Friday, December 23, 2011

Deirdre Mundy on eliminating busy work


But if you eliminated all the busy work, the school day would only be about an hour and a half long! And then people would have to PAY for babysitters!

Seriously -- My daughter's homeschooled day is about 1.5 hours long. But I don't count the time she spends coloring, drawing, making up stories, learning myths, doing wordfinds or watching documentaries as "school." School is the part of the day where she is doing the work that I've determined is necessary for her academic growth. (At this point, mostly reading and math). The other stuff is what she chooses to do for fun. I'm not going to give her 'credit' for drawing a diorama of African animals. BUT if she was in school, it would be a 'project.' And, honestly, it would probably have had all the joy sucked out of it.

Schools need busy work, because there is no way that a 6 year old can do PRODUCTIVE work for nearly 7 hours a day. And babysitting 25 kids at once means trying to keep them as quiet and sedentary as possible.

In my ideal world, the school day would stay under 3 hours long until 4th or 5th grade. But it would never fly. Somehow, we've grown to equate "time in a classroom" with "instruction time" and believe that "more" is the same as "More efficient."

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