School’s out for evening

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

First off, let me correct information I provided last week. The RN&R is having a 10th birthday bash at the Reno Hilton on Feb. 26, you’re invited, and tickets are $13 (not $10) at the door. You may get the $10 tickets in advance through the Reno Hilton’s box office, but they will be $13 at the door.

Now, while I’m admitting errors, let me tell you something else: I was a lousy student. I had awful grammar and used words like “lousy.” I had a horrible attitude, saw teachers as authoritarian slavemasters (you know, the compulsory-education thing), and was disruptive and bored.

I didn’t really cop an attitude until sixth grade when I came across a teacher who gave me too much homework. The bad attitude, quite literally, never went away. I still have it.

Now, here’s the reason I bring this up. My 7-year-old son does two hours of homework every night but Friday and Saturday. This weekend, he spent at least 14 hours on his homework. Yes, in part, he was preparing a special extra-curricular science project, but that doesn’t change the fact that, on a day-to-day basis, I see a huge potential for burning children out on school. And, I’m hearing similar reports from a lot of parents.

Springing, as he does, from workaholic parents, I can’t see Hunter slacking. But then, he’s got my attitudinal genes, too. Students who see school as only a chore will become bored, disruptive and … what? Ditchdiggers, bouncers, bartenders or even journalists?

I’m not particularly worried about Hunter getting dull (“All work and no play…”) but I do feel that the work of a child is play, and only enough homework should be assigned to teach grade-schoolers the concept of “homework.”

Education should be an adventure, not a death march, and a lot of really intelligent students will be put off continuing their educations by teaching them that school sucks.