ParentMap, November 2007 Issue

Published on: November 30, 2007

ParentMap November 2007 issue Is that homework load sucking the love out of your kids’ school
experience? Take a look at why some parents (and schools!) are pulling
the plug. And speaking of plugs, what are those baby DVD’s really good
for? We’ve got the scoop on screen time. Plus — show off your mad
waddling skills on a memorable family snowshoeing adventure — it’s
cheap, it’s easier than skiing, and best of all, it’s fun!

Should we kill homework?

Ages & Stages:

Out & About:

Giving Together:

Getting School Ready:

When school's not a good fit

Healthcare for children: A right or a privilege?

Q & A: Our new early learning chief speaks out

This month's featured media

About this issue

Alayne SulkinDear Reader,

I wanted to fling my body into a full prostrate horizontal bow before
Senator Hillary Clinton’s feet while hearing her speak on her recent
Seattle visit. We all tire of hearing about the areas in which the US
continues to get the lowest rankings, from healthcare coverage to
family leave. (Hurray for our legislature passing SB 5659!)

Ruth C. White, a Seattle University professor, does an outstanding
job of articulating the issues surrounding the president’s veto of a
powerful new insurance program for our nation’s poorest children (“Voice”).
“If children voted, our policies would reflect their interests.
Instead, pharmaceutical and health-insurance companies seek to maintain
their high profit . . . gambling with the lives of our children.”

Less risky, yet controversial on a different level: As president of my
children’s school years ago, I wanted to be known as the leader who
“killed homework.”  My personal stress related to the daily deluge of
busywork crumpled into my tired and resistant first-grader’s backpack.
I was always curious about the real value of this “latter-day cod liver
oil.” In “Should we kill homework?
Paula Becker explores parental competition, stresses on parent-child
relations, the harm and benefits of homework, and shares a variety of
schools’ approaches.

Wherever you side on the homework issue, set it all aside for holiday
adventure! Why not walk off turkey and stuffing while snowshoeing, or
“dork-walking” as our outdoor-enthusiast managing editor’s kids call
it? (“Finding Bigfoot”.)
“Like a balm to the schlep-weary parent, snowshoe days provide pristine
vistas, solitude if you seek it, and plenty of judgment-free
opportunities for the crazy that kids bring.” You don’t need the
requisite cash in the bank or saintly patience required with other
winter sports!

Patience not being one of my virtues, I will run out before the
holidays to purchase some of Kris Collingridge’s magnificent
recommendations in the Educational Gift Guide. Visit your local toy or game store and find some fun new
family traditions, like friends who recently became obsessed with
Bananagrams while traveling in
London with three teenage grandsons.

Don’t forget to vote on November 6!

—Alayne Sulkin, Publisher/Editor

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