Too Much Homework?

Avatar for cmkristy
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Registered: 07-05-2005
Too Much Homework?
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Fri, 10-11-2013 - 12:39pm

Too much homework! It’s a common complaint heard in nearly every teenage household.

But in many homes today, that protest also is coming from parents.

Author Karl Taro Greenfeld decided to take a firsthand look at the problem after becoming increasingly alarmed by how much homework his 14-year-old daughter Esmee had every night.

"Cutting into dinnertime, cutting into family time – so I naturally began to wonder, what is the actual nature of the work that she's doing every night?" he told TODAY.

So for one week last school year, Greenfeld suffered through the same homework assignments as Esmee, a student at a selective public middle school in New York. 

http://www.today.com/moms/too-much-dad-tries-do-daughters-homework-week-8C11375435

How do you feel about homework?  Do you feel it is a useful tool?  Do teachers assign appropriate homework (and is the amount of homework appropriate)?

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Registered: 06-25-2008
Fri, 10-11-2013 - 1:14pm

Why do kids need any homework? I have never understood the concept of homework. They spend plenty of time at school each day so why do they need to bring work home. It's not fair to the parents, especially those who work all day and then have to come home and spend a few more hours doing the teacher's job.

Why are teachers getting paid if parents have to spend as much time doing school work with their children as a teacher does?

Brenda

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Registered: 05-27-1998
Fri, 10-11-2013 - 2:10pm

People have been sounding this alarm for quite a while (read Alfie Kohn's "The Homework Myth.") There is no evidence that doing homework increases knowledge and it certainly doesn't help American's scores on international standardized tests. When my kids were in public school, a lot of the homework they got seemed like an endurance contest (honors classes got more, but it wasn't really more challenging) than anything else. During her sophomore year, D often got 5 hours of work per night, which is ridiculous.

We switched to private school her junior year and work load dropped (not as much as I would have liked, but it was still enough of an improvement to allow her to have some balance.) She was taking the same APs she would have taken at the public high school, but had fewer hours of work than her friends in the public school. Somehow, she covered the material (a nationally standardized curriculum) because she scored all 5s on her exams, so clearly the extra work at the public high school wasn't necessary.

She's now at a rigorous, highly competitive, liberal arts college known for its workload and lack of grade inflation, but says that compared to her first high school, the amount of work is very reasonable, and she's actually learning a lot of new material.

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 10-14-2013 - 10:05am

I'm sorry, but what else is a 14 year-old child supposed to be doing? 

I was so lucky to have the sense to wake up and model my h.s. schedule after an older sibling.  Every year in high school, sibling spent 4 hours a day doing homework.   So I did the same.  And school sports.  No part-time job though (it's not worth it, I knew I was smart enough to take out full loans for tuition) and I didn't watch tv.   I still haven't watched an episode of Dynasty or Beverly Hills 90210, lol.

I couldn't ask mom for help, she was only a h.s. grad, dad wasn't home.  He worked.  Everything was devoted to which college I could get into, and then which grad school.  Best decision of my life as my life has been much, much easier than it should've been.  Just a 4 year, no excuses, do-the-work commitment made my life soooo much easier.  These kids should stop their whining and study.  They need role models, not excuse makers and parents getting in the way.  The parents are to blame here.

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 10-14-2013 - 10:07am

brensticker wrote:
<p>Why do kids need any homework? I have never understood the concept of homework. They spend plenty of time at school each day so why do they need to bring work home. It's not fair to the parents, especially those who work all day and then have to come home and spend a few more hours doing the teacher's job.</p><p>Why are teachers getting paid if parents have to spend as much time doing school work with their children as a teacher does?</p>

??  I'm speechless, and that's often a good thing.

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Mon, 10-14-2013 - 10:34am

ashmama wrote:
<p>People have been sounding this alarm for quite a while (read Alfie Kohn's "The Homework Myth.") There is no evidence that doing homework increases knowledge and it certainly doesn't help American's scores on international standardized tests. When my kids were in public school, a lot of the homework they got seemed like an endurance contest (honors classes got more, but it wasn't really more challenging) than anything else. During her sophomore year, D often got 5 hours of work per night, which is ridiculous.</p><p>We switched to private school her junior year and work load dropped (not as much as I would have liked, but it was still enough of an improvement to allow her to have some balance.) She was taking the same APs she would have taken at the public high school, but had fewer hours of work than her friends in the public school. Somehow, she covered the material (a nationally standardized curriculum) because she scored all 5s on her exams, so clearly the extra work at the public high school wasn't necessary.</p><p>She's now at a rigorous, highly competitive, liberal arts college known for its workload and lack of grade inflation, but says that compared to her first high school, the amount of work is very reasonable, and she's actually learning a lot of new material.</p>

Private school, parochial, Quaker, public school, etc., it makes a difference only up to a point.   An education is as good as you make it.  There are many, many children who need a push, need a tutor or mom/dad's help.  But there are just as many self-starters.  I'm not 100% on board, but my husband would rather they fail on their own in h.s. than even hire a tutor.  I'm not sure how I'll feel about that.  My children aren't in h.s. yet, but I do know no one helped me with my homework.  And it was because of homework in h.s. for the most part that I later got a top-notch education.  It helped too that if I had a standardized test to take, I "lived" in the test prep center taking classes and endless practice tests.  I do think standardized tests for college and grad school admission are accurate predictors of future work.  Anyway, I'm just assuming what I did back then is still going on, so I will likely expect similar from my children.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Mon, 10-14-2013 - 3:39pm

The trouble with homework loads in high school isn't that they cut into a child's free time. They cut into her sleep, and that's not okay. My kids have never needed a tutor and are both self-starters, but the homework load at the public schools around here (and some of the private schools as well) is too much. I don't believe in giving homework for homework's sake if it's not adding to their learning. I'd rather my kids have time to read for fun, play a sport, play an instrument, and yes, sleep.

Avatar for jamblessedthree
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Tue, 10-15-2013 - 7:56am

My afternoon line with my kids is often, what homework do you have?  My oldest gets loads of homework and she is always tapping into each subject every night it seems.  DD2 is in a lot of special ed classrooms and she gets advisory at the end of the day too which is when she tackles most work that would be done at home otherwise.  DS is 5th grade and he gets a lot of homework too.  I think homework has it's benefits but I think "too much" can be burdensome.  I've tried to teach my kids time management skills and not everything sent home is due tomorrow either.  If later on they can translate time management into a life skill I know homework has paid off, Lol.  Just my thoughts.  I hate homework and always did but it was like a necessary evil even when I was a kid. 

 

 

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Tue, 10-15-2013 - 9:34am

ashmama wrote:
<p>The trouble with homework loads in high school isn't that they cut into a child's free time. They cut into her sleep, and that's not okay. My kids have never needed a tutor and are both self-starters, but the homework load at the public schools around here (and some of the private schools as well) is too much. I don't believe in giving homework for homework's sake if it's not adding to their learning. I'd rather my kids have time to read for fun, play a sport, play an instrument, and yes, sleep.</p>

Well, cutting into sleep is not good, especially if it happens when they are not playing a sport, have a p-t job or chores.  There are students even in h.s. who do miss out on sleep just to get the best grades possible for themselves.  As a parent, we only have so much say in their study habits in h.s. if they are driven to miss out on sleep to get the best grades they can.  I'm sure there are worse problems a parent could have.  Smile

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Registered: 09-01-2002
Tue, 10-15-2013 - 9:49am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>My afternoon line with my kids is often, what homework do you have?  My oldest gets loads of homework and she is always tapping into each subject every night it seems.  DD2 is in a lot of special ed classrooms and she gets advisory at the end of the day too which is when she tackles most work that would be done at home otherwise.  DS is 5th grade and he gets a lot of homework too.  I think homework has it's benefits but I think "too much" can be burdensome.  I've tried to teach my kids time management skills and not everything sent home is due tomorrow either.  If later on they can translate time management into a life skill I know homework has paid off, Lol.  Just my thoughts.  I hate homework and always did but it was like a necessary evil even when I was a kid. </p>

Definitely.  And that's the goal, right?  I hope my children learn to manage their time. While I can help with some subjects, there's a bit I can't really help with.  But I hope I can help with good time management skills.