Research :

Homeschooling, Homework, Early Childhood Education


Most important ingredient in education reform: caring & qualified teacher for every child.

A good teacher:

  1. 1. Knows the cognitive level of each student

  2. 2. Uses indirectness  as a method

  3. 3. Enthusiasm

  4. 4. Caring

                    N.L. Gage


                A  Good Student:



Is Curious

Ask Questions

Is a Problem Solver

Makes Connections with new ideas

Problematic to Date
Long Beach Schools Eliminate Homework For Elementary Students 6/10/18 “... In a letter sent home to district parents this week, Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Gallagher announced that the district would be doing away with homework for its youngest students, and instead encouraging students to "WRaP" every night: Wonder, Read and Play...
Never Mind the Students; Homework Divides Parents
The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning 11/20/200 “ ...who’s doing the work?  Teachers do have the time to correct and grade it all effectively...
Disrupter of Families? A BookQuestions Homework NYT “...No study has conclusively proven homework’s academic advantages in grade school...”
This School District Just Banned Homework- But There’s A Catch7/19/2017
“...The superintendent told the Ocala Star Banner that she made the shift in policy because, “The research showed that students who are given a preponderance of homework do not perform better, or get better grades than those who do not.” She said her decision to have students read is based on the work of University of Tennessee education professor Richard Allington, who is a literacy expert...”
“ The quality of homework assigned is so poor that simply getting kids to read replacing homework with self-selected reading was a more powerful alternative,” Allington explained in an email to The Washington Post. “Maybe some kinds of homework might raise achievement, but if so, that type of homework is uncommon in U.S. schools.”
“First, no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school.  In fact, there isn’t even a positive correlation between, on the one hand, having younger children do some homework (vs. none), or more (vs. less), and, on the other hand, any measure of achievement.  If we’re making 12-year-olds, much less five-year-olds, do homework, it’s either because we’re misinformed about what the evidence says or because we think kids ought to have to do homework despite what the evidence says.”
Grade  Retention Achievement and Mental 
Health Outcomes 1/1/2003
National Association for School Psychologists
by Gabrielle E. Anderson, Angela D. Whipple, & Shane R. Jimerson
“...retention is ineffective, maybe harmful...”
Homework: how Much is Too Much?  npr 3/12/2003
How Much Homework is Too Much Homework/HuffPost
Homework: An unnecessary evil?...Surprising findings from new research 11/26/12 Valerie Strauss cites Alfie Kohn
no correlation between homework & achievement
“Not Interested in Being #1:” Shanghai May Ditch PISA 5/25/14
...”One of the shortfalls of Shanghai education masked by its top PISA ranking, Mr. Yi, pointed out, is excessive amount of homework, according to the story. For example, teachers in Shanghai spend 2 to 5 hours designing, reviewing, analyzing, and discussing homework assignment every day. “Over half of the students spend more than one hour on school work after school [every day]; Teachers’ estimate of homework load is much lower than actual experiences of students and parents; Although the homework is not particularly difficult, much of it is mechanical and repetitive tasks that take lots of time; Furthermore, our teachers are more used to mark the answers as ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ while students are hoping their teachers can help them open their minds and point out their problems.”
“...“Homework is only one of the elements that supports student development,” an unnamed PISA official told Xinmin Wanbao. “Their skills and qualities should also be acquired from a variety of activities such as play, online activities, and games instead of merely completing academic assignments or extending homework time.”
“...“Shanghai will not participate in PISA forever,” “... But it is clear that Shanghai officials have acknowledged that PISA does not give them what they want. Its narrow definition of education quality as test scores obscures other aspects of education that are much more important....”
There is quite a bit of research that indicates homework has little academic impact before upper middle school and high school and only limited Impact thenStop Homework/The Toronto Homework Policy after two Years
★The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn

★Stop Homework/The Toronto Homework Policy after two Years

Homework Policy - Toronto District School Board

ABC Homework

Homework: valuable learning tool or complete waste of time?
Beth Ritchie, Toronto

Homework for second grade teachers who can not just let the students enjoy reading at home: 100 School-Home Links activities 

Down load the entire Second Grade Activity volume

Homework Policies for School Districts, Schools, and Classrooms 65

influenced by community factors. Such guidelines for a nationally representative, or generic, district might be:

Grades 1-3-three to four mandatory assignments per week, each lasting no more than 10 to 30 minutes.

Grades 4-6-three to four mandatory assignments per week, each lasting between 40 and 60 minutes.

Grades 7 -9-four to five mandatory assignments per week, each lasting between 70 and 90 minutes for all subjects combined.

Grades 10-12-four to five mandatory assignments per week, each lasting between 100 and 120 minutes for all subjects combined.

Alternatively, a district might adopt what educators refer to as the lO-minute rule. The rule conveys to students and parents that each night they should expect all homework assignments together to last about as long as 10 minutes multiplied by the student's grade level. So first graders could expect 10 minutes per night, second graders could expect 20 minutes, third graders 30 minutes, and so on. This rule is attractive because it is simple to communicate while also being consistent with research regarding both the length and frequency of assignments.

I have often been asked whether suggestions about time on homework include required reading time. There exists no research literature on the combined effects of length and subject matter of assignments. My response has been to suggest that the length of nightly homework assignments might be modified upward a bit-perhaps a IS-minute rule-if the covered material is of high interest to students, regardless of the skill area involved. My sense is that pushing beyond a lS-minute rule, generally speaking, creates situations in which the costs of homework will begin to outweigh the benefits.

Finally, district policies need to acknowledge that homework should serve different purposes at varying grades. For younger students, homework should be used to reinforce the basic skills learned in class, foster positive attitudes toward school, and improve academic-related behaviors and character traits but not primarily to improve or accelerate subject-matter achievement. As students

  1. How Much Is too Much Homework

  2. How Homework Could Flunk Your Marriage 1/7/14

  3. End Homework Now 4/2001 Etta Kralovec and John Buell


By Brianna Hansen on November 19, 2018  Sent in by Anna Kucirkova.


GALLOWAY, N.J. — After Donna Cushlanis’s son kept bursting into tears midway through his second-grade math problems, which one night took over an hour, she told him not to do all of his homework.


  1. 1Times Topic: Homework      Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times

Zach Narkiewicz, 12, at Arthur Rann Elementary School in Galloway, N.J., which is re-evaluating homework practices.

Readers' Comments

"Let's get rid of the outdated agrarian calendar and have shorter summer vacations. Give kids a more measured pace throughout the year. Make learning enjoyable rather than a grind."

Rajiv, Palo Alto, CA

  1. 1Read Full Comment »

  2. 2Post a Comment »

“How many times do you have to add seven plus two?” Ms. Cushlanis, 46, said. “I have no problem with doing homework, but that put us both over the edge. I got to the point that this is enough.”

Ms. Cushlanis, a secretary for the Galloway school district, complained to her boss, Annette C. Giaquinto, the superintendent. It turned out that the district, which serves 3,500 kindergarten through eighth-grade students, was already re-evaluating its homework practices. The school board will vote this summer on a proposal to limit weeknight homework to 10 minutes for each year of school — 20 minutes for second graders, and so forth — and ban assignments on weekends, holidays and school vacations.

Galloway, a mostly middle-class community northwest of Atlantic City, is part of a wave of districts across the nation trying to remake homework amid concerns that high-stakes testing and competition for college have fueled a nightly grind that is stressing out children and depriving them of play and rest, yet doing little to raise achievement, particularly in elementary grades.

Such efforts have drawn criticism from some teachers and some parents who counter that students must study more, not less, if they are to succeed. Even so, the anti-homework movement has been reignited in recent months by the documentary “Race to Nowhere,” about burned-out students caught in a pressure-cooker educational system.

“There is simply no proof that most homework as we know it improves school performance,” said Vicki Abeles, the filmmaker and a mother of three from California. “And by expecting kids to work a ‘second shift’ in what should be their downtime, the presence of schoolwork at home is negatively affecting the health of our young people and the quality of family time.”

So teachers at Mango Elementary School in Fontana, Calif., are replacing homework with “goal work” that is specific to individual student’s needs and that can be completed in class or at home at his or her own pace. The Pleasanton School District, north of San Jose, Calif., is proposing this month to cut homework times by nearly half and prohibit weekend assignments in elementary grades because, as one administrator said, “parents want their kids back.”

Ridgewood High School in New Jersey introduced a homework-free winter break in December. Schools in Bleckley County, Ga., have instituted “no homework nights” throughout the year. The Brooklyn School of Inquiry, a gifted and talented program, has made homework optional.

“I think people confuse homework with rigor,” said Donna Taylor, the Brooklyn School’s principal, who views homework for children under 11 as primarily benefiting parents by helping them feel connected to the classroom.

The homework revolution has also spread north to Toronto, which in 2008 banned homework for kindergartners and for older children on school holidays, and to the Philippines, where the education department recently opposed weekend assignments so that students can “enjoy their childhood.”

Research has long suggested that homework in small doses can reinforce basic skills and help young children develop study habits, but that there are diminishing returns, said Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. The 10-minute guideline has generally been shown to be effective, Dr. Cooper said, adding that over all, “there is a minimal relationship between how much homework young kids do and how well they test.”

Still, efforts to roll back homework have been opposed by those who counter that there is not enough time in the school day to cover required topics and that homework reinforces classroom learning. In Coronado, Calif., the school board rejected a proposal by the superintendent to eliminate homework on weekends and holidays after some parents said that was when they had time to help their children and others worried it would result in more homework on weeknights.

“Most of our kids can’t spell without spell check or add unless it comes up on the computer,” said Karol Ball, 51, who has two teenage sons in the Atlantic City district. “If we coddle them when they’re younger, what happens when they get into the real world? No one’s going to say to them, ‘You don’t have to work extra hard to get that project done; just turn in what you got.’ ”

Homework wars have divided communities for over a century. In the 1950s, the Sputnik launching ushered in heavier workloads for American students in the race to keep up with the Soviet Union. The 1983 report “A Nation at Risk” and, more recently, the testing pressures of the No Child Left Behind law, also resulted in more homework for children at younger ages.

A few public and private schools have renounced homework in recent years, but most have sought a middle ground. In Galloway, the policy would stipulate that homework cover only topics already addressed in class.

“It’s been a fairly rote, thoughtless process for a long time, and schools are starting to realize this is a problem,” said Cathy J. Vatterott, an associate education professor at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and author of “Rethinking Homework.”

But Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, views policies dictating how to do homework as “taking something that should be professional practice and making it into an assembly-line process.” Dr. Giaquinto, Galloway’s superintendent, said the goal of the proposed policy was to make homework “meaningful and manageable,” noting that teachers would have to coordinate assignments so that a student’s total homework would not exceed the time limit.

Ms. Cushlanis, a single mother of triplets who are in different classes, is looking forward to having things standardized. Last year, in second grade, her son Nathan had twice as much homework as his brothers; this year, her son Jared has the most. If the boys do not finish their homework, they must do so the next day during recess.

“They shouldn’t be bombarded with homework,” Ms. Cushlanis said. “Kids need to be able to play; they need outlets.”

But William Parker, a construction worker who attended the Galloway schools and has a nephew in first grade, said the policy might lead children to focus on the clock rather than on their studies.

“This is so stupid,” Mr. Parker said. “Part of growing up is having a lot of homework every day. You’re supposed to say, ‘I can’t come out and play because I have to stay in and do homework.’ ”

A version of this article appeared in print on June 16, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Anti-Homework Rebels Gain A New Recruit: The Principal.

However, Charles Ungerleider, an education sociologist at the University of British Columbia, says homework is not a frill. “Repetition is absolutely necessary for learning,”

But I say that repetition should be done in school in various and interesting ways. School work done at home is as varied as each home and in some homes it isn’t done. recreational reading should be assigned for homework.

  1. Considering a Reading Basal Series?/Teacher Net

Basal Text - This designation identifies an on-level program for use at a particular grade level. The basal should address the standards, learning expectations and performance indicators of the subject area curriculum.  The basal program is the one that local boards of education are encouraged to adopt and make available for most students.

Co-Basal Text – This designation identifies a program which addresses one or more elements of the subject area curriculum, but which also fails to address other elements of the state curriculum.  Systems may adopt a co-basal for use as a supplement to address certain elements of the subject area curriculum. This category would include supplementary materials which are not a part of a basal text programEach element addressed in the co-basal program must meet the same research standards as the basal programs.  Co-basal texts cannot be purchased as a primary resource for instruction.

Alternative Level Text - This designation may be used to identify texts that address the needs of students not on grade level. Such books are designated as Alternative Level-Low or Alternative Level-High.” These books may be purchased in lieu of the basal text for a limited number of students. Local systems do have the option of adopting a book or series as an alternative level text even though it has not been so designated in the official list. Alternative level programs should meet the same scientifically based research standards as the basal programs.


Tips: Research on Use of Basals

Here are three different people speaking out:

"If a Title I school is a targeted assistance school, a Title I teacher cannot provide assistance during the 90 minutes of instruction. The Title I time must be provided above and beyond the classroom instruction.”

Instructional levels

Since students with the greatest reading difficulties need to maximize instructional time, the 30 minutes or more of intervention must occur outside of the 90-minute reading

block. However, this does not mean that targeted instruction cannot also occur within the

90-minute reading block. Instructional time is not maximized by requiring students to participate in activities (such as whole group instruction) that are not at their skill level and do not meet their instructional needs. The key point is to ensure that students are provided with instruction that meets their identified needs and to ensure that students with the greatest needs are provided with additional instructional time to accelerate their progress in meeting benchmarks and reaching proficiency."

Issues and Innovations in Literacy Education /Readings from The Reading Teacher     

by Richard Robinson

Basal Text - This designation identifies an on-level program for use at a particular grade level. The basal should address the standards, learning expectations and performance indicators of the subject area curriculum.  The basal program is the one that local boards of education are encouraged to adopt and make available for most students.

Co-Basal Text – This designation identifies a program which addresses one or more elements of the subject area curriculum, but which also fails to address other elements of the state curriculum.  Systems may adopt a co-basal for use as a supplement to address certain elements of the subject area curriculum. This category would include supplementary materials which are not a part of a basal text programEach element addressed in the co-basal program must meet the same research standards as the basal programs.  Co-basal texts should be purchased as a primary resource for instruction.

Alternative Level Text - This designation may be used to identify texts that address the needs of students not on grade level. Such books are designated as Alternative Level-Low or Alternative Level-High.” These books may be purchased in lieu of the basal text for a limited number of students. Local systems do have the option of adopting a book or series as an alternative level text even though it has not been so designated in the official list. Alternative level programs should meet the same scientifically based research standards as the basal programs.

The Value of Basal Readers

  1. Basal ReadersVs. Leveled Books/

  2. Point/Counterpoint: The value of basal readers

  3. Basal Reading Programs

Note: Sometimes they rely on one or several reading series as the anchor of their reading program...

On my  web site I have the following statement:

                     Still Holds True Today

“ There are many children who face frustration and failure in reading because of being forced to read materials that are not appropriate for them.”.. The most significant reading problem today is the proper placement of pupils in books they can read....Only then can the students progress in reading skills.  Too many pupils are trying to read books that are too difficult for them. When they meet such frustration, their learning is retarded or stopped.... trying to read books  too difficult for them actually interferes with the reading progress.

The most essential ingredient of a good reading program is a creative, organized, enthusiastic, knowledgeable teacher.

We must provide reading instruction that builds positive feelings and emotions related to the process of reading.

Contemporary Education, Vol 48, No. 3 Spring, 1977 p.165-167

  1. 31 Things Your Kids Should Be Doing Instead of Homework


  1. Ron Paul: It’s Time For A Homeschooling Revolution

  2. Parents have no 'right' to homeschool their kids, says Justice Department

May 13, 2013  by Lance Devon

NaturalNews) Individual liberty is being burned at the stake, as governments set fire to people natural rights. This time it has everything to do with homeschooling.

It all started in Germany. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike were raising their five children in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, when they decided to remove their children from the public education system. In 2006, the Romeike's illegally withdrew their children from the German public schools system and began homeschooling. Believing that the public education system was undermining their Christian faith, the Romeike's began breaking the law and teaching their kids at home. By exercising their natural rights, the Romeikes were fined over $10,000 by the German government and at one point their children were forcefully removed from their home. In 2010, after getting their children back, they chose to flee Germany and move to the United States.

Finding freedom in the US, only to be challenged again, this time by the US

Upon arrival in Tennessee, the Romeikes were granted asylum. A federal judge rebuked the German policy and ruled that the Romeike's had a reasonable fear of persecution for their personal beliefs if they returned to Germany.

Nothing much was said about the issue until the Obama's Administration's Department of Justice got involved.

Attorney General, Eric Holder came out and opposed the federal court ruling, siding with the German government. He pleaded that the Romeike's be denied their asylum. Holder believes that governments may legitimately use force and authority to make parents comply with government-sanctioned schools.

With statements like these, the United States, once a beacon for liberty, is now endorsing force and mandates in regard to education. The right to homeschool and teach one's own children is a fundamental human right is now at stake. It doesn't matter what beliefs each family has. It's liberty that matters. According to Holder, that liberty should be supervised by the federal government.

Government supervised education

The German policy that's currently in place says that the upbringing of a child is a parent's natural right but the government's duty is to watch over them in the performance of this duty. The law also states that: "The entire school system shall be under the supervision of the state."

The policy in the United States is currently one of freedom. The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution secures homeschooling as a fundamental liberty. The Constitution enables each individual state to regulate homeschooling in its own way. Is this idea under attack?

Very much so. The Attorney General currently seeks to deport the Romeike's. Their right to homeschool their children their own way doesn't matter to the Department of Justice. The government is more concerned with compliance: Everyone giving away their liberty and free will, and absorbing the education laid out by federal law.

From the failed No Child Left Behind Act to the new federally implemented Common Core program, the government is socializing the public school system. The new Common Core program is based on a one-size-fits-all approach that school Board President Michael Faccinetto condemns, saying:

"All we care about are these high-stakes tests and numbers and data instead of the kids." Faccinetto continues, "Standardized tests don't define the success of a child."

Homeschooling typically allows for a broader, more creative, and more self-disciplined approach to learning

Will federal compliance be the way forward for education in the United States, or are people catching on and learning that the freedom of homeschooling allows for the exploration of alternative ideas, engaging children more effectively with their society and themselves?

Indeed, homeschooling in the US is on the rise. Since 1999, the number of home schooled children has increased by 75 percent.

Typically, a parent-involved education lays the groundwork for a set of core values that helps children become more productive and principled later in life.

More times than not, homeschooling is not a close-minded, antisocial way of educating. It's actually a more integrative, creative approach, with opportunities outside the classroom.

Homeschooling isn't anything to be ashamed of, and there should be nothing criminal about it. It is a parent's natural right to teach their children what they want as long as they are not harming another. A family that flees a county's educational control to find liberty in the United States is a testimony of freedom and the Attorney General should be ashamed for wanting to strip the family of asylum and deport them back into the hands of the controlling German government.

Sources for this article include:

Pertinent Research for the Field of Reading

  1. Early Connections-Primary Grades/Technology & Curriculum

  2. The Joy of Literacy:Links and Resources

  1. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (SMARTS)

  2. Articles and Resources by Nellie Edge

  3. Compact for Reading

  4. Inquiring Minds: Literacy Text Reviews

  1. Reading Today Daily Online: brief synopses with links to full text.

  2. Putting Teachers in the Driver’s Seat

  3. A-Z Open House Signup Calendar  

  4. Teaching Tips Index/Faculty Development Honolulu  

  5. 10 Things that Prevent Teachers from Doing Their Jobs

  6. Brain Research May Point to Changes in Literacy Development/Edutopia

  7. BrainConnectivity Predicts Reading Skills/Nature News & Comments/Nature News & Comments   

New 'science of learning' could reinvent teaching techniques

•Learning is computational. Even infants and toddlers possess innate capabilities to see and hear patterns, something psychologists doubted decades ago. Reinforcing those capabilities by teaching patterns early might sharpen kids' brains.

•Learning is social. People, even infants, learn better through social cues. We "most readily learn and re-enact an event when it is produced by a person," Meltzoff and colleagues write. "Social factors also play a role in life-long learning — new social technologies (for example, text messaging, Facebook, and Twitter) tap humans' drive for social communication," they add.

•Learning is driven by brain circuitry. Brain cells fired up during both perception and action overlap in people, which allows students to identify with their teachers and speeds learning.

"The young learn best from people in human social interaction. But one of the fundamental characteristics of the human mind is our flexibility and our inventiveness — our capacity to invent tools to amplify our own sensory and motor abilities," Meltzoff says by e-mail.                         

  1. Education in Rural America

  2. Education in Urban America

  3. RTI Action Net Work K-5

  1. Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children Including Preventing Reading Difficulties Before Kindergarten Snow, Burns, Griffin Nat’l Research Council

  2. Improving Teaching and Learning in Reading

  3. Making a Love of Reading Happen/ NYTimes

  4. In Defense of RR/ Education Wk

  5. In Defense of Slow Reading / Bloggers/Teaching Now

  6. No Child Left Behind/ ’08/NYTimes Sam Dillon

“Reading First” - ineffective

  1. Make a Difference

  2. Character Connection/Kids’ Wings/Suzy Red

  1. Teacher Mailring

  2. Teacher Magazine

  3. Reading Recovery Council of North America

  4. New Zealand Curriculum online

  5. 10 Ways to Actively Involve Every Reader - TEACHERS

10 Ways to Actively Involve Every Reader Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by ... There are lots of easy ways to do this without creating extra work for busy ...

  1. Henry  & Rosemary Wong/Effective Teaching

  2. BulletThinkfinity: free access to more than 55,000 ed. resources supported by Verizon Foundation

  3. Five Strategies to Help Students Succeed

  4. The Complete Teacher on Blog Talk Radio

  5. Nada’s ESL Island Teaching Second Language Reading Critical Issue: Addressing the Literacy Needs of Emergent and Early Readers

  1. Reading Resource Links

  1. Literacy Leader

  1. National Reading Panel -Publications & Materials

  1. How to Evaluate the Basal Reading Series

  2. ( Harcourt, Houghton-Mifflin, McCraw-Hill, Scotts Foresman are all own by Pearson Company consequently titles on the page change but not the format.)

  1. Designing an Early Literacy ProgramMcGee & Richgels

  2. Balanced Literacy Implementation Base on Research

based on research of: Marie Clay: Reading Recovery, Early Literacy Groups. Balanced literacy is ...

Educational Research Associations listed by homeless educator on Diane Ravitch’s blog

  1. 1.   1.American Association for Health Education (AAHE)

  2. 2.
         American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

  3. 3.
    American Library Association (ALA)

  4. 4.
    Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)

  5. 5.
    Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)

  6. 6.
    Association for Middle Level Education (Formerly National Middle School Association) (AMLE | NMSA)

  7. 7.
    Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

  8. 8.
    Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

  9. 9.
    Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC)

  10. 10.http//
    International Literacy Association (International Reading Association) (ILA | IRA)

  11. 11.
    International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

  12. 12.
    International Technology And Engineering Educators Assn. Council on Technology Teacher Education (ITEEA/CTTE)

  13. 13.
    National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

  14. 14.
    National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE)

  15. 15.
    National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC)

  16. 16.
    National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

  17. 17.
    National Association of Secondary School Principals

  18. 18.
    National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

  19. 19.
    National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

  20. 20.
    National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

  21. 21.
    National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

  22. 22.
    North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)

  23. 23.
    Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

  24. 24.
    World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH)

  25. 25.
    Zero to Three

  26. 26.
    homelesseducator 10/15/17 listed the above resources

  Helping Needy Children around the Globe and in the States

  1. Write to Give Children write books which are sold to help the children in Kenya & Uganda

  2. World Teacher Aid

  3. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record

  1. Literacy and the Common Core

  2. Nada’s ESL Island Teaching Second Language Reading


25 Tips for New Teachers

Early Childhood Education

The government should have workshops for mothers and caregivers explaining how they can help their child. The parents have to accept some responsibility for their children’s education. What is now happening in Pre-K is that curriculum that is not age appropriate is forced on the toddlers. There isn’t enough public funds to provide full kindergarten or even kindergarten at all in some areas. It doesn’t make sense to impose a curriculum on Pre-K that is taught in K and then not provide for kindergarten. More harm than good will come from an inappropriate curriculum. No way should Toddlers  be given paper and pencil assignments and the same type of homework.        Mary DeFalco.

Nancy Carlsson-Paige: Online Preschool Stinks! 1/3/19 “..

Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education expert who taught for many years at Lesley College in Cambridge, writes here at Edsurge, a tech website,explaining why online preschool is a truly rotten idea.

  1. A tough critique of Common Core on early childhood education 1/29/13 Valerie Strauss

Their statement reads in part:

 We have grave concerns about the core standards for young children…. The proposed standards conflict with compelling new research in cognitive science, neuroscience, child development, and early childhood education about how young children learn, what they need to learn, and how best to teach them in kindergarten and the early grades….


The statement’s four main arguments, below, are grounded in what we know about child development—facts that all education policymakers need to be aware of:

1.  The K-3 standards will lead to long hours of direct instruction in literacy and math. This kind of “drill and grill” teaching has already pushed active, play-based learning out of many kindergartens.

2. The standards will intensify the push for more standardized testing, which is highly unreliable for children under age eight.

3. Didactic instruction and testing will crowd out other crucial areas of young children’s learning: active, hands-on exploration, and developing social, emotional, problem-solving, and self-regulation skills—all of which are difficult to standardize or measure but are the essential building blocks for academic and social accomplishment and responsible citizenship.

4. There is little evidence that standards for young children lead to later success. The research is inconclusive; many countries with top-performing high-school students provide rich play-based, nonacademic experiences—not standardized instruction—until age six or seven.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children is the foremost professional organization for early education in the U.S. Yet it had no role in the creation of the K-3 Core Standards. Read On

They are talking about kindergarten; worse yet for pre-k.

I have been observing the academic work of two of my grandchildren who are in pre-school and in different districts  and think of  the Nat'l Ass. Ed. Young Children  statement.

…"long hours of direct instruction in literacy and math. This kind of “drill and grill” teaching has already pushed active, play-based learning out of many kindergartens… "  Pre school is three hours but those are long three hours for our toddlers - pre-schoolers. Direct teaching is taking place in their pre-school. They receive packets of homework which is "optional" but what parent who does not know better will make their child do the homework - pencil and paper. Pre-schoolers can not hold the pencil correctly. The Common Core is being pushed down into

pre-k!!!!!  For some children we are already turning them off to school. Separation anxiety is so painful for the toddler, the parent, an on looker. Just because some can do the paper and pencil work doesn't mean it is age appropriate.

Parents should take on some responsibility for their children. Workshops should be held for parents/caregivers to support them in helping their children at home. There are many organizations already in place helping young mothers/caregivers. Many public libraries have phenomenal opportunities for appropriate active, social and emotional development.

Professor David Elkind, Ph.D., author of “The Hurried Child” stressed the importance of free, self-initiated, and spontaneous play developing a healthy, mentally, emotionally and socially adjusted child. “The ages at which children learn to walk, talk, and learn the three Rs have not changed, even with all the effort to introduce them earlier.”

“Hurrying children into adulthood violates the sanctity of life by giving one period priority over another. But if we really value human life, we will value each period equally and give unto each stage of life what is appropriate to that stage....In the end, a childhood is the most basic human right of children.”

Be ever reminded that we are 17.4 trillion in national debt. That's almost $220,000 for a family of four.  Schools have been suffering from cut backs for years now. Some district have cut kindergarten to half day and some districts have cut kindergarten completely and you are talking about pre-k!!!!!! Be realistic. Where is the money coming from. More sequesters to pay for something that is optional? The more that debt ceiling is raised the more our money loses value and  we will soon need a wheel barrel of bills to pay for a loaf of bread.

Pre -K is not synonymous with Day Care. Day Care is important for working mothers but many mothers/ caregivers are not working. With 10.5 million out of work there has to be many a parent/caregiver at home to share the privilege of helping their children grow emotionally, intellectually, and physically in an appropriate way.

I look at the material my four year old grandsons bring home-  letter a day.  A letter a day is the wrong approach. Children shouldn't begin formal instruction - direct teaching in reading until the end of kindergarten at the very earliest. Some may not even be ready then. Phonics should be taught simultaneously with other reading skills but four year olds are not ready for that.

Mary DeFalco

  1. Oyster Babies Early Childhood Centers & Huntington Station Childcare-Early Childhood Centers

  1. And now they want Pre-K

ECE Teacher says:

February 12, 2014 at 10:58 am

For the Race to the Top -Early Learning Challenge, states had to develop standards for Prek that are aligned with the Common Core. Consequently, PreKs are accentuating academics and eliminating play-based learning due to the developmentally inappropriate pushed down academic curriculum of the CC. We have to dump CC ASAP or life will be a nightmare for way too many of our youngest children.

  1. Common Core Harms Kids, Early Childhood Expert Says CPPolitics by Napp Nazworth 3/8/13

“ Dr.  Carlsson-Paige who is (was) a professor emerita at Lesley University, where she taught for 30 years states ‘...the direct instruction is replacing proven techniques that early childhood education experts advocate.’

‘The direct instruction has replaced hands on, active learning and play, which really are the bedrock, or cornerstone activities of early childhood that really solidify learning," Carlsson-Paige explained. "Children learn through active engagement and play in the early years. Skilled teachers know how to connect skills appropriately to play as they see what children are doing and where they are on the developmental spectrum.’

‘The direct instruction is damaging to children, she said, because it encourages children to believe that "the information is outside of themselves, rather than they have a capacity construct it from within.’

‘All of these messages are very damaging. Many children are feeling a sense of failure in early classrooms because they are being asked to learn things they can't understand easily and they can't make sense of....’ ”

Author Unknown


Unbelievable!!!!!! Corporal Punishment in this day and age?!!!

  1. Crazy Crawfish’s Blog

A Modest Corporal Punishment Proposal for Louisiana

A. Every teacher is authorized to hold every pupil to a strict accountability for any disorderly conduct in school or on the playground of the school, or on any school bus going to or returning from school, or during intermission or recess. Each parish and city school board shall have discretion in the use of corporal punishment. In those cases in which a parish or city school board decides to use corporal punishment, each parish or city school board shall adopt such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to implement and control any form of corporal punishment in the schools in its district.

Estimates are close to 30 parishes have some form of Corporal Punishment policy.  State law does not give the state Department of Education any say over the matter whatsoever.  This means any school or school district in Louisiana can allow anyone on their staff to use any amount of corporal punishment for any offense as often as they like regardless of the age or health of the student.  Some parishes punish up to half of their entire student body, every year!  Some students get punished dozens of times a year!  There are no restrictions for using this punishment on disabled students, or infants, or the 18 and 19 year olds we are about to send out into the real world and hope they won’t take these lessons with them.

A big concern about a basal program is that the teacher’s guide uses recall questions too often. (Report by Bill Harp in Rdg. T. Oct.’88)

As Constructionists theorists maintain that comprehension is a process  of drawing on what we already know to help construct meaning when we read. Too often the basal regards comprehension as consisting of a set of thinking skills which can be identified, measured, and taught. Reading is more than those thinking skills; it is a process of interaction between the text and the student’s background knowledge. Students need to constantly predict and confirm. When the prediction is confirmed, we have comprehension. The remedy is for the teachers to go beyond the teacher’s guide.

Also, as I stated elsewhere, the basal does not meet the needs of the emergent readers and the at risk. The emergent reader as well as the at risk reader needs carefully leveled reading material such as the Reading Recovery offers.

Messsage from Randi Weingarten

Dear Mary,

We believe in public education because it is the means by which we help all children dream their dreams and achieve them. And I mean all children—those who have abundant advantages, and those for whom every day is a struggle; those who worry about getting into a good college, and those who worry about their parents getting deported.


Join us in Reclaiming the Promise.

In unity,

Randi Weingarten
AFT President

Literacy Collaborative

  1. Early Literacy Behaviors/Phonics & Word Analysis

  2. Literacy Collaborative Analysis

  3. H.B. Sugg’s Literacy Collaborative

  4. Under the Tree and Reading

  5. Steven Elementary School/ Framework

  6. Explore Play Quotes, Play Based Learning, and more! PinInterest

  7. Literacy Superstar-Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas YouTube

  8. Common Core Harms Kids, Early Childhood Expert Says CPPolitics by Napp Nazworth 3/8/132

“ Dr.  Carlsson-Paige who is professor emerita at Lesley University, where she taught for 30 years states ‘...the direct instruction is replacing proven techniques that early childhood education experts advocate.’

‘The direct instruction has replaced hands on, active learning and play, which really are the bedrock, or cornerstone activities of early childhood that really solidify learning," Carlsson-Paige explained. "Children learn through active engagement and play in the early years. Skilled teachers know how to connect skills appropriately to play as they see what children are doing and where they are on the developmental spectrum.’

‘The direct instruction is damaging to children, she said, because it encourages children to believe that "the information is outside of themselves, rather than they have a capacity construct it from within.’

‘All of these messages are very damaging. Many children are feeling a sense of failure in early classrooms because they are being asked to learn things they can't understand easily and they can't make sense of....’ ”

Retention/Third Grade Mandatory Retention

Corporal Punishment

Unbelievable !!!!!!!  In this day and age !!!!!! Truthout posted:

Corporal Punishment Lives On: Students Nationwide Are Being Paddled, Restrained

Monday, April 09, 2018 By Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout | News Analysis

 Homework has been a thorn in my side from day one when I was teaching, as a parent, and now as a grandparent. Oh the frustration and tears when every teacher felt a need to give homework -all too often busy work. Many times my husband and I sent our children to bed and finished the homework for them because they needed their sleep. When my one son was in high school we had a problem: we couldn’t answer a question about an experiment. The next morning we told our son that we couldn’t answer one of the questions. He asked what it was; immediately he gave us the answer. The homework assigned was busy work! Students’ needs are all different.

Homework needs to be tailor to the students’ needs and there is only one type of homework that does that especially for young children: reading.

 Young children need to read every night to their caregivers/parents, as well as independently on their independent level. Parents, also, need to read to their children every night but that is on any level that the child comprehends and enjoys.

"The single most important activity for building the

knowledge required for eventual success in reading

is  reading aloud to children. "

Commission on Reading in a Nation of Readers

“You do not have to read every night - just on the nights you eat.”

Dr.Carmelita Williams former president of the NRA 

Most  homework I find problematic especially that which involves memorization especially sight words. Memorizing a set of sight words is a waste of time for numerous reasons. Words have different meanings and only are meaningful in context because of such words as homographs and heteronyms;  plus sight words can’t be “sounded out.” ... Yet my grandchildren keep coming home with a list of words to be memorized.

Memorizing the multiplication tables can over load the brain until it crashes and then the student forgets everything. The teaching of multiplication and division need to be taught with hands-on activities. The act of multiply needs to be reenacted numerous times with concrete, semi concrete, semi abstract and then to the final stage of abstraction. So to send home multiplication tables to be memorized without illustrations is a waste of time. 

Anything taught directly, then drilled with the expectation of regurgitation is futile. Memorized facts are short lived. We Learn....

10% of what we read

20% of what we hear

30% of what we see

50% of what we both see and hear

70% of what is discussed with others

80% of what we experience personally

95% of what we TEACH to someone else

Young students should not struggle with homework!!!!!! If they are instructed on their instructional level in reading and math they will not struggle and will make great progress. If a student struggles it will turn him/her off to learning, to studying and he/she will regress. If a student struggles with homework that appears he/she is being instructed on his/her frustration level. That student needs intervention/extra support at school from a math specialist.

As regards to science homework: young children need their caregiver or parents to help their child with a science fair project. But that is usually fun because the children have a choice. They decide what kind of project they want to enter. Usually it is optional. My grandson in third grade had such an exciting time preparing for his science project with his father: a robot that responded to commands.

Creative writing is conducive to a home environment; it is enjoyable provided there is no pressure. My grandson in first grade, in response to his mother reading a book about the solar system, chose to write his own story about each planet. It was not an assignment required by his teacher. The pages were stapled together with the title on the cover page. Many words were phonetically attempted which only he could decipher but it was his book. Trips to the planetarium followed due to his interest.

High school is a different story. There is not enough time in school to do all the reading and creative writing. But high school teachers are notorious for assigning too much homework.  The teachers need to come to a consensus of what nights they will give homework.

Common Core has had a detrimental effect on learning. There isn’t enough time in school to learn all the facts to pass that standardized test so the teachers feel compelled to dole out reams of homework. Real learning has all too often been thrown out the window.  Authorities in the field explain why Standardized tests are invalid especially CC’s aligned testing. (On another web page, testing is discussed.)

Students need to learn  skills that help them to function in the 

present: higher order thinking skill; to be a problem solver; a critical thinker; and the most important to develop the imagination.

As John Dewey maintained,  Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. 

Albert Einstein maintained  "Education is not the learning of  facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

Margaret Mead maintained “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” Margaret Mead

Albert Schweitzer's  vision of education was one that rejected education as just the acquisition of knowledge but instead was the commitment towards others in order to serve them.

There is a school district on Long Island which promotes an innovative approach to homework: the Let Grow Project.

There  are many reasons for homework to be problematic:

- Too long; every teacher in middle school and high school giving homework adds up to too many hours of study. 

-- Some homework appears that the parents are expected to do the teaching at home.

- Not all children need the same reinforcement.

- Some homework is so redundant and ridiculous

  1. -All too often it places emphasis on memorizing - a waste of time.

  2. -All too often it is busy work.

_ All too often if there are no adults to supervise the homework, mistakes are made throughout the assignment and the error in thinking is reinforced.

- To force homework on children can easily turn children off to learning.

-Learning should be fun - not a drudgery

- Some parents may do some or all the homework for their children. I know I did when it was too much and was upsetting my child.

- Some children have no place to do their homework at home.

-Some children don’t have paper and pencil at home to do their homework.

- Some children do not have parents present to support them; a baby sitter may not be able to help.

-Some parents/caregivers do not speak English and can not understand the directives.

-Some children are homeless and live in a car or shelter

Oh and all the reams of paper wasted for pre-K, K, 1st, and 2nd homework. Many times only a few blanks need to be filled. ( pre-K and K shouldn’t even be given homework.)

Homework that accompanies a lesson in the workbook is a waste of money because not everyone needs that reinforcement unless math is taught in groups on the students’ instructional level. Furthermore, instead of a company showing illustrations, the students should be doing the illustrating in class and at their seats. Instead of spending money on workbooks, spend that money on literature books for the classroom.

To reiterate:

-Children are all different. Howard Gardner has identified at least 7 different types of intelligences. Some theorist maintain that there are 9.  How fair is it to assign the same homework to the entire class? For some students it becomes busy work since they already are very familiar with the concepts and skills. For others the assignment may be too difficult.

Again, only way to tailor homework in the younger grades is to assign recreational reading. But then other problems occur. However, where there is a will there is a way.  For parents who do not speak English or who can not read there are Read-Along 

CDs or tapes. For children who can’t get to the library they can tap into the Internet for read Along-Books or books to read independently. For children who can’t get to the library

nor have a computer, the school needs to supply recreational books for the students. The library at school can not provide sufficient books to individuals. When I taught I developed over a 125 thematic book bags all including at least one or more read-along tapes or CDs. If the students didn’t have a tape recorder, I loaned  them one. There were books for the students to read independently and books for parents to read to their children. They kept the bags for a week.  I had to be careful that the back-packs weren’t too heavy. Children’s back-packs should not exceed 15% of their body weight. A 100 lb. child should carry a maximum of 15 lbs.; a 50 lb. child’s load shouldn’t exceed 7 lbs.

A perpetual teacher,

Mary DeFalco

Lecker: State-sanctioned child abuse, says Wendy

Lecker a columnist for Hearst Connecticut Media Group and is senior attorney for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity project at the Education Law Center.

“…Our most vulnerable children often suffer "toxic stress:" prolonged activation of the body's stress response system brought on by chronic traumatic experiences. Toxic stress disrupts the development of the areas of the brain associated with learning and can have lifelong consequences….

High-stakes tests impair a student's brain function and mental health. Cornell University researchers found that the stress associated with high-stakes standardized tests disrupts the function of the brain's prefrontal cortex, affecting memory and attention skills….” You need to read her article in total.

Here is another article about child abuse.

A Terrifying Report about Child Abuse in Texas Schools–and in Your State Too by dianerav 10/16/14

Re: Report of Psychological Abuse in An AISD Elementary School

Dear Senator Nelson & HHS Committee,

“...A group of mental health professionals prepared the following report. It is long. It is painful to read. This is what many schools are doing to our children. They must be stopped. This borders on criminality. Wake up. It is happening in many states and communities....

...Chronic stress is known to change brain chemistry in children and can lead to mental illness. Many of these young children with genetic predisposition to autism and other neurological, sensory, and developmental delays are experiencing chronic traumatic stress and will suffer even greater psychological harm. The demands for high test performance ratings are causing these children to be exploited and experimented on as if they were caged mice in a science lab. They are being psychologically abused on a grand scale that will impact the mental health of future generations….”

Yet another article, This is the Man Behind the Curtain Who Loves Standardized Testing

We have become a society that is destroying our children. ...Teachers’ fear of their own job performance ratings has allowed them to become indoctrinated into a system that uses them to bully and punish children with boring mind numbing work and no creative freedom to grow independently and develop their own identity. Teachers are not connecting to children’s emotional needs. School boards and community leaders have become fearful of challenging the status quo and are impotent and in denial. They are not connecting to children’s most basic developmental needs. Government and business leaders have become enmeshed and greedy, and more concerned with their self interests. They are not connecting to children’s needs. We are a country living in fear, and the greatest price is being paid by our children.

The “man behind the curtain” represents the “weak, impotent, callous, greedy immature leaders” who lust for power and control. ...

Alfie Kohn in his article in Education Week 9/27/2000 Standardized Testing and Its Victims- before the Common Core was imposed on the schools.

Fact 1 Our children are tested to an extent that is unprecedented in our history and unparalleled anywhere else in the world. 

Fact 2. Noninstructional factors explain most of the variance among test scores when schools or districts are compared. 

Fact 3. Norm-referenced tests were never intended to measure the quality of learning or teaching. 

Fact 4. Standardized-test scores often measure superficial thinking. 

Fact 5. Virtually all specialists condemn the practice of giving standardized tests to children younger than 8 or 9 years old. 

Fact 6. Virtually all relevant experts and organizations condemn the practice of basing important decisions, such as graduation or promotion, on the results of a single test.

Fact 7. The time, energy, and money that are being devoted to preparing students for standardized tests have to come from somewhere.

Fact 8. Many educators are leaving the field because of what is being done to schools in the name of “accountability” and “tougher standards.” 

*The tests may be biased. 

*Guess who can afford better test preparation. 

*Standards aren’t the main ingredient that’s in low supply

*Those allegedly being helped will be driven out. “