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[Susan notes: Let us hope this parent disgust sparks a revolution against homework. Get in touch with

Stop Homework the blog of Sara Bennett, co-author of The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It.]

Published in Washington Post

To the editor

Too Much Holiday Homework

Friday, December 19, 2008; Page A34

Washington Post

I am flabbergasted at this year's winter break homework packets from the Prince George's County public schools. We parents are asked to make sure that our children are in school every day for instruction. We are asked not to take them out for vacations or even appointments unless doing so is absolutely necessary, as this interferes with the time needed for instruction. I fully support this and wait, when possible, until the break periods to schedule trips and medical appointments.

I am appalled at the amount of work in the proposed winter packets for my seventh-, ninth- and 10th-graders. I am not opposed to the children's being asked to read or work on a long-term project, but I consider the assigning of this "busy work" harmful to family time.

I urge Prince George's schools to reconsider this packet idea; children need downtime. I was looking forward to enjoying quality time with my children, not rushing to ensure that a biology packet of more than 30 pages is completed. This year, to add insult to injury, we parents are expected to print these packets out for our children. If the schools do not have the resources to provide a packet for every child, the projects should not be required. I worked in an elementary school for five years and saw firsthand the need for a break from studies.

Patti King

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