Saturday, November 01, 2008

Show & Tell #16

The Homework Rant Edition...

This is a pet peeve of mine, and I don't mean to offend any teachers out there (my brother is one of you, I know the pressures on you guys). BUT, I do not believe in homework for elementary school children.

This is a picture of my son's homework from the past week:





He is in 4th Grade. He has had homework since he has been in kindergarten. I really really don't get that. I was in junior high school before I had homework. I am sorry, but I feel that having our elementary school children in school for 5-6 hours a day is plenty of time. Do they need to spend 1-3 hours MORE at night? As a parent, it is hard for me to find time to spend with my son, on top of having him do his homework, eat a balanced dinner, read a book (which is the most important thing to me), have a bath, brush his teeth and go to bed. Where is the time for this child to be a child?? For Michael specifically, it is hard for him to focus on tasks as it is...after a day of doing that, he then has to hunker down and focus on projects for school. Also, we are supposed to be letting him have more time socially with other children, to help him be more social--so, how do I work that in?? Oh, and per his doctors instructions, he has therapy and Cub Scouts. Hmmm...I don't believe in over scheduling, but it seems I have been placed in said situation beyond my control. I would rather have less vacation days, longer school days, or whatever--just no more homework, please!!

A side argument to this -- I do believe that school should not be the only place children should learn. Parents need to be involved with their children's education. We take our children to museums and other educational experiences, we read to them daily, we talk to them, etc. I think that is very important to have. And I know that it is something some children are not fortunate to have, and I understand that school is sometimes the only exposure some children have to learning.

12 comments:

Lollipop Goldstein said...

You know, this was one of the reasons we didn't put the kids in school until this year--we wanted them to have just be-at-home-and-be-a-kid time. But then you're screwed because once they enter this world, everything is off and running. I feel for you because we're going through it too and they're 4! If we work on this area (the socializing) then the reading skills lag behind. It feels like every second of the day is spoken for.

battynurse said...

I guess I haven't really thought of it much one way or another. I had one coworker once who was bothered that her first grader didn't have homework. It seems like at least they could find a balance. Maybe for elementary school having only 15-30 minutes and then working up as they get closer to middle school. I also think it's a bit crappy that high schoolers now often have 5-6 hours of homework a night. That's like college.

Kristin said...

It is crazy how busy life gets when they are in school. Just wait until you have one in middle school too.

Another Dreamer said...

I remember having to take books home ot read... and in the third garde I think I had to maybe write a paper every now and then...

I agree. Learning shouldn't ossur in a vacuum. I wonder if the reason there's more homework is because not only are schools often overbooked, but they also have the issue with more and more parents being less involved...

Sam said...

I too remember that I barely had any homework in primary school - I may have had one or two pieces a week in my last year at primary school, but the homework was really for secondary school. Kids should be kids without all that extra pressure.

Christy said...

I'm a third grade teacher, and I'll let you in on a little secret . . . I hate homework too! Our school board has made the assigning of homework mandatory. Our grade level assigns 40 minutes of daily homework, but that includes 20 minutes of reading material of choice. It also includes spelling practice, and math facts practice (+, -, or x, depending upon the quarter). I hate collecting homework, I hate correcting homework, I hate chasing after kids trying to get them to return it. I look for any excuse not to assign it (Oh look! There's a holiday this week! Oh look! The copier was broken! Oh look! You earned enough class points to skip homework!)

Anyhow, I do feel for you . . .

Cara said...

I am a teacher and I hear you! The balance of work and social play (hence learning) is really off!

Bear is in Kindergarten now and while they don't have "homework" per-se, she knows about it.

Also - we made the conscious choice to NOT sign her up for any afterschool sports this first year. It is TOO MUCH time, energy, and focus outside the home.

Emily (Apron Strings) said...

I can lend you my dog. She'll eat through anything. And then you could actually use the excuse that the dog ate his homework!

:-) Here from Show and Tell

WiseGuy said...

Ah...the mirth of homework. I do not have my own kid's homework to take care of, coz I do not have kids at all....but I will tell you something. Maybe, I would not have looked at homework the way you did, coz I grew up being heaped up with lots of homework - for every evening, every weekend, every summer vacation, every diwali vacation. God! If one of our teachers remained absent from work, it was such a huge cause of celebration. Do I repent doing all that slogwork. I hated the summer vac h/w, and on normal school days came with atleast one 'homework not done!' comment to a read-faced mother! Thanks for reminding me of those days!

Brenda said...

Bah! 1-2 hours of homework for a child this young? That seems pretty excessive. I only remember having homework for when I needed extra help: my handwriting in the second grade. I always had practice homework to do. Despite the extra work, I don't think my handwriting improved too much...

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I remember having to read at home and maybe practice writing skills, but not full on homework. It stinks! I have some friends with kids in elementary school and the stuff they are expected to do at home seems like a lot. Here in VA we have the Standard Of Learning tests and I do know that has added a lot to the kid's and the teacher's plates.

docgrumbles said...

How timely - my developmental psych students just had a heated discussion about this. Homework is on the rise in even the lowest grades, and research so far does not support an actual benefit to homework (especially excessive homework). Some studies even indicate a negative influence of homework on learning.

Kids need rest and playtime (play encourages cognitive development, it isn't just leisure time).

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