|Many schools require grades 4+ to give 30 min per subject per night
Well, that's horrible. Even "educational experts" would say that a 4th grader should have no more than 40 minutes of homework an evening. And if a child really "hates" homework, obviously something is wrong with the work! Hating school is not something a kid just needs to deal with; a kid needs to be in a school (or other learning-type situation) that he likes.
Some private schools do not assign homework. All work gets finished in class. I see after-school time as belonging to the child and no one has a right to invade that time by telling him what to spend it on. My kids are too young for school (thank gOD-for-lack-of-a-better-term) but if we don't homeschool I will let their teachers know that I don't allow meaningless homework in my house. If it were something truly meaningful - such as a very interesting science project - instead of pages of "problems" then I may make an exception.
Homework for children is useless. It will have no effect on future academic or career development. I bumbled my way through elementary school, got expelled from middle school, dropped out of high school, and was still able to find exactly the kind of work I wanted! Now I'm at the university (yep, another school, but it was my choice!) and doing very well academically. So it's not true that your school crap follows you around everywhere. I also never took the SATs.
I think that's one reason so many kids are obese - where is the time after school to exercise? After 3 or 4 hours of stupid story problems I sure don't want to run around the block. I remember when after school was the time to climb trees and play in mud; now kids have to "work" so they can "get by in the real world." Yeah well in the real world I never had to take work home with me!
If you have ever used the services of a doctor, lawyer, bank-guy or other "professional" you most likely dealt with someone who did not pack home hours of homework a night in grade school. One child psychiatrist says that even in college, he never received more homework than could be folded up and stuffed in a pocket. Backpacks were not used. Now kids carry backpacks that are literally damaging their spines from all the books they have to carry home with them. Rather than not assigning so much work, teachers suggest that all backpacks have wheels.
: Doctors suggest that a backpack should be no more than 15% of a kid's body weight. (But then they never had HOMEWORK IN GRADE SCHOOL, SO WHAT DO THEY KNOW?)
I would think something was wrong with a kid who didn't daydream and mess around when working on boring homework.
Edited to add: Homework is also used as punishment. I'm sure some of us remember our teachers saying, "Since little Bobby didn't clean his desk, we will all have two extra pages of homework." This also promotes bullying; guess what happens to little Bobby after school?