went on all day Saturday and Sunday.

After six weeks of sitting at home on Sundays waiting to go out to the mountains or do anything normal, I could not take it anymore. It feels just the same as somebody standing in my house and using authority over me to make me do whatever they want. Surely in my house it is my time, my rules and if you want some of it you must ask. We all understand this without being taught.

I went to the school to ask them to use a homework timetable, something I could consent to, something based upon science.

The school refused, point blank, and I quote: “We cannot control our teachers.”

We all know that when humans do not set themselves sensible limits we drive too fast, eat too much, drink too much, take too much.

We cannot switch off our sociological responses, and I started to become more agitated by the lack of consent and theft of time. Every time I complained I got the same refusal. In the end my wife and I went to see the teacher directly and told her we were not going to do what she wanted on Sunday any more; that was it, a red line and she was not going to cross it. Natural rules.

However, the teacher is stubborn. When compulsion sets in, all logic is lost.

My son feels he needs to complete set work, so just saying he does not have to do it does not work. The situation is horrible, it eats away at you night and day. Study after study shows that the children here start off performing really well at school, but when they get to university they fall behind the rest of the world and places like Finland beat all comers every year. I would like to know if there is somebody we can contact to ask the school to control themselves and use a timetable that parents can consent to. Taking anything from another in all other areas of life is a crime, and the only difference between good sex and rape is consent.

I now know so many people with the same problem, we must do something before the madness takes over. The recent story in the Taipei Times of the girl in India who burned herself to death because of school work pressure should make all teachers think. The study from England that showed happiness as an adult is not based upon wealth or academic success means we have science we can trust.

Human compulsions to copy and compete lead to nonsense, and I have started to reclaim my life. My child, my house, my rules. We are pleased to say that the teacher is starting to respect this, but it is hard work and we still do not have a timetable.

I have gathered many scientific studies that all show the same thing, children should be allowed to have a happy childhood if they are going to be successful later. At the end of the day we all just want to be happy, and that is very simple, just being left alone to make your own choices in your own time is at the bedrock of contentment. I wonder how many people out their have a similar story to tell? The rule of authority on the Earth is diminishing, but if we don’t learn to control our behavior, like a virus we end up killing the host.

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