So yesterday I went in and talked to Harry’s teacher.

To be honest, I sit around taking care of kids and cleaning the house all day, I don’t get out much. And my blog? I write for mothers and from what I can tell, most of you feel the same way I do. I can honestly say the impression I’ve had from most mothers here is that my article hit the spot, it’s exactly how they feel.

Then I met with Mrs. B.

Ho-Ly Crap. The first thing she told me was that she felt sorry for me, because in lieu of my recent article, there’s not a teacher at my son’s school who wants anything to do with him or me. Basically, as far as that school goes, my name is Mud.

I was kind of stunned. It was like finding out you were adopted by really mean people. The teachers at his school felt personally attacked, and that’s my fault. If I could do anything again, I would have gone in and warned Mrs. B about the article so she wasn’t taken by surprise, and so she understood that I write to represent mothers, not just myself. If I had a problem with her, I would tell her. It’s homework in general I hate, and that’s a national issue.

But I still would have published it, because it’s my job to represent mothers, and gosh darn it, I’m going to do it.

The thing is, after talking to a few friends, I’ve learned that our elementary school tends to blacklist parents who make a noise. In fact, the first grade teachers have had two complaints about the homework already this year, but they haven’t made any changes. Why? Because the first mother came across as angry and upset (which never got anyone anywhere) and the second complaint was anonymous. ANONYMOUS.

Now what does that tell you? It tells me that mothers are terrified to talk to the teachers at our school. I tried to tell Mrs. B that so many moms are passive and don’t feel like they can say anything. If an anonymous letter doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.

And instead of listening to a single thing I said in my article, the teachers at my son’s school hate me (with the exception of Mrs. B, who is seriously an angel on Earth, and Mrs. J, the principal, who I worship and adore).

So I’m asking for something from all of you who have agreed with me. SAY SOMETHING. If you feel this way, don’t just leave me a comment agreeing with me, GO IN AND SAY SOMETHING! Do it with cookies if that makes you feel better, be kind and appreciative of all the things those wonderful teachers are doing for our kids (because we all know they’re working their tails off here), but let them know how you feel.

Don’t wait a single day, and don’t do it anonymously. Send an email, send a letter. Write a note to the principal, buy a hot air balloon–just do something. If we don’t start speaking up and speaking out as a group, it’s not going to matter.

Because I’ll tell you right now, they didn’t believe me yesterday. It was like I was in a different country. If we’re going to make a difference here, we have to communicate with teachers.

What are you waiting for? Do it. Do it now.


  1. Ah hon that sounds horrid!

    I really hope that you rally the support you need and if I had children I would be completely supporting you!

  2. Pooooor Annie!!! I’ve said something . . . . . I’ve pulled my kid OUT! That says it pretty loud and clear.

    Also, with my other three kids, if the homework took more than an hour, I sent a note back with them telling the teacher that they had spent an hour doing their homework and I thought that was enough. (homework was not finished) This seemed to work . . . . for me anyway!

    When I complain about things, I get comments like “nobody else even blinks an eyelash . . . . ” and I say “well I’M blinking!!!”

    Don’t let this stop you from voicing your opinion . . . . I know it’s hard . . . .

  3. Oh my heck, I can’t beleive THIS is the topic that people are getting their panties in a bunch about! I was a teacher, my parents are both teachers, and your article (they TOLD you to find some controversial topic and stir, you were just doing your job!) was a well-stated opinion, nothing more! Wow. I’m just in shock that the teachers are taking it so hard. Do they not have kids? Homework is one thing, but MAN, how about a side of some childhood please? I can’t say anything yet because my ones are too little, but I promise I will in the future. Bravo, Annie!

  4. Annie, I loved your article and obviously with all the hate mail you just earned a little more job security at the newspaper! There is a school in Roy where the principal has taken a stand against homework–the kids are expected to read 20 minutes, play actively (hopefully outside) for an hour, eat dinner with their families and get to bed on time. The parents, students and teachers all seem to like it.

    If any certain teacher is offended by the article, they need to read it again. The whole thing. And then realize that you weren’t being negative about teachers, or about a little homework, but you are wanting the same respect for “home time” as you give to “school time.”

    Seriously, I’ve been on both sides (teacher and mom) and it was a great opinion.

  5. Just because homework is sent home, doesn’t mean you have to do it.
    Free Agency baby!
    School…and permanent records don’t “count” til 9th grade….as kids look toward college.
    So….if Homework gets sent home, we do what we want, and bag the rest.

  6. Yes…you too can be disliked liked like Annie…quick you lemmings off to school to complain to a poor underpaid teacher trying to maintain control of 30 unruly kids. Don’t think about the ramifications…GO NOW!!!
    I’m going to tell you the same things I tell my kids…you can only complain about something..if you have a solution to the something.

  7. Wow. I missed out on a lot. It’s ridiculous that they don’t listen to parents input. But I agree with you, lots of people are way too timid. Sam is obviously too young for school, but when he is, his teacher will know Adam and I very well.

  8. Sylvia,
    Annie was just pointing out that there are a lot of parents who have a problem with the homework issue being piled and piled onto the children but won’t talk to the teachers about their concerns. This has nothing to do with whether or not teachers are overworked and underpaid. I appreciate teachers and do everything I can to help volunteer and help with those “unruly” children, as do many other parents. I would think that cutting out some or most of the homework would take a lot of the work teachers have to take home and correct. What kind of ramifications would there be if a parent took their concerns to the teacher?
    My mother-in-law was a teacher at an inner-city Ogden elementary school. She states that because of NCLB she wasn’t able to “teach” the children it was all about how the kids performed on tests. So she had to cram in a bunch of information into their poor little skulls (and half of them barely could get by with speaking English) in a little time. She was under so much pressure to make sure all the numbers came out right that she felt what was best for the children was being ignored.
    I, for one, will speak with a 2nd grade teacher after I spent 3 hours collecting and labeling rocks with my daughter and still not being able to find all the information needed, even with my husbands university Geology Earth Science book. As an single mother, for now, it’s too hard to do 4 pages of tracing letters and other work for my sons kindergarten class each night, read 20 minutes with each kid, help my daughter with her spelling, math and now a seed project, teach piano (after school), and work from my computer at home (and chase a 2 year old). I think I have the right to talk to the teacher.

  9. Too much to say except that leaving an anonymous comment doesn’t necessarily imply that someone has been intimidated. I think it’s more likely that it means the person doesn’t know how to deal with confrontation. People generally avoid confrontation like the plague. Only people with strong personalities or those who have learned that very little gets accomplished by making anonymous comments can actually handle it like an adult. If you don’t care enough to stand behind your comment, why should I?

  10. Annie,

    I think you’re awesome. If I had kids I would be doing the same thing. In fact, WHEN I have kids and this problem arises (or any problem for that matter), I plan to do something about it. You’re great.


  11. Annie…less homework is a great solution except are you going to feel that way when your child is behind compared to other children whos parents don’t share you view?
    I’m not saying that you are wrong…or right for that matter but you are shooting the messanger. The teacher is not entirely to blame for all the homework given. I think your complaint would be better steered to the Board of Education.
    It’s ironic that everyone wants all these great schools..with great test scores and state recognition except if it requires us to sacrifice as parents…and do a little bit of homework.

    • I have to defend Annie here. She does sacrifice, as a parent, and she teaches her kids plenty. She is just saying there are better ways she can teach her child than by helping him with worksheets. Chores and family time and play time will prepare him to be an adult better than anything else.

      Also, there is no way that extra after-school worksheets are what keeps our school (and many others in Utah) above national averages for test scores. With the worst per-pupil funding in the country, our students are not amazing because of extra homework. Our students are amazing because of good parents who care about their kids’ educations. And I’m guessing that most of that good parenting is worksheet-free.

  12. I disagree. Less homework is not my goal. NO homework is my goal.

    I would probably home school if I could somehow get my head around 5th grade math…

  13. As the wife of a 1st grade teacher (and also the mom of a 1st grade boy), I can tell you that the teachers in our schools would be happy to comply with the NO homework policy, were it not for that little thing called NCLB (which we all agree is a load of crap). My husband is having an experience much like Camille’s mother-in-law, and it just makes me sad. Sad because my husband and his colleagues are quick to burn out from cramming for the test instead of giving these children the love and attention they need to be successful in life (and in school!). There are sooooooo many factors that go into these scores, the majority of which occur outside of school and independent of teachers and administrators, but who gets the responsibility and blame when it all goes to pot? Yeah. The teachers.

    I’m not playing the blame game here because each of us, parent, student, and teacher has a measure of responsibility and it’s time that we as parents and they (as administrators and government leaders) wake up and realize that. Even the best of teachers can’t take a child who is cold/hungry/sleep deprived/has a dysfunctional or unstable home life/has a learning disability/insufficient English language skills/has behavior issues/etc. and get them to perform well. Now multiply that by ten and add 20 “normal” kids, lack of supplies/help/funding and you get a hot mess!

    p.s. As to the person who commented on the actual newspaper’s website about “excuse me for trying to teach your children some responsibility” um, no. You’re not teaching my child about responsibility, I am. You might be the one sending home the work, but I am the one making sure it gets done and telling them why it’s important!

  14. I had a horrible time with my daughter’s 3rd grade teacher. Her attitude of tearing down the self-esteem of the kids was so inappropriate. But, I noticed at one conference that she seemed to respond better to my husband than to me. Now, I would like to say that was because I am a former teacher (ie, a threat) and he is not, but actually, I think it was because he is a man. If I take him along to a conference, the female teachers tend to talk to him, not me.

    So, all I’m saying here is this. Fight fire with fire. Send in your spouse.

    By the way, I liked your article a lot, and I used to teach elementary school. I’m sorry you are having this experience. Some teachers tend to treat parents as the enemy and I just don’t get that. The best ones work WITH the parents and end up beloved by the children as well as their families.

    In defense of some teachers… I have talked with some who hate all the worksheets that the kids do, but the district mandates it. Others enjoy the ease of a worksheet. It’s easy to grade. Easy to assign. Really easy to give as homework. The trouble is that kids can get so accustomed to worksheets that they can’t even function with any kind of creative homework. I used to have parent complaints over the LACK OF WORKSHEETS in my class and homework because I had the kids WRITE and do JOURNALS. Ironic, isn’t it?

  15. This has been an interesting discussion. Thanks Annie for bringing it up. I am both a teacher (9th grade) and a parent of elementary aged children. My children have been given very little homework in their school and sometimes I worry about them not having enough after I hear from other moms how much homework their children have. But my children have done very well in school and on standardized tests. It seems that so much of the homework that is sent home in the elementary school is just busy work and that doesn’t really help students learn. Completing worksheets usually doesn’t help students gain any valuable skills. Talking about school with parents, sharing what they’ve learned and applying new knowledge to other situations is much better for kids. So I guess I should be thankful that we haven’t had too much homework to deal with in the last 6 years, but next year junior high starts and I know it will be a whole new ball game.

    And good luck in dealing with the teachers at your son’s school. Parents should be open and honest with teachers. Tell them about concerns you have–sometimes teachers have very good reasons for doing what they do and sometimes teachers are misunderstood by parents and misrepresented by students. I always appreciate a parent who allows me the opportunity to explain my purpose for an assignment or a discussion rather than going to the principal to protest. (And no, that doesn’t happen very often–but occasionally a parent calls the office with crazy things, like the time a parent heard I called John Kerry a baby killer. This was of course a total miscommunication along the lines of the telephone game.)

  16. Annie, I am proud of you (even though I don’t know you) for going in and talking to your son’s teacher. I think that it, to say the least, saved the relationship with her. I really think it was the right thing to do…..unfortunately some teachers (and schools) seem to black list people….I have seen it many a time. But there are still great teachers out there who would rather work with parents and resolve conflicts and issues. I hope that your story will encourage everyone else to keep an open dialogue with their children’s teachers. In my case, I would do anything within reason to work with parents and home needs. It’s also an important part of the educational process.

    Now maybe a truckful of cookies to the teacher’s lounge might make a good peace offering (or donuts, or root beer floats, or lunch Good luck.

  17. This is really a tough issue. On the one hand, I totally agree with you. I think my kids bring home way too much homework after being in school for 7.5 hours. They need a break. We have so much going on after school, that they don’t have time to just be kids. It’s HARD.

    On the other hand, I do enjoy being able to see if my child is having a hard time with a concept, and being able to help her because she has homework that needs to be done. I wouldn’t otherwise know what she was struggling with in school, or see how to help her. Especially with the Chicago math our school does and I have no idea how to do the 4th grade math.

  18. Tario Family says:


    Your article was dead on right. There is way too much homework in the elementary schools these days. My wife and I are not one’s to sit back and let things go because we don’t want to rock the boat. We set up meetings with our son’s teachers and let them know where we stand. Anonymous simply will not get it done and and angry outbursts will not either.

    We applaud you for writing that article. If the teachers at your son’s school are that thin skinned then they should be looking for another line of work. Teachers all over beg for parent involvement in their kids education, but whoah…whoah…whoah don’t dare bring up the fact that you don’t like they way they are doing things. I think it is quite hypocritical on their part to behave in that manner.

    This is not an attack/criticism on all teachers. In fact we have had great success dealing with our son’s teachers by setting up meetings with them.

    Keep up the awesome work Annie and don’t let them get you down!! 🙂

    Josh’s Dad and Mom

  19. Whew… I can’t believe how this has blown up. I still agree with all you have done and said and wrote, and I thank you for being the voice of many many mothers. My kids are in high school now and the homework they have now is much less (i mean less time consuming) then what they had in elementary. Go figure! I know the frustration of too much homework and not enough being a kid and family time. Kudos to you for not being afraid to voice your opinion and ours. Keep fighting!

  20. I pretty much think this is a pointless issue that has been pulled way out of proportion. I personally have seen what is given out for homework in this whole situation. It really should only take ten minutes a night to do what this teacher has asked. This argument is a joke. All you parents who are throwing this much of a fit about this topic should get ready for Hell in junior high and high school.

    • annie valentine says:

      You know Molly, ten minutes doesn’t sound like much, but what about the little boy down the road, Sam, who cries for an hour every night over his ten minute worksheet? Ten minutes is easy when a kid is fresh, but after six hours of school, their little brains are fried.

      My kids go to bed at seven thirty. That gives me just over three hours after school to do dinner, play time, piano, baths, scriptures and homework, not to mention any errands or FHE. We spend nearly an hour of that time doing his worksheets, spelling words, and reading. The only way we can make it work right now is to have him on a rigid schedule after school to make sure we don’t waste a second.

      I’m making it work, but I feel bad for mothers who are trying to do “ten minutes of homework” with three kids at a time.

  21. It is proven that students do better at school when they are well rounded. If we shove too much school down their throats at an early age they WILL burn out. They need to play, they need to learn family responsibility, they need to be involved in sports and if funds allow involved in music. All this requires the dedication of a mother. The dedication that Annie has shown and shared with us. I personally am SHOCKED that because Annie and a few other mother’s have expressed an opinion other than what the teachers have, that now Annie and these parents are black listed. This is unacceptable. What message is this sending our children? Is their way the only right way? There are ALWAYS ways around the homework issue. Come on teachers!!! It’s time to be the student.

  22. I saw this on my blog roll this morning and immediately thought of you.

    You’re not alone–as indicated by your comments, other bloggers, and hopefully, vocal parents at your child’s school.

  23. Minivanmaniac says:

    I am a parent at your school and a former teacher so I have sat on both sides of the teacher’s desk. I have had all 6 of my children spend their elementary days there. I have never seen the situation you have described and it saddens me. I know every teacher and administrator at the school, both professionally and personally and I know there isn’t a single one who would do anything less than be devoted to their responsibility to do what is best for your child. I have had many occasions to take complaints and concerns to both teachers and administration at the school and I have not had the kind of treatment you have described. I haven’t always “got my way,” but I know my concerns were expressed and heard. But in my years as a teacher and as a parent, I have learned that just because I think it, it isn’t necessarily right for everyone. Perhaps it is because they have not acquiesced to the demands of you and a very few number of parents that you are representing the situation unfairly? I don’t think the complaints of two parents constitutes a mandate for change.

    The first grade teachers at our school are some of the finest teachers I have ever met. And if it were true that a teacher now would not want your child in their classroom, how can you blame them? You have shown yourself to be a person who resolves complaints by making it public, rather than resolving it through established channels.

    You say you write to represent mothers but you do not represent the majority of the mothers at our school.

    • annie valentine says:

      First off, with the exception of mentioning Layton, I have not, at any point, publicly humiliated anyone. If you look back and read the article impartially, you’ll see that I’m discussing an issue that pertains to our country. This is a NATIONAL problem, not a local problem. And yes, our school has awesome teachers, and yes, I know a lot of mom’s in my neighborhood who are too passive to say something. No one wants to look like a complainer.

      The article was not a shout out to my elementary. It was not an opportunity to pick on my school. I’m a columnist who writes an opinion piece once a month. My opinion is that first graders shouldn’t have homework. Your opinion can be whatever you want it to be.

      And frankly, since the implementation of NCLB things are very different than they were five or ten years ago. And I wouldn’t have written the piece if I hadn’t talked to more than a dozen mothers from my school who felt the exact same way I feel, and motivated me to say something.

      This is not about my elementary. This is about the issue of homework in general. If you didn’t get that from the piece, then you didn’t read it carefully and were looking to hate it and me before you even read the first word.

      • Minivanmaniac says:

        My comments were not directed at your article, but rather at the blog response above. I actually was not at all offended by your article but I was offended at the characterization of our school and our teachers in your blog. That was all I was referencing.

  24. For anyone interested in what a Harvard psychologist says on the matter, KUER hosted an interview with Susan Linn on the importance of playtime, specifically unstructured imaginative playtime. She says it is crucial to a child’s development, and kids today don’t get nearly enough of it. It has me thinking about skipping not only homework, but also piano, soccer, and everything else for a few more years. Here’s the link:

  25. I think things have gotten worse just in the last 3 years. My children were at Annie’s school 3 years ago and I don’t remember it being an issue even then. Our teachers are under enormous pressure with large class sizes, No Child Left Behind etc.

    I also have to point out that Annie was specifically talking about very young children. I think by the time they’re in 4th, 5th, and 6th it’s time to start gearing up for Jr. High and making sure the kids have some good solid study habits in place. But in K-3rd they are so young and immature! If the guidelines for 10 min per grade level were followed I think it would be fine but so often it’s not.

    I loved the comment about agency! We are the parents and if it’s too much we have the right to say “we’re not able to get this done, thanks for understanding!”

  26. My name is Tricia, by the way. Not Trici 🙂 Just in case anyone wondered!

  27. Jodi Clayton says:


    I haven’t commented on your blog in ages, but I still read it and GIRL, we got your back!!! By the way, I now have two jr. high students and 2 elementary school students. We no longer have any sort of life outside of homework and music. We have great teachers, but man, their hands are tied!!! It isn’t just NCLB, but also all the other stuff they are required to teach. The special interest groups are all clamoring for focus on their topic of choice. When we lived in NC, you would not believe how much time was focused on Black History month as well as teaching character traits that really should be the responsibility of the parents. Here in Texas, the children get fifteen minutes of recess. That is correct, fifteen minutes. Of course that is after they are forced to walk around a track for so many minutes. We don’t have recess, we have prison camp. Okay, so it isn’t that bad, but again the school shouldn’t be responsible for our kids’ health. The problem is showing up in so many of our institutions–the government is taking increasing responsibility for things that shouldn’t be their responsibility. Maybe if the schools focused more on the basics and got out of the health, manners, special interests, etc. business, then homework would be a thing of the past. ANYWAY, sorry for rambling, obviously I have been stewing about this for years. And what have I done about it? Nothing, absolutely nothing, because I suck.

  28. You are a writer. You’ve adressed what you think is an issue. It is your right. You have also communicated with many other adults and found similar opinions.
    I find it appalling that so many people think their opininon is better than yours. How are we ever going to improve and learn if we don’t evaluate the process?
    You are an amazing person. Keep up the good work!

  29. Annie- Good job! Apparently, a good controversial choice! Way to go!

    If I’m not mistaken, the subject material is quite simple-first graders are being sent home with too much homework. So why has this turned into the parents against the teachers and vice versa? Seems to me we should all be working in unison for the betterment of the child. I think it is within your parental rights, knowing your child and his limitations to say how much homework is too much. After all, his teacher has already put in her 7+ hours, and in first grade that plus 20 mins. of homework should be enough. I think it is important for our children in be in balance. Unfortunately, that is our challenge as parents. We know what is best for our children. And, sure, the teahcer is welcome to put in her two cents she has our childs educational needs at heart. But, ultimately, we are our child’s best advocate. We decide how much is too much!

  30. Yeah, thanks NCLB, thanks a lot. My daughter was in 1st last year, and sometimes the homework would take up too much time. This year, in 2nd, it sometimes takes an hour, RIDICULOUS! Here in NC, they have what they call the EOGs, which are tests they have to pass in certain grades, so from grade one they are really drilling in the writing and math concepts. In first, my daughter was not allowed to write, “I had fun,” she had to explain WHY whatever she was writing about was fun. The teacher wanted details, details and more details! seriously, peeps. Asking little people, who are still learning to write properly, to explain, in detail, their conversations and activities while they were on vacation is a little much. really. Don’t worry though, I am so not a passive parent. I go in and tell them EXACTLY how I feel and don’t give a rip whether they all hate me or not. Homework is a big issue, especially if your child has outside activities as well. They are at the dang school for 6 to 7 hours, is it not enough time to teach them all they need to know?? You go Annie! You have a right to feel the way you do. Six is way to early to get homework every day!

  31. Youknowwho says:

    just remember that in Yewtaw, “Education” is THE sacred cow, absolutely untouchable. Those very few excellent teachers in Utah, have to fight internally with thier own against being anything more than lackluster and mediocre. Let the apologists be damned. What the “educators”fail to grasp,is that without the taxpayers’ children, they would ALL be unemployable in the private sector. Unlike those who feed at the public trough from the taxpayers, in the real world(private sector) one actually has to be accountable, effective and profitable or they lose their job eventually. Not so in “public education”. One does not have to be effective, profitable or even accountable to still keep getting their paychecks, esepcially in the Davis School District. We see week after week miserable reports in the various media outlets of excesses with our little ones perpetrated by “teachers”, embezzlements into the millions spanning decades by alleged professional “educators”, inappropriate “conduct”(I’m being nice here) between teachers and students(or former students), and NO ONE locally seems to mind a bit. I am amazed at the local “reaction” from the neighborhood gossip gasbags that are castigating you for “taking it public”, such false piety and apologist behavior breeds incompetence and mediocrity in our society.
    The gossip gasbags are just unable to grasp that a strong-willed woman NOT on “medication” can be articulate, intelligent and professional, while managing to be a mother plus everything else(re: a “nurturer”). Your “crime” Anabelle, is that you chose to “speak out” something the local cowards cannot do, they have to overmedicate themselves to deal with life’s vicissitudes and “tsk, tsk” anyone who challenges thier “position”. Maybe I’m a little harsh on them, but stand your ground and never retreat. The truth never needs a defense. Let them howl, as said so articulately by Sir Winston Churchill. Howl they will, but it will actually be their shrill sirens of hypocrisy.
    It’s your child’s education and our tax dollars. Never let a bully get away with it. Never. Off the sop box for tonight.

  32. Its crazy-all this crap over an opinion. I bet if you said they didnt give enough homework, you would still get crap. People just love to complain-if its not one thing its the other. Not being from Utah (anymore, thankgoodness =) and just reading this article, I saw nothing that should have been offensive toward anyone. Goodness, lighten up people!! Having a first grader myself, my complaint is totally opposite. I dont think he has enough homework. We dont get nightly worksheets or work not done that day. He gets spelling words for the week and a calender for the month with a few things to accomplish that we can do on our own schedule. It works for us because once he gets home he is done with school and wants to run and play. After about 20 min or so of made up work, then his chores, its almost 4. He plays for about an hour and then he is home for dinner and family time and then reading and bed time. He isnt even in a sport or scouts and barely has time for playing. It is totally about balance, but finding that balance is the hard part. Good luck girlie and thanks for speaking your mind. I love it…even if I dont always agree =)

  33. Annie,
    I can’t weigh fairly on this topic (yet)….my son is only 6 months old. However, I can commend you for standing up, speaking your mind, and doing so in a fair and eloquent way. Your article was well thought out and written with an open mind, given your stance on the situation.

    It sucks some of the response that has come from this, but GOOD FOR YOU for having the guts to stand up for something that matters to you! I can only hope as my son grows I can show him the same strong support and love you have demonstrated.

    • annie valentine says:

      Thank you, Aubrey, you have no idea how much I appreciate hearing that right now. And wow, amazing photography!

  34. I’m a reader and I just want to say that I support you. I’m sorry this whole mess has been so….well, messy.

    We feel that private school is best for our kids right now. It is a sacrifice, but my kids spend 7 hours a day away from my home. I want to feel good about where they are and what they are doing. Having said that, I took the easy way out and will be the first to admit it. I am a former educator (who taught school back East) and it wasn’t until my first child entered public school that I realized the major problems in our public schools, especially here in Utah.

    I know I need to stand up and fight for things to be better for all children and I applaud you for doing your part.

    Where I live I would say that 8 out of 10 parents are unhappy with the public school system. It makes so much more sense to voice our opinions, like you did, instead of complaining privately. It is not the teachers’ fault. They are faced with insurmountable obstacles. It is the system that is broken.

  35. Here are a couple of quotes you might like…
    “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed.
    But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”~ Audre Lorde ~

    “The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.” ~ Gloria Steinem ~

    Just remember it is OK to have a different opinion than someone else, Obviously you are not alone in your beliefs and you are raising a discussion (starting a hunger strike might have been more effective) – how else is anything accomplished? Although I think there are much more important things to talk to the schools about like staff hand-washing, breaking child labor laws with all the fund-raising, and more monkey bars. (to each her own campaign I guess).

  36. I’ve been a long-time lurker, and I’m finally commenting! I think it really is a shame that you presented your opinion, took a stand, and now feel forced to apologize 5,000 times. I’m not sure how old you are, but I don’t think you’re too far in age from me. When we went to school, we were taught to think creatively, speak up in times of injustice, and work to make the world better. You’re putting those skills to work! Good job! Now it only seems to matter if kids can be drones and do exactly the same worksheets and assignments as every other kid. I’m kidless, but I think regular worksheet homework should be outlawed for the little kids. How about this for “homework” – go home, play outside for no less than 30 minutes, spend time with 1 book (read it, look at the pictures, have your parents read, etc), and do 1 house chore. Sounds much more like real life than worksheets! Good for you for standing up for what you believe in, and shame on those teachers for bullying you (which is what they are – bullies) into apologizing.

  37. Oh Annie, I’m so sorry about all this. It’s horrible and I feel like crying for you. It’s hard when people don’t really know you. If I were there to give you a hug I would.

  38. So much has been said that I can’t really add anything new. I just want to say that as a mother of four who’s youngest just started kindergarten, I agree with you, Annie. And I think you did the right thing by expressing your feelings on the subject.

    My solution; more choice in education. People who like homework can send their kids to a homework school and the people who don’t like homework can send their kids to a non-homework school. Trying to educate with a one-size-fits all approach is a bad idea.

  39. My goodness! Look what happens when you take a blogging break!

    As a parent of a 1st grader, 5th grader and 9th grader, I feel I have some experience to weigh in on this issue. It IS an issue. Not just a Utah Issue, but a national issue.

    Utah is ranked 50th in the nation with regards to eduacation. 50th! We may have the highest rates of college attendance in the nation, but that doesn’t make our ranking of 50 any better. Utah is 50. Mull that over. Doing more homework doesn’t make our ranking magically go up.

    When my oldest was in 4th grade, she was averaging 2.5 hours of homework A NIGHT! A night people. And, it was busy work. That’s what the majority of the homework sent home is– busy work.

    To Sylvia up there, what are the ages of your children? When you are doing this much homework in elementary school, its NOT helping your child. NO. It is not preparing your child for jr high or highschool. I know. I have one, and frankly, she does LESS now than she did in 4th grade. Now, that’s just SAD.

    I applaud you Annie for taking a stand. Good for you! We’ve all got your back! (and I just found another topic for MMB’s discussion Wednesday!)