Thursday, August 26, 2010

News flash: My granddaughter had homework on the first day of school. Kindergarten! Well, she only had to decorate her gingerbread girl, but still. My kind of teacher.

Parents love to exaggerate the "back in my days" stories, especially about school and the eternal homework struggle. The truth uncovered here by the storycatcher: Students at Pilot Mountain School back in the 1940's beginning years usually didn't take their work home. No, not at all. First because the teachers didn't assign it knowing the students had true, honest-to-goodness home work waiting for them in farm chores, or working in the sawmills, or helping in the house. But more than that, these children got their work finished. Every class at this school, with the exception of first grade, was a combination class. While the teacher worked with one grade, the other students did their work assignments. When they finished that work, they listened to the teacher's lessons with the other grade. If the other grade was a year younger, older students heard the lessons for the second time. (Reinforcement) If the other grade was a year older, younger students heard the lessons from the grade ahead. (Enrichment)

What a system! It worked for them. Could it work today?

Catch of the day,



  1. Shhh! I haven't seen a combination class in a while. Have you ever taught one? It can be a real challenge.

  2. Well, didn't that "system" produce "the greatest generation"? or maybe their parents?