When we decided to start off the year with our blog for the novel Chasing Vermeer, one of our questions was whether or not to extend an invitation to parents as well. After all, we needed their permission and sometimes their email addresses to even start out blog. To our surprise we received no parental objections to our blog, probably because we talked up the value of one and showed an example at Back to School night. Parents were blown away when we showed one discussion question on our blog that was repsonded to 546 times. In a classroom discussion, maybe one or two children would have been given the chance to respond.
In a recent New York Times article, "Spreading Homework Out So Even Parents Have Some," a teacher in Montclair, New Jersey requires parents to blog with their children, and even gives them assignments. Students can be penalized if their parents do not complete the assignments. While the idead of parental involvement sounds great, I would never penalize a child if the parent did not complete his or her assignment.
Next year we will be experts in blogging so maybe we will invite the parents, perhaps we could even sell copies of the novels we'll be blogging about at Back to School night.