Making waves on the internet today is a letter a second grade teacher sent home with her new students. She states that she will not be assigning her students any homework for the year asking, rather, the parents do things that are “proven to correlate with student success”. She suggests parents make sure to eat dinner as a family, read with their children, play with them outside and make sure to set a reasonable bed time.
I think one of the reasons this letter is resonating are a few things:
- It’s refreshing when an educator recognizes the importance of parental judgement.
- This goes against the common narrative that mainstream educators are quick to ignore anything with the whiff of traditional family activity.
- This expressly fights back against the modern plague of parents who don’t care to do those ‘extra things’ in family life that benefit children so much–in mind, body, and soul.
Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking. Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered. Hence the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs.
-GRAVISSIMUM EDUCATIONIS (10-11), Bl. Pope Paul VI