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Old 12-07-2006, 06:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


What is different about today's boys as opposed to the boys of 15 years ago or 30 years ago?

What is different about today's elementary schools as opposed to those 15 or 30 years ago?
Video games and instant gratification apparently is shortening the attention span.

The male brain according to the present is designed for a being that moves around, interacts with the world, and builds things.

This is not the design of today's school, where the male is told to sit and listen.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:46 AM   #17
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Another thing of note.....

Adult attention span is TWENTY MINUTES.

The attention span of a child is equal to their age.

Are we asking children to sit to long?
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:18 AM   #18
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How many years has the population at large been expected to spend their whole day in school and doing homework? When you add up the time, including the hour each day that they are expected to do homework, it's 35 hours a week. The 5 homework hours cut into family time, after the adult has worked perhaps 40 hours. Does anyone know the history of school hours and homework hours?

I started visiting a stepfamily forum for support and there was a thread about homework. The guist was that the stepmoms couldn't get the stepchildren to do homework and it was all about the discipline of the birth father. In my home, I have a really hard time keeping up with the homework schedule and my step children have the same difficulty keeping up with it all. I have been wondering how much of this just that our kids aren't meant to follow the school schedule/workflow as is.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:40 PM   #19
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Originally posted by BostonAnne
How many years has the population at large been expected to spend their whole day in school and doing homework? When you add up the time, including the hour each day that they are expected to do homework, it's 35 hours a week. The 5 homework hours cut into family time, after the adult has worked perhaps 40 hours. Does anyone know the history of school hours and homework hours?

I started visiting a stepfamily forum for support and there was a thread about homework. The guist was that the stepmoms couldn't get the stepchildren to do homework and it was all about the discipline of the birth father. In my home, I have a really hard time keeping up with the homework schedule and my step children have the same difficulty keeping up with it all. I have been wondering how much of this just that our kids aren't meant to follow the school schedule/workflow as is.
I will answer some of these when I get a chance.

Matt
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:36 PM   #20
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Here in New York City, they have a new education method that began three years ago. Elementary students sit in clusters, or groups of four or six, and they help each other with their classwork. There is also reading section, where during reading time, students sit on rugs and read books, and help the other student read. They share their reading experiences with one another, and their teacher.

I've seen this when I interned at a local news station, and followed a reporter around who covered these changes.
From what the teachers said, the students loved this new environment and were very eager to learn by this.

Is this type of environment good for boys?
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:41 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Pearl
Here in New York City, they have a new education method that began three years ago. Elementary students sit in clusters, or groups of four or six, and they help each other with their classwork. There is also reading section, where during reading time, students sit on rugs and read books, and help the other student read. They share their reading experiences with one another, and their teacher.
This sounds a lot like the way the "alternative" classrooms a lot of schools had back in the 70s were set up. I was in one of those programs from 2nd-4th grade before funding ran out for it, and those were the most academically stimulating of all my years in school up until the high school I attended junior and senior year. Technically, the "alternative" part referred to the fact that these were also multiage classrooms (two or more grades combined in one room), but the decentralized, work-in-groups approach, which made lessons feel more like "activities," was also part of it. At the beginning of each week each student would work out a personal "learning contract" with the teacher, defining what they were going to accomplish in every subject that week, and if you finished yours early you might have free-choice reading time, work on educational games, or help other students with their work. I can't speak to what it was like from the teacher's end (there was usually an aide involved too, and total class size was about 25 I think), but I remember it fondly, and so did all the other students I knew who were involved in it. Admittedly at our school it was more of an experimental program for "gifted" students, but a lot of schools at that time were run on an almost wholly "alternative" basis.

The private kindergarten our youngest son is in this year (we chose it mostly because it's half-day--he just wasn't ready for full-day kindergarten yet, and that's all our public schools offer) uses a sort of modified setup of this type, and our son has done well with it. The teacher does report he concentrates better and gets more done when he works with other students--kind of counterintuitive, since his main problem is being able to focus on command and screen out distractions, but we've found the same thing to be true at home too.

I do think a lot of it comes down to individual learning styles though; his older brother is in a much more traditional classroom environment and he's done well with that, he's able to sit down and focus on his homework, and pretty much always has been. Their little sister seems like she's likely to be somewhere in between, though it's still a bit early to tell. I do remember though that BOTH boys and girls did well in the "alternative" program I was in; girls may *overall* do better at sitting quietly and listening at that age, but they also love to get up, move around, interact, and work on projects and problems given the chance, and who knows, it may well be better for them socially and make them less likely to become overly passive later in their school years.

I kind of agree with Greenlight though that the too-much-time-staring-passively-at-TV/video games issue often gets conflated with "quality time" with parents more than it should--yeah, too many parents aren't actively involved in their children's learning and there may be a point at which homework hurts that more than it helps, on the other hand too many kids don't get enough free-choice interaction with other kids either, IMO...not unlike some adults whose idea of "a night out with friends" is where you all go to a movie theater, sit in silence staring at a screen for two hours, then dazedly try to make converstaion over coffee afterwards while half the adults are falling asleep and the other half are still too busy digesting the movie to really participate fully in conversation.

But our kids are all still under 10, maybe I'll feel differently when they're older.
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