I taught school at Carden Memorial for 19 years. It was our philosophy there to
limit homework to a total of one hour per day. Of course some students were
unable to complete the assignments in that time, but many finished it before
they left for home, simply by being motivated and efficient. Too much homework
is counter productive because it causes frustration, discouragement and dislike
for the tasks at hand. If true learning takes place in the classroom, a lot of
homeowrk is unnecessary. We did encourage students to read and do hands on
learning at home (parents were given suggestions), but flying papers, in
particular "fill in the blanks" do little to expand minds. I
later substituted in NM, and saw students doing busy work assignments that I
thought were just a waste of paper. As others posting for this article have
noted, problems in the classroom may it hard for teachers to do their jobs, and
homework is used to compensate. That issue needs to be fixed. Children should be
able to go outside and play when they arrive at home (and forget the high tech
justhappytobehere, If children don't do work at school, they
won't do it at home. Teachers can't have too many fail, because it
looks bad on their evaluation, and the contract won't be renewed. Students
know they will pass if their work is not completed, and lack the urgency to
work.A part of the problem IMO, many young children are not matured
enough to handle long hours of school, and therefore age with a dislike for it.
They don't like having a constant collar around them with classes followed
by homework, without trying to break loose. Sometimes less is better than more.
Kids need their childhood to explore and be independent.
I spend a lot of time in elementary classrooms. I see how much valuable learning
time is wasted each day because teachers are forced to babysit rather than
teach. I see children who do no work all day long. Teachers must assign homework
to ensure that children are getting the concepts. Public education should be
considered a privilege, not a right. At least it should be a privilege to attend
a regular class. Maybe children who refuse to behave at school should be placed
in a separate classroom, with a teacher who is paid extra by the parents for
babysitting. If teachers actually had enough time to teach properly, without
being interrupted constantly by out-of-control children, maybe they could check
for understanding and assign homework based on need.
Our children sit almost eight hours a day, than are assigned hours of homework.
Some stay after school to practice for the standardized test. All to impress
someone with a high test score. Students have limited independence which hinders
creativity, and their childhood.
Love the article! Home work is so over rated and misses the point of education.
I get the part of having the parents involved but there is NO reason for the
mountains of "home" work that is assigned. Balance in life is more
needed than the unnecessary chore of home work.
I think frustrations like these are compounded by the amount of homework
teachers assign. My 14-year-old daughter typically has at least two hours, if
not four or five, of homework each night. She is straight A student and is very
self motivated, but the homework comes in huge piles and she gets frustrated!!!
Her social life is all but gone. She had to quit the swim team and rarely has
time at night for anything but homework, dinner, and bed!Teachers
and boards of education need to take a long, serious look at how much work they
are piling on our children and then ask themselves if this huge amount of
homework is really helping the education process or if it just makes teachers
feel a false sense of self worth because, "Look at all the work my students
do. I must be teaching them a great deal." I am absolutely
certain the latter is true 95% of the time.