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Should homework be ended? - Page 3

post #41 of 65

I agree with the bolded, too, especially the part about parents knowing their kids the best. My dd1 struggles in math, but has all A's in her other subjects. Her math teacher does not especially "get" her and thinks she's slacking off when she's working really hard — she just does not have a mathy brain. We really work with her a LOT over math homework, especially DH, to keep her up to speed. If she didn't have math homework and our help with it she'd struggle much more in that class.

 

I think what I'd like to see is maybe one homework assignment in each class each week. So maybe Monday is math homework, Tuesday is English, Wed is Science, Thurs is History, Fri is foreign language/elective. 

post #42 of 65

In elementary school, when one teacher primarily teaches all subjects- or even in upper elementary or middle school, when a teacher teaches two subjects, organizing homework like that might be possible. But I only teach English II; I have no clue what other teaches are giving as far as homework. I taught at one Catholic school where we had a big calendar for each grade level in the teacher's lounge. We had to write our scheduled tests on that calendar. No student could have more than three tests in one day; the students had seven classes a day. I liked that and it was easy for me as teacher.

 

I am also a huge fan of high school students having a study hall. One school where I taught, had a great plan. Not only could students study and do homework, but all of our tutoring labs, group work rooms, and computer labs were open. Each study hall had two passes for each room. Need to go to the library? Go during SH. Need to print out that paper because your printer broke? Go during SH. Need to see your English teacher because you were absent? Go during SH. This school expected all students to be involved in other activities, be it sports, choir, student council, etc. I liked that they gave them 50 minutes a day to do homework, study, take care of their business.

post #43 of 65

I said earlier that I am ok with homework but I'd like to add I'm not OK with hours and hours of it.  If there are hours and hours of work being done at home, something needs to change at school.  I fundamentally disagree with anything that cuts into sleep - sleep is a necessity, not a privilege. 

 

For high school, going to a MWF/TTh schedule and/or taking fewer subjects per semester would help a lot.  I don't understand the need to cram so many things into the first three years, and then seniors are leaving for half a day or earlier.  Spread that out.  I am also ok with allowing students to chose a math/sci, arts, or humanities track to specialize so they can take heavier, more difficult classes in their field and take the minimum in other areas.  The whole "well rounded student" thing has been really over blown.  Most kids know pretty early on if they're going to need to know about physics or romantic era poets, y'know?

 

In the younger grades when they only have one or two teachers at a time (aside from specials, which don't test), there is no excuse for more than an hour of homework.  For a child who doesn't get home until 4.30 and goes to bed at 7.30 or 8, that extra hour or two of homework means they have spent pretty much every waking hour on specials.  In my house, it means no sports or music during the year.  I see my daughter's friends who tend to drag and fight homework and know that many of them also do at least two outside activities at any time and I think yes, of course they fight the homework.  They are TIRED.

 

Some homework is fine and necessary and could be beneficial, but there have to be limits.

post #44 of 65
One big benefit to homework is that you can really see how much a child has learned when they have to complete exercises hours after the lesson, on their own. I also think it can help uninvolved parents get more involved.

My dd is in half day kindergarten. She has maybe 5 minutes of homework maybe twice a week, and I think that's just stuff the full day kids do, and her teacher sends it home to keep the half day kids up to speed. But in k, I don't think it's necessary.

But I would think 15-30 minutes would be appropriate once they get to second or third grade and an hour or so once they hit high school. Not sure what the norms are. But it's a waste of time with a teacher to have kids doing reading and writing papers in class.
post #45 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post

But it's a waste of time with a teacher to have kids doing reading and writing papers in class.

 

Really? Because at my kids' school that's totally how it works, and the teachers are as busy as stink and it gives my kids the chance to be challenged at the level that's right for them. 

 

What I see is that if twenty kids are in a classroom working independently at reading or writing papers, the teacher is moving from one to another doing assessments, giving individual feedback, answering particular questions, untangling problems with a quick bit of tutoring, pulling small groups out for extra help, or working with a student on an extra challenge assignment. Or perhaps he's going over student learning plans and self-assessments, signing off on progress reports, setting up a lab, annotating student drafts, marking practice quizzes for those who chose to do them. 

 

I don't see any of this as a waste of time.

 

Miranda

post #46 of 65

My DS' classroom also devotes a lot of reading and writing time.

For reading they have solo reading, reading with a partner, reading within a group, teacher reading to them... lots and lots of different ways of reading. I think it's great.
Same with writing... there's a lot of science and art incorporated in their writing as well. It's a lot of independent work for sure (he's in a 1st and 2nd grade class) but I think it really allows for differentiation so the child works at his/her level and beyond without being boxed into whatever grade they are currently at.

post #47 of 65

Our schools post homework online so students as well as teachers can coordinate assignments and tests. It really wouldn't be that hard to limit the amount of homework. My middle school kid takes Writing, Science, English, Math, Social Studies, a rotating specials class (music, art, etc), and has a study hall. She does get quite a bit done in her study hall when she has the chance (on Thurs & Fri she has clubs during that time). If each core subject just gave homework on a set day of the week then she wouldn't have 4 subjects' worth on one night. The most she might have is 2 subjects' worth since she has 5 major classes. It does seem a bit better this year. They have a new principal and I think he is helping them coordinate the load somewhat, but sometimes it still feels very overwhelming. Tonight she worked on English (due tomorrow) and Science (due day after tomorrow), had to take in a article clipping for Writing (for tomorrow), and did a little Math (due day after tomorrow).

post #48 of 65

i am curious. do you really want to know how much your child knows? if their report cards are good do you need details? (however take this from the mother of a child who found school boring. so we always did something fun at home. so some form of homeschooling or afterschooling).

 

i could tell how much dd knew by the books she read. math i didnt really care. i really wasnt involved with her hw unless it included project work. dd did well in class so i didnt worry. 

 

when she started tanking it was because they started grading hw AND dd finally had enough of it and refused to do her hw or rather turn them in late; her teacher would always tell me - dont let the grades tell you how much she knows or how smart she is. she IS an A student who just doesnt do her hw. 

 

so is it really about what the child knows - or is it really about who follows the rules and fits in the box. you do as you are told and you will benefit. you protest and we will do everything to break you. 

 

its her not doing hw that is making us seek another form of education. in our case it is this busy work and repeatition that is really affecting dd. 

 

dd loves learning. she has enjoyed doing a few projects that were fun to do. she would love to do fun hw. but not what hw is now. we've changed schools and that has not helped. 

post #49 of 65
I'm all for writing workshops. I've been a college English instructor for 12 years, and they spend a lot of time writing in class while I walk around and help, answer questions, etc. But if you are talking about a traditional jr or high school class that is 30-45 minutes long, it could take them weeks to write a single paper if they did it all in class. And in regards to science etc, if they spent all their class time reading, they wouldn't have any time for discussion or anything else.

This is obviously different in younger grades or higher grades where remediation is needed (including the college level.). Then workshopping reading might be in everyone's best interest. Since so many people have different learning styles though, I think a majority of class time needs to be dedicated to activities other than reading.

I wasn't implying that teachers were sitting around snapping gum the whole time. It's far more difficult to workshop than it is to lecture. I'm just saying that for junior high on up, I think kids are better of reading at home and also that a large portion of writing should occur at home so in class time can be spent on revision, brainstorming, group work, etc.
post #50 of 65

Homework is  great for teaching kids how to manage their own time when they are older elementary age and up. It prepares them for college and advanced studies because they will have to learn how to pace themselves, plan ahead with projects, and learn how to work on material at home. But too much homework can be harmful to kids. It's one reason I did not put dd in a special program that she qualified for-- many parents complained that their children had hours of homework. 

post #51 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

What do you think? Are you a fan of homework or do you think it is unnecessary and we should rethink it?

 

My kids did not have much in the early years of primary school, but it increased as they got older. Now  (15 & 17) they have a lot of studying to do, papers to research, and they need more practice on their math and languages than they would get in just class time. So it's necessary.  You cannot really learn much in secondary school without studying outside class hours.

post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
 

i am curious. do you really want to know how much your child knows? if their report cards are good do you need details?

 

 

Yes. I do want to know how much she knows and I do want details. The teacher this year may be slack and give easy As and the teacher next year may be hard and if she coasted through this year she might have a hard time next year. I don't need to know how to do every little thing she's doing, but yes, I definitely want to keep up with what's going on in her classes so I can help her figure out what she needs to do to stay on track and to put forth a reasonable amount of effort (not perfection for every project, but not slacking off either).

post #53 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post

But if you are talking about a traditional jr or high school class that is 30-45 minutes long, it could take them weeks to write a single paper if they did it all in class. 

 

Maybe high school is very different where I live, but if classes were only 30 minutes long, there would be a lot of them per week! I mean, even in college, there are usually only about 3 lecture hours per week, five courses at a time, and those are substantial courses with huge amounts of content. Even with labs, it's rare for a college student to have more than 20 or so hours a week of class. So, given that high school is scheduled to fill 30 or so hours a week and the courses are generally smaller in terms of scope of content, there's a lot of extra in-class time. 

 

No one is suggesting spending all in-class time reading and writing. That's a straw man argument. You just suggested that any in-class time devoted to that was a waste of teacher time. Personally I believe that using some in-class time for reading and writing is very good practice, and not at all a waste of teacher time. 

 

Miranda

post #54 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post

 I'm just saying that for junior high on up, I think kids are better of reading at home and also that a large portion of writing should occur at home so in class time can be spent on revision, brainstorming, group work, etc.

 

I'm against homework, but I agree with this. I think that homework that isn't given out just for the sake of having kids do homework is fine. Having kids read material at home is good. Giving them a graded pop quiz the next day "to make sure they read" is not. Having kids work on writing assignments at home is totally fine. Checking off that it was done each morning is less so. I like what this person wrote, because it sounds respectful of the child. As if it is assumed the child will care about their own education and not need to be monitored and prodded every step of the way.

 

Regarding reading at home, however, I think the amount of stuff kids are expected to learn by the time they are 18 is ridiculous. Not everyone is going to be interested in the Krebs cycle, or proving trigonometric identities, or in who shot Alexander Hamilton (and these are the things I remember -- think of all the thousands of things I have absolutely no recollection of at all). I have a PhD in engineering from Stanford, so I know how to work the system, I just feel bad for all the kids today that are expected to work themselves to death playing along with the system too. I did well, but I think I would have done even better if at some point someone had given me the benefit of the doubt that I cared about my future. Why not expect kids to learn less facts, so they can have less homework and more time to experience life for themselves and follow their own interests.

post #55 of 65

There are many different schedules for high schools and junior high schools out there. My son has 6 classes per day, 50 minutes for each class. He has 50 minutes for lunch and 50 minutes "unstructured". He usually does homework during that time, but his school (all boys) also has intramural sports available during this time. They are allowed quite a bit of freedom- they can play ball, study, pretty much do whatever as long as they follow the rules. They don't abuse this because they love it. . Many students have a 7th class at this time; this is only his second year not having a 7th class- he's a senior. My girls have 75 minute classes, 5 classes per day, but there are 7 classes on their schedule. It's called a drop 2 schedule. They have 50 minutes for lunch; no study hall.

 

My students are on a 4x4 block. We have 90 minute classes- 4 per day. The students take 4 classes in the fall and 4 in the spring- like college. The other high school in the district has an AB schedule- 4 classes one day, the other 4 classes the other. No study hall and only 25 minutes for lunch-which is insane.

 

As an English teacher, I love the 90 minute classes; I can cover grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing all within a class period. I can take my class to the computer lab and they can get a lot of work done on a paper or research. The math teachers hate it- you can only cover so much new material with the students and only practice so much before you lose them. I would love to have 75 minute classes with a study hall.

post #56 of 65

Wanted to add- the traditional lecture format of classrooms is pretty much extinct. We are not supposed to lecture at all. It's all group work, inquiry learning, students leading the discussions, etc.

post #57 of 65

Jumping back in to say that a lot of how I feel about HW is from our experience as a family. I had read some of the research, read Kohn and etc and was totally cool with the no-homework thing. Until DC spent 5 years at a school that had no homework. And, even though I was super involved with the school, knew the teachers socially, went to all the meetings, read all the letters, talked to my kid before and after school and all that, I still didn't feel as connected to the work she was doing in class as I wanted to be.  Now that my DC has homework I feel more connected academically even though I have set foot in this school exactly 3 times, hardly know the teachers and have less time to try to be super involved. The homework thing is one of the times that the research I had read and my general philosophy about parenting did not jive with the actual needs and experiences of our family/child. 

post #58 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 

The homework thing is one of the times that the research I had read and my general philosophy about parenting did not jive with the actual needs and experiences of our family/child. 

 

 

I agree. My kids have attended a no-homework private school and a traditional public school with homework. Having done it both ways, I like homework.

 

For one thing, the math program at the no homework school was pathetic and both my kids left behind in math. I suspect that this would be true for most schools that tried to do everything during the day -- math is a subject that you need to PRACTICE. Sure, some kids need more practice that others, but the facility with math isn't going to get there for *most* kids without practice.

 

Both of my kids did more reading and writing at higher levels once they left the no-homework school. There really is only so much that you can do during the school day, and especially for teens, I'd rather them work at a higher level by doing independent work at home and lectures/group learning/experiments and experiences during the school day.

 

My DDs high school doesn't do study halls (they ended up as wasted time at her school) but 2 periods a week are "conference periods" where all teachers are in the rooms and available to talk to students. It's like having office hours for everyone at the same time. These periods can but used for study. The school also has the library and computer lab open for one hour before school begins, and 2 hours after school lets out, to make studying easier for kids.

 

I think that talking about "homework" and including everything from K to highschool is a bit silly. There are very different issues at different ages.

post #59 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
 

I think that talking about "homework" and including everything from K to highschool is a bit silly. There are very different issues at different ages.

And I agree with this! 

post #60 of 65

ok lets break it up. 

 

homework is of two kinds right? practise and then project work. practice can be busy work or 'stretch' work. 

 

i have never been involved in dd's 'practice' work, but i get involved in project work. when dd needed help i helped her, otherwise i never got involved with her hw unless it was a project. 

 

i think there's a difference btw elem school and mid and high school.

 

the point is i dont mind homework. really i dont. as long as it does not take up most of dd's hometime. dd is in 6th grade in a middle school and she has 3, sometimes 4 hours of hw. THAT is plain ridiculous. AND hw during the weekend. 

 

and what i have heard from teachers and even school philosophy. if you need help - give you more practice hw. if you need more challenge give LOTS of hw. what?!!! if you are doing fine then lets give you more hw to see how far u could go. 

 

i even see it in college. even in college hw there's a lot of busy work involved. 

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