Thursday, October 4, 2007

Homework Insanity - How Homework Is Hurting Families

Great Post here by Janice Campbell.
Homework Insanity

One of the reasons why my family left the government school system was because it was monopolizing my children's lives, and in fact our family's life. Everything revolved around school and school schedules and meetings. The kids literally had no time to develop their own interests and passions. The sad part was that the homework that they were given was really just busy work or was work that they should have been doing during class time. Teachers spent class time with student behavior problems or with other distractions, or with review of material. I found that presentation of new material was done in a fairly cursory manner. On top of that, it wasn't unusual for kids to be removed from class for assemblies or other "specials", and subsequently they had to make up the work at home.

It also seemed to us that no meaningful time was spent in class to delve into subjects at any real depth, and so the kids ended up having to do that at home if they really wanted to learn about a subject. I mean what can you really discuss in any depth in 30 or 45 minutes? If meaningful discussion did happen in class then it was usually interrupted by the bell. Most times kids have to use homework time to try to make sense of what was "covered" in class. Parents often have to help decipher what was "presented".

Is it really fair to have kids in school all day and then have to come home to face 3 or 4 hours more of homework? I don't think so.

But for me, when the school started to send homework home for ME to do (read a story with the kids or do some other activity) I told them, "No way". I wasn't about to spend time with my kids "on the school's terms", and in the way in which they wanted me to spend time with them. It just seemed so insane.

So for your homework, please read this really good editorial about how homework is hurting our family.


Maureen said...

Hi Judy -
What a timely post! Todays NYT has the following article you'll just love, and might even prompt a follow-up post! :)

"Spreading Homwork Out So Even Parents Have Some"

Love your blog -

Jennifer said...

Ha! I was just going to post that NYTimes link, but Maureen beat me to it.

Hercules Mulligan said...

There is a new blogring up. Maybe you would like to join it; I have. You can be a "Friend of Liberty" by leaving a comment at this post and pasting the button that it gives you on your sidebar!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

And the real kicker is that over 50 years of research has shown that homework, other than free reading with the family, has little to no effect on school achievement K-12 in the long term.

I became a subversive teacher when I realized that homework was meaningless and that work done under my supervision in class was a lot more meaningful, since I could assure that students weren't learning their mistakes.

If your kids are in school, you are a lot better off blowing off the homework and spend the time talking and reading with your kids. It is your input that is most valuable to their success in life!

If you homeschool, this is not an issue at all, since you are probably doing a lot of talking and reading with your kids, and homework does not exist in the conventional sense.