Go ahead, bring on the hate.

Jason picked three numbers between 1-64, in no particular order. The winners are…

Kristin Doyle! You have won the complete first season of Beverly Hills, 90210. Please email me your mailing address because I know you can’t wait to break it open. And for those of you who missed it, Kristin gave me the sweetest advice ever. She said, “A very happy birthday and I hope you spent some time flipping off Dave Ramsey and bought yourself a little sometin’ on the side!” For the record, I did.

Camille Me-No-Hate! I love Camille so much, she’s the funniest girl you’ve ever met, and she’ll be totally stoked to collect ANOTHER Twilight T-shirt!

And lastly, Katie Johns! I met Katie when we lived in Maryland, and I must say that Junk Tie is going to look absolutely adorable on her. Of course, everything looks adorable on her. Thanks Katie for remembering me!

In other news, I’m having writer’s anxiety today. Remember how I write once a month for the opinion page of our big daily paper here in northern Utah? And remember how I’m supposed to take a stand on something?

So my deadline was today (it publishes Monday) and I went ahead and submitted. I didn’t just submit, I threw off a scathing monologue on how much I hate first-grade homework packets and the adults who create them.

This is the kind of piece that’s going to put my email account into overdrive because of all the over-achiever parents and first-grade teachers who believe in homework like it was some kind of after school religion, and will take my anti-worksheetism personally.

But I can’t help it. Harrison hardly has time to breathe during the week, and we’ve had to forego his chore chart for play time. He either does homework and housework, or homework and active play. I can’t bear to have an unhappy child, so I’ve had to sacrifice his chore chart to his imagination. (This does not exclude him from setting the table or making his bed, but during the week there is no window washing or toilet scrubbing.)

I had Jason read through the piece before I sent it (he loves it), but even after his approval, I had to ask myself: First, do I really really feel serious enough to publish this opinion, and Second, would Jesus be okay with this?

I feel pretty good about both. And hey, it was either anti-homework or co-sleeping, so I’m asking for haters either way.


  1. First-boo to the winners. I wanted something!

    Second-yeah, first graders shouldn’t have homework. Maybe a worksheet or two during the week, but really? They’re 6 and 7—6 hours of school is more than enough for them!!

  2. Oh, and please link up to your article when it posts cuz I wanna see it.

  3. ANOTHER ONE!! I think this makes #4!! WA-HOOOO, and right in time for the new TWILIGHT!! I’m going to wear it on the opening day!! I’ll be the most coveted woman on the block!!

    I’m going to get my Standard right now and look for your article!!
    but the 2nd grade “homework” I am stuck doing (labeling rocks) is only teaching Elise that mom gets really upset after 2 hours of scouring a college geology textbook and STILL not knowing how to label a rock thats half black/half white and sparkly.

  4. Oh yeah. I really think that homework in elementary school is way too much. One sheet? Fine. But when it takes my kids an hour and a half to finish homework and they still have to do lessons and practicing (and music is the only other extracurricular we have), there is NO time for anything else.

  5. Hey, you can’t please everyone all the time, right? And there are those who might say that the more people you tick off, the better your ratings go. I’m certainly not suggesting you start a fight for the sake of ratings… oh, wait – maybe I am.

  6. Well, since Brody started K, I have been asking other parents about homework loads and from what our school does, your school sounds like they’ve got some sort of weird Nazi-twisted view on the amount of homework a kid should have. So sorry for Harrison and for you. Send in that opinion piece and to he…ck with all those freaks who think more homework=smarter kids. Phooey!

    1 month into K already and I asked Brody what his least favorite part is and he’s already answered ‘homework.’ And I’m thinking, ‘what homework? The 3 sheets his teacher sends home a week with no due date?’ I can’t imagine poor Harrison.

  7. LOATHING. I really wanted a stupid Twilight shirt. πŸ™ I mean, besides the one I already have…

    I am in complete agreeance on the homework for elementary kids. Ridiculous. Send me the hate mail, I can laugh at it atleast. πŸ™‚

  8. What? I didn’t win?! My Twilight t-shirt dreams are shattered.

    I agree with you on the homework issue. I think it’s similar to the Good Mom Syndrome, “If other teachers/moms are doing it, maybe I should too” regardless of whether it’s healthy for the kids or not. Perhaps it’s about peer or administrative perception. I do not envy teachers and I do not envy parents who have to deal with it. I’m counting my blessings I still have a couple years of free-range with my kids before all of this lovely scheduling begins.

  9. Can’t please everyone! As long as you don’t tell a whole community that their little “town” looks like a dump…you should be fine πŸ˜‰

    But actually I’ve heard that a lot…the too much homework business. I don’t think kids should have that much homework. Like maybe an hour or less worth a day. Like, give the kids time to do their homework during the day and let their evenings be full of activity, creative play and chores!

  10. Hey! How come I didn’t win anything? Oh, maybe it’s because I didn’t leave a comment.

    As for homework, I don’t think elementary kids need it. Although it is a good way to find out what your kids are supposed to be learning in school but aren’t, and so you have to teach it to them, or they will be in 11th grade and have to ask you how to do long division. (Hypothetically speaking, of course.) Just what do they do in school all day?

    And while we are on the subject, kids shouldn’t have to do science fair projects until they are old enough to do the whole thing by themselves. Because parents shouldn’t have to do science fair projects.

  11. Amen sister on the homework thing. I have definitely noticed a difference in the ammount of homework a teacher gives out, if that teacher has kids herself. Then they get it. They realize that their homework is not the be all end all to life. There are other things. First and foremost family activities and yes playtime. I think this whole no kid left behind is the worst thing to ever happen to the education system. Just saying.

  12. I always say that you know you’ve done your job right if people are moved to passion about it. It’s good that you’re already feeling that. You’ve done it right.

  13. This is going to sound really snobbish, but I can’t think of any way to talk around it. My first grader loves his homework, and it’s one worksheet a night, plus a science packet that comes home once a week and is due the next week. Having said that, that’s just my kid’s personality– he thinks it’s fun to crank out all the answers on his worksheets and put them back in his binder. BUT, the thought has crossed my mind that if it were a battle, I would HATE it, because frankly, his homework is not all that instructional. I’m glad he likes it, but I don’t think he needs it to help his learning.

  14. Catherine says:

    Looking forward to reading it. Homework makes sense when there is a need to reinforce complex subjects like algebra and calculus and chemistry. But coloring?! Tracing the letter “C”?! Like my child won’t have a million and one additional opportunities to practice these skills during the school day over the course of the next 6 months. Homework at this level is nothing more than homework for homework’s sake (and another excuse to pass out candy rewards, I might add).

  15. I’m an English teacher (or I was) and I hate homework. Especially spelling homework. I posted about it and everybody agreed. But then again, only cool sane people read my blog…

  16. NO Way! I can’t believe I won – I so love Luke Perry (*Swoon*) do you think seeing it again after all these years will be a let down? Maybe it was the sideburns, or the name Luke, but I think subconsciously he is why I married my husband. So on the homework note, there should be an out-out form, like with immunizations. In fact you should adjust the immunization opt-out form and send it in to the school, formally excusing him from crappy assignments.

  17. Camille Myers says:

    Our faimily is out here in Texas, where my first grader gets ONE recess for 15 minutes a day and homework when she gets home, along with 25 minutes of reading. This year we sent our son Josh to Pre K, and HE now comes home with homework. WHAT??? That is just plain ridiculous. LET THE KIDS PLAY!

  18. Well you should definitley do co-sleeping next time πŸ˜›
    Can’t wait to read the article! My kindergardner only has a whopping 2 1/2 hours a day so In order to keep her somewhat up to date Ive been making her do homework lol but we have all day.

  19. In my former life (before I “retired” to stay home with kids) I taught pre-school in a school district back East. I had parents contacting me requesting homework! (These children were age 3-5). I told them to play with their kids or sit down and read to them. The last thing they needed to be doing was worksheets.

  20. LOVE the new header! I’m glad you kept your beautiful mouth in the picture… it being your most opinionated feature & all. 8^)

    Homework… where do I begin? Let me say that as a mother with 4 (next year, 5) children in elementary school, homework time around here is crazy. C.R.A.Z.Y. I only have 2 self-starters. Add a son w/Autism+ADHD, & woo hoo, I’m telling you! It’s fun times at our house from 3:30-whenever-it-gets-done.

    Some homework is OK, though. My favorite homework is the 20 minutes of reading – which I think is GREAT homework! Everything else is exasperating.

    I do envy my friend A.C. Her kids go to an “Open Classroom” in SLC, & they “do NOT believe in homework”. Almost makes me want to drive my kids the 30 minutes to that school…

  21. No hate mail (darn you for picking the WRONG number!), just one comment, by way of constructive feedback–promise. So…I love the new banner! But…the silver, vertical, rope-ish, twine-ish thingy–it kind of looks like there is a nine inch nail ready to lodge into your chin. Maybe that was the look you were going for, just barely missing the jugular with the angle and all. Not sure if anyone else had to do a double take, but I thought I’d mention it just in case you could do a little work-a-roo with photoshop.

  22. Jason you are the man! Nice number picking!…and Annie, thanks for the b-day prize! I have no idea what a Junk Tie is…I’ll send pics of me sporting it when it arrives!

  23. Hey! just fond you through LT. You are funny and I love to support other writers. I’m following! come check out my site.

  24. So, how do you deal with the hate mail? Do you have to supply you email address? Do people that disagree HAVE to be able to contact you to tell you that your opinion is wrong and you are bad for feeling that way?

  25. The person who invented homework should be shot. And hanged. And finally drowned – just to be on the safe side.

    I totally should have linked to your blog. I must’ve had a lapse because I didn’t even think of it!

    Where is Jen lately? Is she on bloggy hiatus? Having fun on a tropical isle somewhere? Or, did her computer commit suicide?

  26. P.S. Love the new black and white heading – so IN.

  27. Grrr, I absolutely hate home work for elementary students. You should hear the responses I get when I refuse to do homework over the weekend. If you can’t get it through their heads in the six hours you have with them, then you seriously need to rethink the curriculum and who is teaching it. They don’t need all the fluff, teach them to read, write and do math then they can teach themselves everything else.

    Dang you got me started.