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Is your child drowning in schoolwork? Be alert for the signs of homework burnout: constant frustration, loss of motivation, and a diminished interest in learning. If you see them, speak up. "Parents are scared they'll be labeled a troublemaker and their kids a problem," says Nancy Kalish, author of The Case Against Homework: How Homework is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do. "But if the load is heavy at the beginning of the year, it's not going to get better later on. You have to do something before your child starts to hate school." Coauthor Sara Bennett successfully challenged and changed homework policies at her children's schools and suggests approaching your school board to see what can be done. To prepare, attend a parents' association meeting and ask everyone to fill out one of the two homework surveys, which will pre-empt the "no one else is complaining" defense. Contact your board, submit the surveys, and get the issue on the agenda.
Surveys excerpted from The Case Against Homework: How Homework is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do (Crown).