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Old 10-09-2007, 12:40 AM   #151
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In terms of grade school, I had several hours of homework each night including weekends from about 4th-12th grades.

My problem was...I chose not to do what I could get away with not doing...
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:45 AM   #152
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My problem was...I chose not to do what I could get away with not doing...
The smart ones always figure that out.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:52 AM   #153
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Did you guys have 4-6 hours of homework every night 7 days a week? Maybe less some nights, but still... I mean it's almost midnight here, and my daughter is still trying to complete her homework. She's been home since 5:45, had time off for dinner & a snack. WTF is wrong with this picture? She's 13!!!


My sister-in-law mailed this article to me, and I found it online to pass along:

From the Wall Street Journal 10/21/07 by Jeff Opdyke

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1192...j_main_hs_coll


It's official: Parents hated homework as kids, and now they hate their kids' homework.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the ridiculous amount of homework my son has these days -- and the toll it is taking on our family time.

My inbox has since filled up with more than 1,000 emails from parents, teachers, principals and guidance counselors who unleashed a cumulative "thank you."

* * *
Many parents told of the emotional toll homework was taking on their kids. They spoke of crying fits, angry outbursts, frustration. And worse.


Lydia Hulka, in Huntington Beach, Calif., says her two daughters can't even recuperate over holidays because of the "piles of projects and homework." She has talked to school counselors and teachers in both middle school and high school about the stresses her daughters are experiencing, "and I was sent twice to see a psychiatrist to put [them] on pills. When I look at my childhood, I actually had time to play. When I compare it to the life of my children, I feel helpless and sorry for them. Society does more harm to our kids with this overload."

"Is there something we can do as parents," Ms. Hulka asks, "to stop this insanity?"

Christina Wester, in Dallas, thinks there is: She recently started home-schooling her son, in part because she felt his school was giving too much homework. All schools care about, she says, "is the test score that maintains their 'blue ribbon' status or ensures the funding they need." And yet, she says, the "test scores are really meaningless."


What is meaningful, she says, is "free time after school playing outside, family dinners free from stress and pressure, lazy Saturday mornings filled with tickle fights, cartoons and a big pancake breakfast, Sunday evenings spent relaxing rather than dreading school or cramming for a test."

* * *
Jobie Brooks, in Arroyo Grande, Calif., says her two girls (in eighth and ninth grade) work four to seven hours a night, six to seven nights a week on homework.

"There's barely time for dinner," Ms. Brooks says, "and no quality family time with our children that isn't controlled by upcoming tests and papers due." Homework also has interfered with church, vacation, movies and visits from friends and family. "The weekends are so jammed with studying and writing," Ms. Brooks says, "that we've reached a point where we've actually told our girls not to worry if they don't get that almighty A."

Ms. Brooks says she has told teachers and school-board officials that the stress level on kids is "absolutely unacceptable." But her complaints were dismissed. "Teachers," she has concluded, "seem to be relying on homework to do the teaching."

* * *
Tara Woods, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., says she and her husband are "big believers in formal education," but that the amount of homework was so absurd that she decided her son did not need to do his homework any more.

As long as he knew the material, "I was fine, and he could skip the assignment," she says. "If he messed up on a test, but knew the material, I was fine. I told him no one ever was going to care what grade he got on a second-grade math test, and I made it clear that as his parent, I was making the decision to override the teachers because I believe the school system has some fundamental problems."

Ms. Woods told her son's teacher of her decision as well. "If you maintain regular communication with a teacher, explaining that you are on top of your child's progress and that the stress is too much, most teachers will be OK with it," she says. "The ones who aren't should be ignored anyway."

Still, Ms. Woods says, her son is leaving his school at the end of the year for a local magnet school, "because the entire education is geared toward standardized tests. The school system has become bent and warped, and we, as parents, have to take a stand."

* * *
The last word goes to a reader in the Southwest, who says that as she drove to school one recent morning she kept thinking "I hate school." The thing is: She's the school's guidance counselor.

"I've sat with kids who are in migraine mode or taking pills for stomach problems they never had before, sobbing and in existential crisis," she says. "I have had more than a few eighth-graders tell me that their lives are meaningless, that all they do is go to school, go home and do homework, and come back the next day to do it all again."

She says her school created a detention program for kids who are late turning in their homework. A few weeks ago, a parent forgot to pick up a child in detention and the sixth-grade girl began the two-mile trek home in 105-degree heat. "She was on the verge of passing out when I picked her up" and took her home, this reader says.

"When I told the teachers the next day that they should be more careful about making sure parents pick up their kids...one teacher said, 'Then she should do her homework on time.' "

So, she says, "I also hate school. Unfortunately for me, I love children. And so I'm here."
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:11 AM   #154
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It is frustrating. I'd say for the most part my teachers were generally pretty good about spreading out the material a bit, but at the same time, yeah, when you have students who:

-Don't get the material (which leads into a whole other topic of why the material's able to stick for some kids but not for others-I know what it's like to be the kid watching everyone else zoom ahead. I struggled greatly with math-related classes in school-for some reason, there was so much of it that just never stuck with me, and watching everyone else in the room seem to get it just made me more upset and confused and embarrassed)
-Have tons of other classes' worth of work to attend to, thus making them basically hurry through some assignment so they can get on to the rest of their stuff and hopefully finish it that night
-Get burned out because of the workload

it's gonna be really overwhelming and a pain for all involved.

(And of course there's those who don't even bother to try to learn the material at all, but that's more their problem than that of the teachers )

I do think homework has its merits, there are times when the assignments actually are beneficial to a child's learning, and there are some things that cannot be delved into during the class that will have to spill over into being taught at home. But too much of it, especially if it's just busy work, isn't helpful, either. There needs to be a balance. What the perfect meeting place is, though, that's where the debate comes in.

I also know that in my middle/high school years, sometimes my teachers made it seem like it was a bad, BAD thing if you didn't turn in your homework right away, and while I agree you shouldn't drag the work out to eternity (especially since my teachers had deadlines they have to meet, too, regarding school curriculum), at the same time, maybe a slight bit more flexibility wouldn't have hurt, so that kids weren't feeling pressured to stay up until daybreak working on something.

I feel bad for your daughter, Lila-I hope she's managed to snag another break and clear her mind for a bit. Good luck with the homework.

Also, by the way, I think it's bizarre that there are people who wouldn't consider teaching a noble profession. I tip my hat to anyone who takes it on-I don't doubt it's difficult at times. Which is why I can only imagine the happiness you get when you do see the fruits of your labor. And I've had many a great teacher myself throughout my lifetime. So to all you teachers out there, way to go .

Angela
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:20 AM   #155
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Yeah, at midnight she finished and then had to straighten out her room before the cleaners come to clean the house on Wednesday, so at the earliest, she went to bed at 12:30am

And I agree, a certain amount of homework I could understand, but I can't understand 4-6 hours a night, 6-7 days a week. And she's in the advanced classes and has always done well and continues to do so. But there really does need to be more balance. Sometimes it seems they are rushing kids to learn stuff earlier and earlier. Like something I would have learned in 8th grade 30 years ago (WTF!??!?) she would now be learning in 7th or even earlier. Why the rush? To meet some state test standards?

And yes, she said her friends have the same amount of homework too. I think they are all in the advanced / smart kids classes Last year we had her in a regular English class, and it was just too easy for her. She wasn't even required to read any books outside of class She had always been required, for the most part, to read
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:04 AM   #156
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lila64
Why the rush? To meet some state test standards?

Yes. And federal requirements for 100% proficiency for everyone, no matter what.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:32 AM   #157
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat

My problem was...I chose not to do what I could get away with not doing...
I always did the same...or spent a huge amount of time working on a project or paper from a class I enjoyed instead of spreading my time out over all my classes.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:45 PM   #158
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We've got to keep up with the Joneses, you know.

Or in this case, the Japanese.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:51 PM   #159
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Originally posted by Hinder
We've got to keep up with the Joneses, you know.

Or in this case, the Japanese.
I do think this factors in. The Americans lag behind a lot of the rest of the world in most subjects and a glance at top graduate schools in the US will point that out as well. Same problem in Canada, actually.

The math we're learning in 8th grade, the Japanese probably did in 5th. That's the reality we're faced with.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:54 PM   #160
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I do believe that the problem isn't in the amount of homework but in the quality of those activities.
Absolutely. Busywork is the problem. I still think that a limited amount of focused homework material will help someone retain what they have learnt in class on the same day.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:01 PM   #161
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Originally posted by Canadiens1160
Absolutely. Busywork is the problem. I still think that a limited amount of focused homework material will help someone retain what they have learnt in class on the same day.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:58 PM   #162
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Busywork was the problem for me when I was younger. Now, all of the homework seems necessary, but the teachers have waaaaaaaaaaay too much curriculum, and have to load up on a nightly basis. In my English class for example, we have a quarter exam tomorrow, which has always meant you get that night to study for it. However, we have so much to do, that I have two other assignments due tomorrow as well. For one, I have to continue reading our third book of the year, and then I have to work with some vocabulary terms. That all on top of preparing for a quarter exam.

And that's one class. I have an exam and a paper due for history in the next four days. I have some assignments, a quiz and an exam for mathematics. I have a quiz and an exam for science. And we just finished a Spanish composition earlier this week.

Too. Much.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:12 PM   #163
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When did high school and grade school become harder than college? When I was in high school about 10 years ago, I had about 2-3 hours of work a night tops. I was taking honors and AP classes too. There were times when I would have a paper to write and maybe do some work on weekends, but I don't recall being super stressed out about things. I would have some sort of math work, short answer assignments, or reading and would be done by 9pm almost every night. I had track practice everyday too so it wasn't like I started my homework right after class ended. Have things really changed that much?
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:08 PM   #164
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
When did high school and grade school become harder than college?
1. When everyone who wasn't a teacher decided that US schools were "dumbing down" the curriculum.

and then

2. When the President and the idiots in Congress decided to link a district's measure of success to students' performance on standardized testing, requiring that every single student no matter what demonstrate proficiency.

and then

3. the movement is now to link teacher salaries to student performance on these same standardized tests, bypassing contracts between teacher and school districts.

You think it's ridiculous now? Wait until your child's teacher has her salary directly linked to your child's performance on the standartized test.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:02 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


3. the movement is now to link teacher salaries to student performance on these same standardized tests, bypassing contracts between teacher and school districts.

You think it's ridiculous now? Wait until your child's teacher has her salary directly linked to your child's performance on the standartized test.
That's just absurd. Schools are not a corporation that has to answer to its shareholders and yet this is exactly what we'd be equating them to in a scenario that you describe. Heaven forbid you get stuck with a poorly performing class - just by the law of averages you will have some classes that are considerably worse than others.
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