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Homework - Page 3

post #41 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




How does he know how much homework they had? Many American schools assign a ton of it.

 

To compare to your basketball analagy, I don't think it would help a child to start when they are two and having their mommy put the ball into the hoop for them. I think that's what a lot of homework for small children amounts to. I think that when kids are old enough to actually be responsible for it themselves, they can be eased into it.


How does he know?  Because they COMPLAIN about it!  "I never had this much homework in my life.  This is isn't FAIR!!!  I can't get it done.  Can I have an extension?"  eyesroll.gif

 

Your example with my basketball analogy is kind of ridiculous.  Kids can be shown the ball at 5 and taught to dribble a year or two later, taught some mechanics over the next few years, perfecting their technique over the next several years and by the time they are 15, they can say, "I can play basketball."  It's a long road. So is the path to learning how to manage time, learn to focus on the task at hand, developing a good work ethic and getting the job done.   Who in the world is talking about having a 2 year old doing homework????  And nowhere did I say anything about work that the parent has to complete.  Please re-read my posts, as I have avered that the quality of homework is key.

post #42 of 61


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

How does he know?  Because they COMPLAIN about it!  "I never had this much homework in my life.  This is isn't FAIR!!!  I can't get it done.  Can I have an extension?"  eyesroll.gif


 

Yet, they started getting homework in Kindergarten. Most elementary kids carry so many text books back and forth that scholastic news talks about how to do so without damaging their backs.

 

But it isn't working. Many kids go off to college without any idea of how to do things for themselves. Starting homework at age 5, when it really is about mommy's organizational skills, didn't do them a bit of good.

post #43 of 61

The school we have our DS in currently feels the same as you (OP).  Through 5th grade they only get one worksheet, one sided, each day max (usually math).  Some days they have no homework.  At most it would take DS about 15 minutes to do.  Now that he's in 6th grade he's getting more homework, but they are trying to prepare them for middle/high school where there WILL be more homework.  But even still, it's work that is relevant to what they are doing in class.  They only read one book per month, and they have to do either a project or a speech on it.  He does have some reading at night, but he gets most of it done during school hours.  Most of the work they do is finished in school.  The district does not allow teachers to send home any more than they already do.  I love the way they have it set up.  I'm worried for our move, and if they have a bunch more homework it may be a shock to DS.  :( 

post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


 

Yet, they started getting homework in Kindergarten. Most elementary kids carry so many text books back and forth that scholastic news talks about how to do so without damaging their backs.

 

But it isn't working. Many kids go off to college without any idea of how to do things for themselves. Starting homework at age 5, when it really is about mommy's organizational skills, didn't do them a bit of good.


My dd didn't get homework in Kindy... and her school is an academic IB school, Prek - 12.  She got very little homework in 1st... so little she got it done in minutes.  Then in 2nd she had enough that she had to carve out a bit of her afternoon to complete it.  Finally in 3rd, she needs tools to get her homework done... an excellent dictionary, resources, the computer, etc. and completing homework is something that needs more concentration.   It's actually learning to use these resources that makes getting homework done a little bit longer.  It has been a gradual increase in homework that has worked well.  She actually has a little more work than others, too, because of differentiation.  It has also taught her to complete tasks, in general, which she was less likely to do 3 years ago.

 

She manages this 100% on her own.  I do not even have to tell her to do her homework.  It's certainly working for us.  Mommy's organizational skills, like anything that is about parenting, has a lot to do with leading by example.  We spent a couple of years working on those skills and now she has the organizational skills that have been taught and modeled.  Are they foolproof?  Nope. Is my job of teaching her how to organize done yet?  Nope.  It's a continuum.  But she manages her "Agenda" quite well on her own.  In fact, out of everyone in her grade, she says there is only 1 boy that has a hard time managing homework.

 

If kids are going off to school without organizational skills whose fault is that?  Kids need to be taught these things.  I don't agree that it's all the school's job.  There has to be some parenting going on at home that reinforces what is going on at school.  I think it's the parent's job to teach the kids to be organized.  Since every child is different, that process is not going to look the same even in the same family.  But don't blame the child.

post #45 of 61

I think it also comes back to the quality of the homework.  DD is in kindergarten and gets one double sided worksheet sent home each night and honestly, it p's me off, because it is just handouts for the most part, no creativity and no interest or excitement on DD's part.  The only benefit is that I get to see some of her new skills.  I'm not sure what to wish for though, as I am not an educator.  Right now I'm just happy that it doesn't take up too much time, and I'm trying to spend our free time doing more interesting/creative things to stimulate her a bit.

post #46 of 61

Interesting discussion...

 

When I read about moms who opt out of homework, my response is "then take them out of school and homeschool".  However, I realize that our public school has been awesome with homework.  It's very minimal and it really is there to get mom and dad working with the child, making them a responsible partner in their child's education.  My DD is in Kindergarten and comes home with a homework calendar for the month and it's our choice to do the whole thing, part of it, or none at all.  My DS is in 2nd grade and the math worksheets that he brings home 3x a week are more to keep the parents aware of what he's doing in math.  My DH has chosen to do alternative math lessons with him that are more relevant and DS's teacher is totally fine with that- we just shoot him an email to let him know we chose to do something else. 

 

I think I agree that homework can be beneficial if done correctly, but I guess we've never had tons of homework or even busy work, so I can't comment on that. 

post #47 of 61

I see some of your points, maxwill.

 

Our youngest's teacher opted her out of homework two years in a row, beginning due to her temperament.  The teacher told us that she did not care whether dd did it.  And we went with it.  She simply didn't need the practice learning reading basics or with any of the things included in the homework.  At first this seemed good.  Everyone was happy...  However, I think dd got into a pattern of not bothering to participate in things, not needing to be attentive or honor what the teacher was asking of the whole class.  I began to have mixed feelings. 

 

If dd was going to be there, I wanted her to learn to care about the school's stated expectations. Yet her teacher didn't take them seriously.   Did I?  In truth the homework was too simple yet also time-consuming.  AND I think that after spending a lot of the day focused on academically-oriented activities kids that age don't need to have their evenings largely shaped by more academics.  I felt we had so little time together once you figured in dinner, playtime, baths, and an early bedtime in order to wake up again at 6 AM--and that homework basically claimed our family time.      

 

We wanted to homeschool.  We already had a combination of children both in ps and at home and preferred to have her come home.  We didn't see the point of her being in classroom where so often she didn't need to make an effort.  We went with homeschooling halfway through the second year.  Regardless of who was opting her out, it did figure into our feelings about school when we made our decision.

 

I can really relate to anyone who wants to opt a child out of homework.  There are many good reasons to "object", but there are disadvantages.  Your children will perceive that you do not consider what the teacher asks to be worth doing, and that shapes their relationship with school long-term.  This could be handled in a positive way, but can easily become and "No need to bother" attitude.   It can pull you away from being a community participant so if you feel against the school's requests these are good reasons to consider homeschooling so you can participate in things you agree with.   I think many parents want to be a just a little bit independent of a frustrating system and yet not completely independent as homeschoolers--or that some are not able to arrange homeschooling practically even if they would somewhat like to.  So at that point opting out can still be the best idea with all options weighed out.  There just aren't in between choices for most people.

post #48 of 61


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwill129 View Post

Interesting discussion...

 

When I read about moms who opt out of homework, my response is "then take them out of school and homeschool".  However, I realize that our public school has been awesome with homework.  It's very minimal and it really is there to get mom and dad working with the child, making them a responsible partner in their child's education.  My DD is in Kindergarten and comes home with a homework calendar for the month and it's our choice to do the whole thing, part of it, or none at all.  My DS is in 2nd grade and the math worksheets that he brings home 3x a week are more to keep the parents aware of what he's doing in math.  My DH has chosen to do alternative math lessons with him that are more relevant and DS's teacher is totally fine with that- we just shoot him an email to let him know we chose to do something else. 

 

I think I agree that homework can be beneficial if done correctly, but I guess we've never had tons of homework or even busy work, so I can't comment on that. 

I disagree and feel strongly that there is a middle ground.  

 

I, for one ,could not educate my son that way his school can.  While I am highly educated and am privileged enough to live in area rich in history, museums, excellent libraries, etc I really only have surface knowledge on things like art history, advanced math and many other subjects. I also suck at crafts, have zero musical talent and couldn't draw myself out of a paper bag.  Plus I am lousy teacher.orngbiggrin.gif

 

My son has a number of teachers right now and they specialize in specific subjects and have their masters in education. He has an art teacher, a music teacher, a spanish teacher, a reading specialist, a fabulous PE program all in addition to his homeroom teacher and TA. He has access to so many resources right on the school campus that while I could piece together in my community it is really nice to have all in one place.

 

While many people could and do manage that kind of schedule I know that I could not. I am not going to sacrifice all these great things because I don't believe in homework. We "opt out" in the sense that my son does it when and if he wants to. He often chooses to do it because it interests him and I support that wholeheartedly. But if he's too tired, finds it boring, would prefer to spend his time on something else, no worries. His teacher is fine with this approach.


 

 

post #49 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwill129 View Post
It's very minimal and it really is there to get mom and dad working with the child, making them a responsible partner in their child's education.  

I don't understand this view, but maybe it's because I'm apparently not the parent who needs others to "teach" me how to raise my children. DH & I are the primary decision-makers for everything in our children's lives, including education. We're not really "partners" with his school. We looked at our options and decided to send him to the school he attends. We did that with the intention of participating as fully as possible in this school, which means that we do require our son to do his homework. It's a package deal for us to be at the school. If I thought that DS' teacher gave homework because she felt she needed to "make [us] a responsible partner," I'd balk at that idea. How presumptuous! I would refuse on principle to participate in something if I thought the other person viewed it as demonstrating to me how to parent my child. This view is exactly why I oppose the "guidance" classes that are popular in elementary schools now. I don't need anyone to show me how to make education a priority, and to be honest, the school doesn't make educating my son a priority because he's highly gifted. From a cost-benefit analysis, he's useful there precisely *because* he requires as few resources as possible and has the family background he does. The school would benefit from *more* families like ours; they're not shaping my views on the value of education. 

post #50 of 61

I am at least I thought, a minority up until this point, I find homework a great benefit to my children. But like others, I draw the line at some point. Our school district goes by the 10 mins per grade amount per night. As a rule across the board, the 3rd grade teachers do not assign weekend homework. But my dd does have a reading log, spelling words, and about 10-20 mins of math to do nightly.

 

Spelling- if she brings home 100% on the pretest, we just have her take the test on Friday, she is set. Otherwise we might have her write them out or spell them for us. 99 out of 100 times, she is fine and does the test. Once in a while, she may struggle with a word and we might have her write it in a sentence or write the word a few times.

 

reading, she is a book worm, she writes out on her log what she reads, takes 30 seconds, she brings it back. not worth starting a whole thread about IMHO.

 

math. If she didnt do the extra practice everyday like her mom before her, she would struggle. If I didnt do at least 10 -20 problems growing up, I would have flunked it. Practice helped me become better at math. She only does about 10 at the max, but again it helps her prepare to move on to the next lesson. Just like she has to practice her softball, she has to practice math.

 

Science and Social studies. She loves these subjects and we do family activities around this for enrichment. Those usually require a bit a reading that she enjoys so again not an issue. Also social studies usually requires a report or project of some sort, like this year studying Chicago, building a building and writing a report on it. When I heard it was a 5 paragraph report, I almost fell over. That is until I watched her do the report. I have helped her a bit here and there but again, its nice to see her progress and since I am not at school all day, nor is DH we appreciate the time to see her and help her with her homework.

 

I also agree that it is setting up skills to be prepared and know how to study down the road. Yes, it did take a few Mommy organizational skills to get the ball rolling and sometimes still does. But alas, its part of my mommy job. Homework for our family is about 20 mins daily and then about 30 mins average reading. I have heard from a few families their 3rd grader could be doing like my daughter, about 20 mins, maybe just maybe 1 hr here and there. But some families it is taking their 3rd grader a few hours to get it completed for whatever reason.

 

I do see why some Public schools have to have something for families to show them how to be involved, etc because otherwise they do not have any other way of knowing sadly. So yes, I am in full support of having some work at home to do daily or at least 4 times weekly. Yes it keeps us up to date on what she is studying, yes it could be busy work and I am sure there are plenty of studies to show how you can be gifted, stupid or whatever because of no homework or tons  and tons of it. I might add, DH had to study at least 4-6 hours DAILY while finishing college for his chosen studies. If he didnt have the groundwork laid out for him in his early years, that would have never happened and he would not be in his field which he loves and now  teachers other professionals like himself. He also has his own "homework" at night for work. At least an hour every night. IF he opted out, he would then have to opt out of a job.Get it? 

post #51 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwill129 View Post

 

When I read about moms who opt out of homework, my response is "then take them out of school and homeschool". 



I have a very hard time with statements like this. For one thing, the fact that I am a WOHM is one of the things that leads me to be most vehemently opposed to homework.  I have limited time to spend with my children, and I feel far more capable than a school, or even the most wonderful teacher, of determining how to best spend this family time.  I LOVE the education my child is receiving at his school, but that does not make it more valuable than what we do at home. 

 

More broadly, however, I worry that nationwide, we are developing the idea that opting out of a particular practice that we find wrong makes us "unsupportive" of our public institutions.  Parents who opt their children out of standardized tests are reminded constantly that this penalizes the school.  Saying no to homework is seen as unsupportive to the teacher at best or subversive and "anti-school" at worst.  An alternative viewpoint:  if one believes the policy is wrong, resistance to the policy, combined with working to share your ideas and reach a solution with others, is a long-standing, non-violent and often effective means of having a positive impact on the public discourse. 

 

I have never heard it suggested that parents who opt their children out of school holiday celebrations or out of sex ed classes should just take their children out of school and homeschool.  And when I was a public school teacher, no one ever suggested that my opting out of the Pledge of Allegiance meant I should leave and find something else to do (although I'm sure I could locate people who thought that if I tried, LOL).  We do not send our children to school and just check our values and beliefs at the door.  And so while I completely respect that there are parents and educators who highly value homework (and I was once, myself, such an educator), it saddens me that an alternate position is seen as so treasonous as to be a reason to not be part of the school system.

 

post #52 of 61

I understand your thoughts on this, but my DH also WOH plus brings home work, as I said his home work as well. So yes, his time is also limited how much he gets to spend with his dds. Still he fully supports homework and 1/2 the time he is helping with the homework as well. I think he feels its just a part of school that has to be done. I think if my children were bogged down with several hours of homework, I would 100% agree with your stance. But the amount of work she has now, IMHO and IME is great and teaches her to be prepared for what she is doing. For decades students have hated homework (with exception) and yes I agree, I did my share of "busy" work where I am pretty sure there is a biology teacher from hs that is down there in hell right now next to Joe Kennedy. But for the several other teachers I had in k-12 and then advanced education, I needed the extra work to do well.

 

 

post #53 of 61


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post


I might add, DH had to study at least 4-6 hours DAILY while finishing college for his chosen studies. If he didnt have the groundwork laid out for him in his early years, that would have never happened and he would not be in his field which he loves and now  teachers other professionals like himself. He also has his own "homework" at night for work. At least an hour every night. IF he opted out, he would then have to opt out of a job.Get it? 

 

Well, I am going to have to differ with you here by providing the alternate anecdote.  I had no homework in elementary school, as far as I recall, and very little in middle school.  I had no trouble at all adjusting to the workload of college or graduate school.  I completed my Ph.D. faster than anyone else in my cohort despite having a newborn.  So I somehow managed to gain a work ethic without homework in my early years. :) And I credit my teachers (in addition to my parents) with helping me develop that work ethic, for sure.  It just wasn't through homework.

 

But regarding my previous post, I do not at all wish to convince you that you shouldn't believe in homework or support it with your children.  It just saddens me that there are those who think that we who do not support the practice should not be a part of our nation's schooling systems.
 

 

post #54 of 61

 I honestly don't think it's beneficial, I'm sick of my daughter screaming and crying  over me telling her to do homework when she gets home from school.  

     My daughter struggled through K & 1st with homework. We moved a few months into 2nd grade she still struggles and fights me to do any of it. She is special needs so her homework is modified, right now they have her doing a 1st grade homework packet its a weekly packet.  Before we left her old school she was doing  2nd grade homework but less work each night, which was a struggle and she got in trouble for not completing work also and it had to be signed each night and it was turned in weekly.  Thankfully the new teacher said as long as she tries some of it she counts it as done, which is nice, but she still fights me to do the work.   

post #55 of 61

...

 

post #56 of 61

I think it's important to note that some people need to study many hours a night to keep up, some just a couple and some not at all...ever,

 

I think that's where differentiation comes in.  It applies to real life and it applies to school life.  Not to sound like a know it all twit, but I have always been one of those people that can get a lot done inside of the 8hour work/school day.  In school I listened passively and remembered everything.  I never did homework, and though the teachers wanted desperately to punish me and hoped to heaven I would fail, I always aced the tests.  I was just one of those PITA kids that could.  I still am that kid and my kid is very similar much to the chagrin of both his father and his teachers. Nowadays, I almost never take home work except when I am SLAMMED with a week of exams...even then the work usually just travels home with me and sits in my bag and then travels back to work with me. 

 

On the other hand, I have co-workers who have far less responsibility than I have and yet they almost always seem to be dragging work home with them and complaining of sleepless nights and I think "Seriously?  What do you DO all day?"  But then that was very much what I thought of my classmates in school and University, not in a derogatory way, just..."why?"  It was so hard for me to understand what it was like not to "get" it and be able to reproduce the work requested with little effort.   

 

I really do NOT think my kid should be punished for being quick and bright and able to do things and absorb concepts quickly.  It's called differentiation and every teacher worth their salt should be familiar with it and be actively implementing it...because the point of school is no longer to produce socially appropriate drones who work in cubicles or factories and question little about life and the system.  The point of schooling now is to develop critical thinkers, social dissidents who question and examine and wish to change the world.  If your kids' teachers aren't on board with that, perhaps it is THEY who should withdraw from the public school system, rather than the other way around.

 

I would be very uncomfortable with supporting my child doing an assignment that I felt had no learning purpose for him.  There are better ways to teach respect and work ethic in my opinion, and he has those pretty clear already.


Edited by hakeber - 5/17/11 at 9:21pm
post #57 of 61

hmmm...somehow I edited my first post instead of adding a new post...crapballs.

 

Well, what I had said was that I think SOME homework in elementary school is appropriate and good if is it open ended and child led.  Provided the homework is a fun project and not just an extension of the in-class curriculum.  I shouldn't feel like I am an unpaid teacher's aid.  I have a job and it does not entail teaching their syllabus.

 

But the projects are fun for DS and I am happy to help him explore the topics and develop his response.

 

But for example "review high frequency words" (his homework for tonight)?  The boy can read at a 4th grade level in Kindergarten.  I'm not making him review went, we, is, the, there, this, these, was...He'd be like "For realz, mommy?  Did I take stupid pills for dinner or something?"  But then I have no qualms with saying to his teacher tomorrow, "Sorry we didn't do that caterpillar thingy, we were reading about the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs, newts and toads.  I promise you he knows all those words and then some. " (which she already knows, which is why he is allowed to go to the primary library to pick out books rather than the pre-school library)

 

Bottom line: If your kid likes it, help them.  If they hate it, look into why and find a way for them to meet their learning needs without it being a chore.

 

Also If your teachers are actually punishing your kids for not doing homework, I would look  into the legality of that.  Here in Latin America (much of it anyway) you can lower the grade as homeworks are graded and evaluated, but you cannot for example take away recess or give detentions.  The only consequences are natural ones...you might not be prepared for the exam, or you might fail the class (homework cannot be the only evaluation, though, so if the kid is otherwise capable this is unlikely to be the consequence)...but you can't take away rights as a result of not doing homework.  That doesn't mean schools don't DO it, but when a parent who is savvy about the law complains they have to stop...at least for that kid.  You may want to go to the school board if you feel teachers are going beyond the natural consequences and being punitive in their homework policies.  If they see it as a personal insult they need to relax.  It's homework.  If the kid doesn't do it it's either their loss or they have better ways to spend their time.  Less marking for them, right? Why should the teacher really care unless as I mentioned before they need you doing the homework to help them get through the syllabus?  If that's the case you may want to name your hourly rate to be his/her one-on-one teachers aid. (J/K)

 

 

post #58 of 61

I've been teaching kids for a few years now and I think homework is important but it needs to be relevant and not overwhelming. Some parents are absolutely great and they read to their kids and engage them all the time. These kids don't need to be forced to read for homework. However, there are kids who wouldn't read at all if they weren't being forced to do it. Therefore, those 10 minutes of required reading are there so kids get into a habit of reading on a daily basis. And the paragraphs are around so these kids actually think about what they are reading and not doing it mindlessly.

post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tutorliz View Post

I've been teaching kids for a few years now and I think homework is important but it needs to be relevant and not overwhelming. Some parents are absolutely great and they read to their kids and engage them all the time. These kids don't need to be forced to read for homework. However, there are kids who wouldn't read at all if they weren't being forced to do it. Therefore, those 10 minutes of required reading are there so kids get into a habit of reading on a daily basis. And the paragraphs are around so these kids actually think about what they are reading and not doing it mindlessly.



I;d also say as a parent, and a teacher it needs to be clearly outlined and age appropriate...for example DS got Spanish homework last night (he's in Kindergarten) and it was to investigate what garbage men in BOGOTA (the city we live in) do with our trash.  No deadline, no description of output, no guidelines on how to investigate this (What should we get up at 4am and interview our trashmen, or should we hike it down town to the trash center and ask around?  Make it up?  Plaiarize off the internet? What's the plan here?) no criteria or expectations...I just seriously do not know what we are meant to do, and no doubt we will receive a snarky note from the teacher asking where his homework was today?  We sent him with a book called The Garbage Truck...or maybe I STINK!  I can't remember because the front cover got ripped off years ago, and unfortunately it is in English but he can translate it for them...it describes in general terms what happens to garbage when it leaves your house. 

 

I just wish teachers in my son's school would be more specific.  DH and I now have come to the point though where we simply write in his communication notebook..."You need to be more specific." or "The time limit on this was insuffucient, we will have it finished next week."  or "This is a project for a 4th grader not a 6yo. Please clarify what your expectations are." and have it out at the teachers day if they have a problem.

 

So far DS is still at the top of his class, though they don't much care for his mommy and daddy and make it known on his report cards.

 

post #60 of 61

well i am against the philosophy of hw. esp. one hw for all.

 

unfortunately dd is in a very academic school. and hw has to be completed every day. 

 

we struggled in K. by first i had had it. 

 

i told dd hw is upto her. if she wants to do it she can. i dont think she needs it so i am not going to insist on it. however her teacher might feel differently. so for a week dd didnt do any hw. she had to do it during recess. by the end of the week she'd had enough. 

 

so i sat with her and told her sometimes we have to do things in life we do not like. tasks we are not fond of. best way to deal with is hurry up and get it done with. i explained how much i hate doing housework. but its gotta be done. so i rush thru picking up and cleaning the house so i dont have to deal with it. 

 

hw has never been a problem since then. the amount hasnt changed. however i do go and talk to the teacher about how tedious it is when its just repeatition. and i can reduce the amount of work she does and also gotten more challenging work (which is still too easy for her). 

 

however its kinda become a habit with dd now. i have hw i have to do it. its my work. so she finds her time and does it. however its still the quickest and fastest and minimom effort work seh does. however she has recently been getting more challenging work that actually challenges her. a white board and coloured markers really help her with it. 

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