UMCA Rich Tree Academy would like to thank you for taking the time to meet with all of our teachers, principals, and administration staff during our annual Curriculum Night. We are glad we had the opportunity to share with you the UMCA plan and expectations for the school year (2017-2018). Our teachers are highly skilled individuals that provide curriculum above and beyond the ministry requirements. Your children are in great hands as their mind, body and spirit are being engaged each and every day. We truly value your trust in our school and are here to work together as a team. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact any teacher through the UMCA website or Svetlana.
We would like to share the following email we received last night after the curriculum night from one of the parents:
Mrs. Svetlana, I'd like to share my thoughts after attending Curriculum Night parent & teacher event. One parent was very concerned and vocal about UMCA's practice of Friday homework assignments which are due on the next class (typically Monday). The premise at the core of that parent's complaint was
that school is a "Monday to Friday" affair, that homework should be done "at" or "during" school, and that weekends are a sacred time that is the very definition of "not school".
That parent kept saying "we", as in "we are not against homework – we are against homework on the weekends". Perhaps he meant "me and my
spouse", but he surely did not speak for me – I can and will speak for myself and my kids (in an appropriate communication channel mindful of
teachers' and parents' time and efforts to stay late for the event). I want my kids to be ready for the real world, and the best way to be ready for
it is to live in it, rather than in a "bubble" of sacred weekends. "School" is lifelong continuous learning, and learning is not Monday-to-Friday. Learning does not end on weekends just because kids don't have to physically go to some building and meet their learning coaches (teachers) on Saturday and Sunday. A huge part of learning is continuous practice and reinforcement, and a day wasted is a step back. I want my kids to be in the habit of learning, practicing, and (hopefully) enjoying doing it each day, every day, whether their coach is present or not.
Weekend homework also implants the habits of responsibility, obligations, and time management – critical life skills that many adults haven't even
mastered. Weekend "funtime" is not earned because it's no longer Monday-Friday and "school is over" – it is earned when the homework is
self-managed to completion in a responsible and adult-like manner. Numerous studies prove that human brains function better in the morning, and
there is no better time to independently tackle an assignment than the Saturday or Sunday morning. Finally, most working parents (I assume most UMCA parents would fall into this category, but I might be wrong) have very little time to assist kids with homework and give assigned work the attention, care, and patience it deserves.
However, most parents do not work on the weekends and complaining that helping kids do homework on a weekend is "inconvenient" or otherwise cuts into
weekend leisure time is immature and only suggests to me the lack of time management skills on the complainant's behalf. It's hard to time-manage the
few hours available to working parents during weeknights – it is much easier to time-manage two non-working leisure days to help your children learn critical lifelong skills. The most important skills taught in school are how to learn, how to take responsibility, how to time-manage, and how to live in the real world. High school and especially university will have homework every day, including weekdays, weekends, holidays, birthdays, and "everyone is having fun but me" days. I expect UMCA to prepare my kids for the real world – not the no-homework-on-weekends fantasy.