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We refuse to do homework, any one else? - Page 6

post #101 of 151
In my experience, any one who needs to dole out 45 division problems to assess their students' abilities is way off base. 5 to 10 problems is all you need to assess skills. It's all we use to find skill deficits in the students we work with.

Although I imagine your point was not meant to be literal.

Worksheets drive me nuts. They tire students out and they don't help, especially if a student is already lost. I never make my students do problems just for the sake of having something to do. Even when skill building I limit the worksheets and focus more on games and activities that incorporate the skills they need---MUCH more effective ime. And fun.

My tutoring agency is private and local and we work a lot with kids who have ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, dyscalculia. Know what mainstream national tutoring agencies do? Worksheets. Lots of worksheets. Just like the schools, which if worksheets worked kids wouldn't need help!

I can't count how many times parents have said to me that those expensive tutoring companies didn't help their kid near as much as I did playing 'fraction' monopoly.

If you or anyone else wants to do HW, that's great, but there's a lot of slamming going on imo here of people who don't want to do HW.

I respect every parents right to do what's right for their kid either way.

V
post #102 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtlecouple View Post
question for the OP - I find this thread so interesting! Is your no hw policy because your child knows this stuff already and is ahead? I guess I'm asking, as your son gets older and he's learning new concepts in school, will you make him do hw to reinforce what he's learning in school?
My hw policy IS for that reason also, but not primarily....I don't believe he needs to spend 10hrs a day v 8hr on academics, i think it interferes wiht family time, I think it's boring un-challenging dribble and does NOT foster a love of learning which he already has, so why spoil that KWIM? Those are just a few reasons, but the main ones and yeah, he's ahead academically, if that changes, we'll certainly see whats up with that and it *may* involve some reinforcement at home or some re-evaluation of the teacher he has with that subject, as I KNOW my son loves learning so I would be inclined to suspect he wasn't being engaged properly at school... but all avenues would be explored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
Dd knows that I went to university when she was younger (in order to get my BScN - I'm an RN) and saw the hours and hours (and hours) that went into studying and writing/researching, etc. She has no issue with spending time at home doing work...
I am also currently a full time student and do butt loads of hw. Bio/med field as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackenzie View Post
Cools =)

My kids asked to go back to public school last year, they went with the knowledge that they were going to have to do things that they didn't want to do. Hopefully your son will be okay iwth that too, when the time comes (as it likely will). Oddly enough, my older son (10) asked me the other day if he can homeschool again next year
You're awesome for being so flexible and allowing your kids to learn the way that best suits their needs But what does the second part mean, about my son being "okay with that too"? I think I may have missed something

Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet2 View Post
Oh please. I went to elementary school in the days of little to no HW and I started Junior level college classes at 16 with no problem. I was an honors student too and have always been an independent learner.

I had a blip my sophomore year of High School where I suddenly needed to strengthen my study skills, but I don't recall it involving HW, more of a change my approach to school work; taking notes, not coasting etc...EXACTLY, YOU took charge of your edu. it was upto YOU, and by that age, you were mature enough to make that choice! Good for you!

Also, college is not that hard unless you are in the hard sciences and math, if then. Really it's not. The idea that HW and HW alone = academic success is bizarre imo, to say the least. I doubt it is supported by any objective science and if it is I would like a link. I agree it IS bizzare.

I also think it is offensive to tell anyone they are condemning their child to being a garbage person if they don't do HW. Not helpful, not productive and not nice.Yeah, I thought that was pretty snarky myself... I tend to just ignore garbage like that tho......

Is it possible to disagree without attacking the OP? YEs it is, and thank you to all who have been respectful while still disagreeing!

This thread is so unlike MDC, I keep checking to see if I'm on the right forum. I have read this subforum for almost 4 years now and have never seen anything like this. Oh yes, the last few yrs I've been on, I see an increasing amount of snide and down right hurtful things said.

V
post #103 of 151
I don't believe in homework either but, that's the system we work within so, I work WITH the teacher. I talk to her about my concerns. I express my feelings on the subject and am interested in hearing hers. I work with her on a compromise.

I just went through this with my DD's teacher. I was uncomfortable with the amount of homework so, I very respectfully talked to her about it. She was more than happy to work with us, to compromise, to create a plan that worked for us and our family.

When you work WITH a teacher, you don't have to worry about punishments and consequences or lack of homework affecting grades.
post #104 of 151
Quote:
You're awesome for being so flexible and allowing your kids to learn the way that best suits their needs But what does the second part mean, about my son being "okay with that too"? I think I may have missed something
If he continues in institutionalized school (public or private) he is likely, at some point, to have to do things he doesn't want to do... Unless our school systems get a hell of a lot more progressive, there is going to be a whole lot of resistance in upper grades, highschool if not middle...


And yeah, I am raising them to be able to make decisions for themselves. If they can make a valid argument for something then that is all I can really ask... =)
post #105 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackenzie View Post
If he continues in institutionalized school (public or private) he is likely, at some point, to have to do things he doesn't want to do... Unless our school systems get a hell of a lot more progressive, there is going to be a whole lot of resistance in upper grades, highschool if not middle...


And yeah, I am raising them to be able to make decisions for themselves. If they can make a valid argument for something then that is all I can really ask... =)

Ah, I get it now, thanks for clearing that up.... yeah of course he's going to run into things he doesn't like, but just like your kids, I am trying to raise him to think for himself and be able to decide as he gets in higher grades whats worth fighting for and whats worth fighting against.... I DO hope to keep him in "progressive" types of environments, this charter school is pretty awesome in other aspects and pretty progressive as far as whats available in the area... Which is another reason they don't give me too much gruff about stuff like this , they tend to attract NON main stream families like myself.
post #106 of 151
I am an Alfie Kohn fan. With that said, however, we do homework here, and my kids don't seem especially fazed right now by it.

I know in our home, we often see hands on sorts of projects, a piece of which is done during the day, a piece for homework, and then the last part the following day...science homework is a good example of this. Would your child just not do the work, in that situation, and have to make it up before moving on with the project?

We also see team projects-mostly done at school, but sometimes an individual piece is done at home, and brought together for the group the following day. Would your child not be able to do their piece of work for the project in this situation?

Do book reports, science fair projects, etc. get catergorized as homework? Here they are....would they come under the no homework rule? I wonder how you would make distinctions, and at what point is it really tough on the teacher who may be including such projects as part of the lesson?
post #107 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
I am confused about something...

That post about we as taxpayers "owning" the schools so to speak is correct. In the sense that we elect the school board that sets up the district rules and hires the administration for the schools, who then turns around and hires the teachers.

But since that's the case, instead of taking up the issue with teacher and simply refusing to follow the rules...why don't parents who disagree with their school's homework policies actually work towards changing those policies? Why not take it up with the principal or the school board. Go to school board meetings, help with campaigns for those who believe in homework policies that are in line with your ideals etc.

Homework can have merit. Not all homework is busywork and there are students that can benefit from that additional practice. And sometimes, homework is used as a quick assessment of the student's knowledge. Yeah, a worksheet of 45 division problems is a pain in the rear for everyone...but if the teacher sees the next day that 75% of the class only got 50% or less of them right, she immediately knows that she probably didn't get the lesson across correctly and that she needs to do something else to help the class learn the concept.

I think that rather than just telling a teacher that your family doesn't "do" homework, it might be better to work for some school wide or system wide changes if you have run across a busy work problem year after year.
The part about going to the school board sounds great in theory. I've gone through the years of school board meeting minutes that are online, which for our particular district is about 10 years. In ten years, there has not been one vote against anything the district proposes. And I do not mean the school board voting against the administration, I mean a single dissenting vote from anybody on the school board. Getting the school board to cross the administration would be like excreting up the proverbial rope.

As for homework being assessment, the school has my kid for over seven hours a day. They devote an inordinate amount of that time to assessment, my favorite euphemism. The kids are "assessed" to death. They are "assessed" so often, it is no wonder they feel they have to send work home. So no, I think they can figure out how they are doing sans homework.
post #108 of 151
Wow, I have to say that here on MDC, I'm surprised at all the posts that basically say, "you chose to send your kid to school, now buck up and deal with how the system works." I, for one, don't want that to be the message I send my kid. I think that very often, in order for a system to change, everyday people have to take courageous stands. And that MIGHT mean leaving the system (in this case homeschooling), but even more effective is staying in the system and working to make it better. I think respectfully but firmly taking a stance against homework, if you feel that it is harmful to children, is one way to do that. I happen to agree with the OP, but even if I didn't, I would applaud her willingness to take a stand in a tangible way.

I was a schoolteacher for many years, and I have had a gradual but complete turnaround on my feelings about homework. I am up on the current (paltry) research, and based on what I know about kids learning as well as my commitment to schools as places that increase equity, I am now opposed to homework in the elementary years. That said, so far I haven't taken a firm stand in regards to my own first grader, because it has not become a big issue, and I have enough kooky ideas that I need to pick and choose my hills to die on.

Anecdotally, as with a pp, I went to school in the days when elementary homework wasn't so common. I don't remember doing any, in fact, except for a few long-term projects. And I don't think I had much in middle school either. I was a straight A student through high school and college, never turned in an assignment late or pulled an all-nighter, and now have a Ph.D. So while that's just one person's experience, it does make it hard for me to believe any argument that depriving young children of homework will make them into lazy, undisciplined adults. Such an argument certainly shows a low opinion about anything that goes on in people's homes that isn't school mandated...
post #109 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
The day that I don't have to pay school taxes if I were to homeschool is the day this argument would have any merit whatsoever.
Everyone pays school taxes, even people who don't have children at all. The point of public schools is that we all have an interest in educating the population, even children whose parents aren't committed to it. And if we are going to educate the population, then compromises have to be made by everyone to work within a system that will function reasonably well for everyone, if not perfectly for any individual.

In my opinion, having a "no homework" policy at home is unreasonable. If there's a reason to believe that homework is detrimental to a particular child (not just something the parent doesn't want to deal with), then you work with the teacher to revise the lesson plan for that child. Otherwise, you participate in the education that your school is offering.
post #110 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahfeena View Post
Everyone pays school taxes, even people who don't have children at all. The point of public schools is that we all have an interest in educating the population, even children whose parents aren't committed to it. And if we are going to educate the population, then compromises have to be made by everyone to work within a system that will function reasonably well for everyone, if not perfectly for any individual.

In my opinion, having a "no homework" policy at home is unreasonable. If there's a reason to believe that homework is detrimental to a particular child (not just something the parent doesn't want to deal with), then you work with the teacher to revise the lesson plan for that child. Otherwise, you participate in the education that your school is offering.
None of my children's teachers have been willing to work with us on reducing the insane amounts of homework the district requires.

What is unreasonable is for the public school to assume complete control over my family time. And if the public school thinks that making my children spend hours of family time doing homework, the burden should be on them to provide a body of evidence demonstrating why children should be subjected to hours of homework.

Now, I do make my kids do homework. But I don't believe it does anything positive for them at all. Nothing. It gives my daughters math anxiety. It creates hours of nightly misery. It is a huge negative in my relationship with them because I do make them do it. It robs them of valuable play time, and there is a substantive body of evidence documenting that children learn through play.

My husband is a public high school teacher, who like a pp used to be a big fan of nightly homework until we had kids in public school and he started to read the research. He now gives the bare minimum to keep from getting raked over the coals by his administration. What he has found is that vastly reducing the amount of homework has made no difference whatsoever in his students' academic achievement, but has made them more engaged in class.

The school has seven or more hours a day to educate the kids. Why exactly is it unreasonable for them to get done what needs to be done during that time?
post #111 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
None of my children's teachers have been willing to work with us on reducing the insane amounts of homework the district requires.

What is unreasonable is for the public school to assume complete control over my family time. And if the public school thinks that making my children spend hours of family time doing homework, the burden should be on them to provide a body of evidence demonstrating why children should be subjected to hours of homework.

Now, I do make my kids do homework. But I don't believe it does anything positive for them at all. Nothing. It gives my daughters math anxiety. It creates hours of nightly misery. It is a huge negative in my relationship with them because I do make them do it. It robs them of valuable play time, and there is a substantive body of evidence documenting that children learn through play.

My husband is a public high school teacher, who like a pp used to be a big fan of nightly homework until we had kids in public school and he started to read the research. He now gives the bare minimum to keep from getting raked over the coals by his administration. What he has found is that vastly reducing the amount of homework has made no difference whatsoever in his students' academic achievement, but has made them more engaged in class.

The school has seven or more hours a day to educate the kids. Why exactly is it unreasonable for them to get done what needs to be done during that time?
THIS is exactly why I have this policy in place!!!!!!! I'm so sorry your going thru this.

For the pp who asked about group projects and things like that, I would have to say that no, I don't consider those hw, and yes I differentiate between the two. I think "projects" are WAY more age appropriate to tell you the truth, than ditto's worksheets and massive amounts of busy work.
post #112 of 151
This is such an interesting post. My kids are still young, but I never would've considered bucking homework. Hhhmm

The school has a "mandatory" vax policy, but we won't be doing that. So, I wonder what really is "mandatory." This certainly punches holes in the theory of "If you decide to go to school, you decide to follow their rules" line of reasoning. If you believe that, you have to follow all of the school's rules.

In addition, the argument that you pay for the school so therefore you get to tell them what to do doesn't hold water with me. You also pay for the police officers, but you dont get to tell them not to give you a ticket.

Also, the argument that kids need to learn how to study in 3rd grade, so they can do well in college is pretty silly. It seems most of the current 30 somethings I know did not do homework in grade school and we did fine in college.

And, as many people said, the approach to the teacher makes the most difference.

My biggest concern would be the message sent to the child that if you don't like something, you don't have to do it. The chance that that message would be sent would have to be weighed against the family time gained.

IMO
post #113 of 151
Because an exception to a rule, proves that there is no rule, Xerxella?
post #114 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxella View Post

My biggest concern would be the message sent to the child that if you don't like something, you don't have to do it. The chance that that message would be sent would have to be weighed against the family time gained.

IMO
Well I guess that point is going to be different for everyone. You don't like vaxing your kids, so you don't do it. Does that send them a message?

I do condemn my kids to their nightly hours of homework. I think it is harmful for them and for our family in many ways and I know for sure they could be doing something better. It sends them a message and I'm not sure it's a good one.

But I've got a thread in this forum about opting out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance and the DARE program. I know that sends my kids a message.
post #115 of 151
I did not go through the whole thread. But thanks for writing this and letting me know it's okay to tell my children's teachers no homework! Never even occured to me this was something I could say. We are a fews years away from school starting, but I will keep it in mind.
post #116 of 151
OP, I wanted to give you kudos for standing up for this. My mother is a public school teacher, who says she "uses me as an example to parents whose kids are not loving the school system" umm, ouch, but back on topic... She now sees that while I only cracked a book to pass a test and basically (almost, I did graduate with my class) failed out my senior year by missing too many days of school... she now sees that I really did not need all of that. I am a professional graphic designer and freelance artist and work a lot as a scenic artist (painting props, shopping for props, and painting background scenes for films, theatre and TV) and have self taught, successfully, photography and make a lot of money in all of this. I think the school system gave me poor self-esteem, I missed out on "special" parties reserved for the kids who got extra credit and such. I'm happy to read that you are standing up for your kid!! Kids can be successful without getting into hours of homework. Family time and feeling supported within their own dreams is what really matters later in life.
post #117 of 151
My DD is just starting 1st grade. I loathe the whole concept of busywork/homework... but last year at this exact time? We had a back-to-school night and the teacher mentioned the homework and that it would take "no more than 15 minutes/ day" . Yes. I think 15 minutes is silly but didn't seem crazy so I asked "but what if it takes longer?"

Her reply? "Oh, if it gets long or frustrating? Just stop - don't make anyone have a negative experience"

It turns out she did the whole weeks homework in 45 minutes in Kindy and I'm Ok with that.

I will continue to allow a small amount of valuable homework as a nod to learning study skills and if it gets past reasonable (I'm giving it 20 minutes/day in 1st grade) THEN I will approach the teacher with a "hey, we didn't finish as it was too long/boring/confusing so here's what we could get done without too much trauma" and sit down and discuss options with the teacher.

I think working WITH the teacher is valuable - they may say "hey, I recognize that the math stuff is redundant but I DO find the science stuff helpful for reinforcing learning - why don't you do that first and stop when it gets overwhelming" and then you have an open exchange.

I think THAT benefits all parties.... Although you shouldn't blindly allow the school to dictate? I think a discussion that begins with "I have concerns with the amount of homework..." could lead to a very beneficial conclusion.

And one that starts "we don't DO homework" is certainly well within your rights but may end up in an adversarial relationship right off the bat - and may end up with the same results

And for those of you with the VAX corrolary? We do the same with our doc. She approaches me with new data - for example the fact that there is a big outbreak of menengitis and her recommendations and I ask a few questions and thank her for her time and recognize that our interests are the same... safe kids - her interest in is the general population of kids and mine is my specific child but I trust that she gives me HER beliefs. And then I do what I deem best (which in the case of vaxes is VERY often no vax) but we have an open dialogue
post #118 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by aran View Post
By extension, I guess we better have our elementary aged kids do their own laundry, sleep away from home for extended periods of time, and learn to use the ATM. Because they'll need to do these things in college too.
Sure, mastery of the activities listed above would be too much to expect from a grade-schooler on a nightly basis. However, most of these activities can be (and dare I say ought to be) introduced from an early age, with more responsibility added as the child develops and masters the basic skills.

Refering to the above laundry analogy as an example, none of my children are responsible for sorting/laundering/putting away the entire household's laundry. That's a bit much to expect from them at this point in their lives. Still, my 2-year-old knows where the hamper is and puts her dirty clothes in it when she changes. My 4-year-old helps me sort laundry, measure detergent, and load the dryer or hang clothes on the line. My 11-year-old knows how to run the washer and dryer, and he's capable of washing and drying his soccer uniform or his favorite jeans if he needs them before I wash the next load of laundry.

With the laundry, my kids began with small tasks. I added more responsibility as they mastered the simpler jobs. I kinda feel the same way about homework. A reasonable amount (maybe a few minutes' worth per night in the early grades) can help a child learn to focus on "studying" outside of class. The ability to focus and complete tasks with distractions present is a useful skill to posess at any age.

OP, I completely agree with you that piles of busywork being sent home with a third-grader is out of line and unnecessarily cuts into family time. Realistically though, most third graders I know get homework-- not tons of it, but they still get it-- so I don't really blame your son's teacher for being taken aback by your request.

If I had the same situation in my family, I would approach my child's teacher to discuss the effect of the workload on my child and our family. I think asking the teacher to reduce the student's HW load (and to only send home challenging and thought-provoking assignments) seems to me a more productive bridge between school and home than flat-out refusing to let the teacher assign HW. It seems to me that a good charter school should be able to work with a parent to find a happy medium that works for all involved.

Oh, and refering back to the post I quoted- I learned how to write "checks" and balance a checkbook in a summer enrichment class that I took between third and fourth grade. I also learned that all ATM withdrawals were deducted from either my checking or my savings account. My DH and I were 20 when we met. At that time, he had NO idea how to balance a checkbook or organize his ATM withdrawals. I taught him how to do both. There is something to be said for introducing some of these concepts at an early age!
post #119 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
What does your son think of all this? When my son was in school, if he had chosen not to do his homework (or if I had chosen that for him), he would have been subject to disciplinary action-- "time on the line," losing recess, being forced to do homework during recess and other fun times, etc. That would have really stressed him out. I would find out the consequences of my actions before making a decision that could negatively impact my child.
This.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellebluetoo View Post
No, I think I am setting him up to be an awesome person who can think for himself, know that his mama has his back and will support him academically. ( but thanks for the vote of confidence) As my ds moves up in grades, we will cross those bridges when we get to them, I can't say that he won't ever do ANY hw, but I also can't say that he will. He is his own person, and I won't/can't force him to learn, the best thing I can do is make sure he's happy, engaged and a willing participant in his own edu. Intrinsic motivation is what I'm striving for here, I really feel that if the time comes when he NEEDS to do homework for what ever reason to further his understanding of a subject, he will be more than happy to put in the time. But for now hw is illogical.
Then what's wrong with him doing what his teacher asks, then IF there's a problem you can address it as a team member with the teacher?

Just because HW is illogical to you, doesn't mean it is to him or his teacher. If you're so supportive of him thinking for himself, why is it so important he do it your way?
post #120 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellebluetoo View Post
So now along comes a spider...
Are you aware that 'spider' is a slang word for child molester?
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