Our pal Peter is quoted in an article by Maura Kelly about excessive amounts of homework in a recent issue of Time out Kids.
Kids have always complained (and complained) about homework overload. But these days, parents are joining the fray. Take Peter Loffredo, a 52-year-old psychotherapist from Park Slope, whose nine-year-old son, Bennett, often ends up in tears as he struggles to finish his spelling, math or reading assignments—all of which take him an hour, on average, to complete. “Imagine if you had to spend 60 minutes on taxes every night,” says Loffredo. “Bennett rides the bus for an hour and then has to find time for dinner and a bath before going to bed—there’s no time for him to do much else besides hit the books. A playdate shoots the whole schedule.” Loffredo fears that Bennett’s missing out not only on social time but also on creative pursuits, like playing guitar. “The imaginative side of the learning process is being stinted,” he says.
Fed up, he recently put Bennett on the waiting list for the Brooklyn Free School—a Park Slope institution that doesn’t give its students compulsory homework assignments. Founded in 2004 by Alan Berger, a certified New York high school teacher and former assistant principal who became disenchanted with the way curricula were being designed, the school allows children to seek out knowledge on topics they’re curious about; each student has a personalized, self-directed learning experience...