ABC – Winning the Homework Wars … and comments

I was horrified at the comments posted to a reasonable article here:

I’m not sure if my response will get published but here ’tis.

Some commenters here need to get a grip.

Homework helps develop skills that will benefit the child for the rest of their life.  It’s not just what is done, but the routine and the idea of self responsibility.  Parents need to be part of a child’s education (in fact more than just part) and it is crucial for parents to be aware of a child’s development path. Homework helps with this also and makes it possible for the school’s teachers and parents to have meaningful conversations about how the child is going.

A parent expecting the school to do all the work of educating a child shows how badly they understand the nature of education and their own child’s needs.  Parents who re-visit their own trauma on their children risk pre-loading them with prejudice that most likely is completely unjustified now.  (Yes I was caned and bullied as well – most of our generation were.)

I considered homeschooling, and have great respect for those who can do it well.  It’s a huge parental commitment.  Fortunately we have found a small, caring school that we can work together with as a team to grow and develop our kids.



Shadow Box Test






City versus Country Living

It’s after you’ve lived elsewhere, become a bit older, and perhaps started a family, that you appreciate a place like Gympie.  I know I’m speaking through the prism of a childhood in the seventies.  However in most of Brisbane (cities generally) you can’t let your (young) kids ride their bikes around town, play in creeks, walk to school etc.  I’m not talking about pedo paranoia, rather just the danger of getting lost and crossing city main roads.  Then there’s the pervasive noise and light.  Then there’s inflated housing prices.  Yes, there are lots of cosmpolitan things to do and see.  But the price we pay for these is high indeed.

We’ve got our 5 yo in a very small school in which there is just one class per grade and all staff know every child.  It strikes me every time how this reflects and supports the notion that it takes a village to raise a child.  When I was a kid in Gympie, most of the adults (at school, in the main street, at the pool, and in most of the corner stores) knew who I was.  That lack of anonymity gave me a sense of security allowing me courage to roam and explore, and becoming independent.  And yes, it made me think twice about misbehaving.

It may be a bit harsh on myself, but I feel that I am letting my kids down somewhat by raising them in the city.  That’s why I’m putting effort into getting back into camping.


Flood Levies at Charleville

We think of “flood levies” as nicely rounded, grass-topped and sturdy walls of earth, but seeing these thin concrete walls holding back the swollen Warrego River at Charleville is pretty sobering.

Here in Brisbane, with the ground saturated once more, [click to continue…]

Floods Social

Moon and Jupiter

Noah and Amelie saw the Moon and Jupiter (plus 4 moons) through my old telescope this evening.

The 4.5″ reflector was a valued present from my Om (uncle) Jan when I was about 14. Mum carried the bazoooka-looking tube as hand luggage on 3 flights from Europe. Those were carefree days of travel!

Then mum spotted a satellite going over. Noah said, “Gee I’d like to be on a satellite.” Hmmm …