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Refusing to do homework?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I have a friend who basically refuses to have her kids do beyond a certain amount of homework, and sends it back unfinished.  Another refuses to have her kids do it at all.  Both are parents of young kids 3rd or younger....

 

Has anyone done this?  Does it work? Do the teachers work with you? Or do they just mark down your kids? I homeschool, and not doing homework when I was a kid meant big trouble...so I am actually curious about this choice.

post #2 of 27

I don't do this because my son gets a reasonable amount of homework per week (spelling words and a 2-page math homework). But at 3rd grade and lower, I don't think there is much as far as grades.

 

In my son's school, their grading system is along the lines of above grade level, at grade level and emerging (I suppose it's nicer speak for below grade level). They really don't grade specifically for things but rather just have an evaluation of where the child is at in reference to what is being taught that quarter.

 

I suppose if I didn't send homework, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. However, I can see if my child is struggling AND not sending in homework that a teacher might start working with the parent more in terms of supporting learning at home.

post #3 of 27
I have never refused to have my child do homework, but one teacher required my daughter to fill out a reading contract where she was supposed to time how long she read and I was supposed to sign off on it, and I just refused to do it. She read so much, and for bits of time here and there sometimes, and without checking the clock other times. Her reading habits made that seem pretty impossible without turning reading into a chore. I just told the teacher when she complained about us not doing the reading contract why we weren't doing it and we just didn't. I don't think the teacher liked it but there didn't seem to be any negative consequence.
post #4 of 27

I've posted extensively on this subject, feel free to search for some posts to get my perspective  :)

post #5 of 27
I told the teacher last year we didn't want to log reading because my DD is a reader and she was fine with that. Other than that she does it because it is typically work she should have completed at school. One of dd's friend's mothers tells teachers her dd's are only doing a specific amount.and sometimes they are fine with it sometimes they get marked off and lose recess, and last year one lost out on field trips also. In the school I student taught at they went to "homework club" at all recesses until work was done. I suggest discussing it with the teacher and deciding how to proceed after that.
post #6 of 27
My DS has special needs that make learning more challenging. By the time the day is over, he's often fried. So, we do as much homework as he can. If the work is too difficult (which happens frequently in math) we do a few problems and stop. The teachers want to know if the kids are having problems and if assignments are taking excessively long. Some days he doesn't do any homework. It is what it is.

My first grader attends a charter school that gives minimal homework. I'd say that she gets homework about three times a month. She often chooses to do math practice while DS is doing his.
post #7 of 27

We have always reinforced homework, even when we thought it was silly homework. I guess to some extent I think it does teach children that sometimes we do things we don't want to do, which can be an important lesson. I'm not sure what would have happened if they got into the mindset/habit of not having to do their homework when they got to high school. There is a sizable amount of homework in high school. Not turning it in, means the student gets an F on their list of assignments. Enough "F's" and the grade could come down significantly. I am clear on this because my son was not good at getting the homework to the teacher even after he did it.

 

I'm not sure why someone would want to just ignore the homework without consulting with a teacher, if they are choosing to use public schools. I am not sure what this is teaching the child. I do know that I've had the misfortune over time of having hired some young adults who seemed to have been raised in this type of home, and it was a disaster in the workplace. 

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
 

I'm not sure why someone would want to just ignore the homework without consulting with a teacher, if they are choosing to use public schools. I am not sure what this is teaching the child. I do know that I've had the misfortune over time of having hired some young adults who seemed to have been raised in this type of home, and it was a disaster in the workplace. 

I don't know about OP's friend, but I can tell you my reasons.

 

Firstly, I let my ds's teachers know well in advance that, due to circumstances and extra-curricular activities, ds *might* not finish his homework. Thankfully, ds only gets minimal hw, so it only happened a couple of times.

I read extensively about this subject, and also as a former teacher myself, I don't agree with hw, especially for elementary school. I pick up my kids from daycare at 5:30, we get home at 6 and they go to bed at 8:30. So we have 2.5 hours for dinner, instrument practice and sometimes sports practice. When it's warm outside I also try to take them to the park for 30 min. I don't see the point of them doing hw, after spending 6+ hours in school. I don't bring work home, why should they?

 

What is it teaching my son? It's teaching him that family time is important. That music and being outside is important. That doing silly, busy work, just because someone told you to, is not ok.

He takes responsibility for his homework. He knows he needs to finish his work in class, because he might not have the time to do it at home. This school year, he brought home unfinished work maybe a couple of times.

post #9 of 27

If one of the boys can't get their homework done, we just let the teacher know.  For example, "ds2 was really having a hard time getting all his math homework done.  So, I had him work on it for 40 minutes and then we called it quits."  I have never had any issue with a teacher when I've told them that.  But I have heard some teachers at other schools who say, "Well, they'll just have to make it up tomorrow."  Which is ridiculous, because they'll then have their homework for that night to do on top of the night before!

post #10 of 27

I have heard teachers and other parents discussing homework and teachers seem pretty flexible if something happens every now and then (family from out of town, someone was sick, kid did 40 minutes of homework and was just DONE, family went to a play, etc) but they are all pretty clear that dance, cheer, sports, etc are not acceptable reasons for not doing homework.

 

At a certain point, homework drives the classwork forward or is a prereq for being prepared for classwork.  I have a feeling the OPs friends' kids are going to be in trouble when they get past the "this is just busywork" phase. 

 

 

post #11 of 27

In my opinion, there is a huge difference between homework in elementary school and middle/high school. The early years can be considered prep for high school, by which time it is assumed that kids have learned the skills of pacing themselves, completing a project given a month to complete it, etc. In the elementary years it can really work to let it slide and there will not be a huge consequence. But when the kids get to high school, what happens when they have adopted the attitude that it doesn't really matter? At the high school level it is not a matter of finishing the work at school or at home. They assign separate work for home, junior high and high school. It seems that if one is opting into the public school system, for better or worse, homework skills are part of the equation. Family time and outside time ARE important. Absolutely. It can be challenging to fit everything in, for sure. 

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
 

In my opinion, there is a huge difference between homework in elementary school and middle/high school. ..... But when the kids get to high school, what happens when they have adopted the attitude that it doesn't really matter? 

 

I agree that there is a big difference between elementary and high school. However, I think the point is that a lot of homework -- most or all of it for some kids -- in elementary school really doesn't matter. Like, it actually doesn't make a difference to their learning, and it is unnecessary for the teacher to receive the homework in order to adequately assess the student's learning. Smart kids realize this, and when you tell them otherwise and try to make them do it anyway, they smell a rat. Some of these kids will simply internalize the assumption that parents and teachers are always trying to make kids do useless work and kids should maybe through the motions as necessary to keep the heat off, but that's about all and that's the only reason to bother. I think that if we as parents are honest in agreeing with our kids that it really doesn't matter in the younger years, then when they get into a situation where in actually does matter (say, in high school, where out-of-class assignments, essays, studying for exams and project work result in real learning and significant effects on grades and therefore on future opportunities) they'll buy it. Why not just wait until it matters to tell them it matters? That's how it worked when I went through school: no homework other than the very occasional project until 7th or 8th grade, then a tiny bit of homework, with a little more starting in 9th and 10th, a few more big projects in 11th and 12th. I went on to medical school on the strength of that sort of schooling, and had no trouble putting in the usual 40 hours a week studying at that point: because it really mattered.

 

Miranda

post #13 of 27

We opted out when DD1 was in 1st/2nd grade. Mostly because she is severely dyslexic, school work was challenging enough, we had tutoring, sports, etc... to do. I did inform the teacher about why. Once she caught up to grade level in 3rd grade, we have always done homework. Until this year (5th grade), homework was not nightly. Now it is and usually 1-1.5+ hours a night. 

 

My 1st grader gets one sheet a week to do, if it is not returned to school then the child stays in from recess to do it. I only made that mistake once! She does receive actual grades and not just the check marks that I remember previously. 

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
 

I have heard teachers and other parents discussing homework and teachers seem pretty flexible if something happens every now and then (family from out of town, someone was sick, kid did 40 minutes of homework and was just DONE, family went to a play, etc) but they are all pretty clear that dance, cheer, sports, etc are not acceptable reasons for not doing homework.

 

 

I think these are perfect reasons for not doing HW!

post #15 of 27

I guess it depends on your priorities.  I don't prioritize cheer or football or dance over school.

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
 

I guess it depends on your priorities.  I don't prioritize cheer or football or dance over school.

Considering my kids have learned just as much, if not more, in some of those activities than they have at school, I definitely see more value in doing those things than in doing homework.

post #17 of 27
I don't prioritize sports over school, but I might prioritize them over homework, depending on the homework and the child's interest in the sports.
post #18 of 27

I am curious about how many folks who are chiming in on this thread have children who are in the upper grades (middle school to high school). If anyone has kids in those grades, and they have become accustomed to thinking that homework doesn't matter unless it is something that interests them, what does your student (or you if you need to step in) say to the teacher when all the F's start showing up on their grade ledger? 

post #19 of 27

The whole sports vs academic side of this argument has always interested me.  My boys play one sport per season or another group sort of thing.  Beyond that, I don't have the energy for.  If it's a regular practice day, they come home from that and they do homework.  There isn't time for tv, computer, etc.  They've chosen to do both and I expect them to keep both of them up, so they have to sacrifice other things.  Now, if they have a meet that's far away, etc, and they just don't have time to do their homework, I'll let the teacher know, and they're always OK with that.  But, I do insist that they skip a practice if they need more academic help also.  I think there needs to be a balance.  My kids learn a lot from sports and clubs, as well as, academics, but academics are not a choice, sports are.

post #20 of 27

for us the teacher actually just worked with us. she pulled out all teh busy work (which some kids needed) and work that dd got consistently right. 

 

all i had to do was approach the teacher. 

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