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Debunking the Myth of Useless Homework Assignments

October 29th, 2016 (02:44 am)

My son didn't want to work on his English homework this week, for a unit on mythology. So, in the way of generations of teenagers, he sighed loudly and exclaimed, "Why do I have to learn about creation myths? I'm never going to use any of this!"

I opened my mouth and began to tell him some general reasons for learning about ancient cultures, and then he made his mistake. He challenged me. "Oh, yeah? When have YOU ever used this stuff about creation myths?"

He challenged the wrong parent. I reminded him that the science fiction novel I'm currently writing draws heavily on creation myths from three different cultures, including the very same Babylonian creation myth he didn't want to analyze. So it was not even a vague, be-a-better-educated-more-culturally-aware kind of reason, but a direct, professional application of exactly the myth he was learning. (Or trying not to learn.)

He realized he'd hurt his own argument -- and that he should have known better, since he was aware of what I'm currently writing. He tried to say something along the lines of, "That's different. You're a writer." But we both knew I'd won this round.

Score one for the mom.