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Old 09-06-2006, 01:37 PM   #16
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I went to public schools and had quite a bit of homework. Luckily I didn't have to work until I went to college-it becomes very difficult juggling that. All that homework did prepare me though for how much work college was, but I was also self-disciplined.

I have no idea what the right amount of homework is, but I think it should be balanced so that kids can have a family and social life too. That is healthy.
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:39 PM   #17
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I have no idea what the right amount of homework is, but I think it should be balanced so that kids can have a family and social life too. That is healthy.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:25 PM   #18
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I teach high school sophomores and juniors. ( World Civilization and US History) I assign homework 3-4 nights a week and never feel bad about it.

A fair amount of the homework I assign is reading. I'm sorry, but by the time a student has reached 10 or 11th grade reading chapters aloud in class is ridiculous. In addition, my district de-tracked all social studies classes this school year. Some of the homework I assign is to help those students who used to be in a different track, one with 15 students max and an aide, understand what we are covering. (guided readings, graphic organizers, etc) I spend some time going over the homework to see if my students are with me.

I agree with Martha; accurate homework has a direct correlation to achievement on assessments.

I can't ever see myself giving up homework. Time management and self discipline are 2 skills that I talk about daily.
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:10 AM   #19
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in a very timely coincidence, this article appeared in the paper today.

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When Chris Corrigan issued his call for a Great Canadian Homework Ban this week, the topic had such resonance that it quickly reverberated across the country.

His online venting as a parent weary of the overburdening of ever-younger children is stirring up support from like-minded parents across the country, stretching from Mr. Corrigan's home on pristine Bowen Island, B.C., as far east as Sackville, N.B., where a pair of academic parents have come to dread their nightly homework battle.

"The whole evening centres around this mad dash to get the homework done -- and then everyone's mad at each other. It cuts into family time and it really sours the night," says Amanda Cockshutt, who is gearing up to renew the campaign to reduce homework that she began at her children's Sackville elementary school last year.

...

Concerns about homework levels are not new. As far back as 1913, a Calgary school board appointed a commission to determine how much homework was too much, heeding the concerns of parents and teachers who feared children were so overloaded by homework that they were missing out on normal childhood games and sleep.

But with the homework routine now beginning in kindergarten, and even 10-year-olds putting in the occasional three-hour stint, there is evidence the pedagogical pendulum is beginning to swing toward a less homework-driven schedule.

...

The latest comprehensive study on the effect of homework analyzed more than 60 studies between 1987 and 2003 to conclude that homework has a positive effect on student achievement, although the correlation between grades and homework levels was much stronger for high school students than elementary shool pupils.

The lead researcher, Duke University's Harris Cooper, the leading guru of homework research in North America, still supports homework at younger grades and says the lack of a strong academic link isn't an issue because homework has a different purpose at this level, which includes demonstrating family support in education, showing the diversity of learning environments and developing study habits needed later.
i strongly agree with that last part that i emphasized. the article goes on to say that the benefits of homework disappear once homework levels become excessive, which i also agree with.

this part really stuck out for me:

Quote:
But banning homework, or at least curtailing the demands, is a very real issue for Ms. Cockshutt, who says homework was a minor annoyance when she only had one child in school, but the burden is crushing now that her children, ages six, eight and 11, are all bringing it home.

"I'm all into learning," says Ms. Cockshutt, who runs a biotech firm, occasionally teaches at a university, and whose husband teaches at the university. "But it's the copying out of a sentence or, 'Here's an extra page of math.'

"You work till 5 and you try to make dinner. Then they're tired and they don't want to do it and you think, 'Boy, is it worth this?' They say it develops good study habits, but all it seems to do is help me develop good nagging habits. I nag them to do it."
it makes me wonder how much of the impetus to ban homework comes from parents who are having difficulties disciplining their children regarding homework completion. again, i'm not referring to cases where the amount of homework assigned is clearly inappropriate, and thus the parent's complaint may be justified. i'm thinking of the parents of children i've taught (NOT anyone in this thread) and it seems that some parents are doing more and more to appease their kids in an effort to avoid confrontations with them. could the homework ban be another one of those things? there are children who would much rather throw a temper tantrum than do what they are assigned, whether it's 1 question or 50 questions.
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:50 AM   #20
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Interesting discussion...

I am sending my kids to an "open school"...perhaps the teachers here will know about the open school movement. Apparently that's one of the big differences between our school and the rest of the district, and surely the competition-driven private schools in town--we don't assign anywhere near the same amount of homework. Goodness I'm grateful! My kids are 1st and 5th grade, and the test scores for our school are quite fine, and our kids learn to read and write and do math and do as well or better than any of the other schools' kids in high schools that aren't "open". And somehow they do this without much homework at all! For instance, in kindergarten we got none (the idea of trying to force study habits in Kindergarten is utterly ridiculous, and I say that as a developmental psychologist), maybe a little irregularly in first and second grade, then starting in 3rd numerous projects-based reports and the occassional catch-up with math study if say a child was being slow in finishing the workbooks in class. Remember, the kids have been in school all day doing this math and sentence copying and such, and are tired at the end of the day!

The cross-cultural aspects of the study sound interesting...countries that score really well tend to do a lot less homework in the elementary grades, and in some cases, like that of Finland who is blowing other nations away in literacy-related testscores as I understand it, they don't even start schooling kids til 7 I think! We are so under-focused on social and emotional development and so over-focused on phonics it's sad.
I like projects-based assignments a lot more than drilling. Then the kids feel like they're working on something at home that's related to school, but going beyond, not just practising stuff. Practice at school, research at home, is best I think. Keeps parents happier too, because kids enjoy projects and learning new things and discovering and adding and supplementing and creating, but rote stuff is hard to do when there's food and sunshine and tv and family. Hard for everyone, and stress isn't good for anybody. The "routines" can be at school, with regular project-type home assignments that slyly incorporate the skills we want kids to develop and let them learn without it being called 'homework' and feel like a ritual beating or something.
Projects with reports made in class are better, I'd argue, at establishing realistic work habits. You get a deadline and a theme, have to pick your topic, research it, write it up, make a presentation of some kind. You get to manage that over the course of a couple weeks, figure out how you're going to use your time, etc. Much more like later schooling years and like worklife, and then you share with others, so it builds community even though the projects are done solo. I loved watching my son get better and better at managing his time, looking at the calendar and saying oh, I have to really get going now, we have this many days left, working out his details..it was beautiful and far more valuable than 24 more math problems per night. He *owned* it, and that's so much better for learning than having your parents own the need to tell you to do your rote practicing, or summarize a book or something, yuck.

I've taught at the college level a little, and there you tend to create project-oriented stuff, not rote routine page filler. Easier to get them to do it that way, even if it's a lit class or something and you want them to do the reading so you can have discussion, if there's a little direction or presentation tie-in, it helps everyone and is a more 'natural' task than say simply 'assigning the next 3 chapters', analogous to 'the next 5 pages of handwriting practice or word problems from a math drills book', you know?
cheers all!
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:27 AM   #21
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I wonder, based on comments from coworkers and friends, if in some cases ( a small minority I'm sure ) the reason it takes so long to complete sometimes is that it takes some of the parents that long to relearn or familiarize themselves with the subjects in order to "help" write/complete the assignments. The parents who squawk the loudest are often the most offended when the child/they receive a low grade on a paper the child/they worked on for hours.

The people I know who actually stand back and take a more supervisory role, are less stressed about the homework, and generally have children that are more responsible and ready to take ownership.

There are those children who do receive what sounds to be a ridiculous amount of homework that is neither review nor familiarizing with a new subject to be learned, and is more - learn this unit entirely on your own, we will briefly review in class tmw and then move on. That is wrong I think, unless the child wants to pursue that and is capable.

I don't think there is a general right or wrong, whereas there may be specific rights and wrongs in individual classrooms/schools. Parents should always monitor to ensure the required work is being done, and that the required work is reasonable. There will always be occasion to help and answer questions, but it should never take away from the child's independent learning and that includes learning of time management skills.
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways
A fair amount of the homework I assign is reading. I'm sorry, but by the time a student has reached 10 or 11th grade reading chapters aloud in class is ridiculous.
Hmm, we're reading The Crucible aloud in class [I'm Hale ] and while that is quite good because our teacher stops us ever so often to explain a passage of the book, or get our thoughts on it but we do have an analytical essay on it next week and we are still just reading it.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:59 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by snowbunny00774

The parents who squawk the loudest are often the most offended when the child/they receive a low grade on a paper the child/they worked on for hours.

The people I know who actually stand back and take a more supervisory role, are less stressed about the homework, and generally have children that are more responsible and ready to take ownership.
I agree. My parents stopped helping me after third grade and stopped reminding me/asking what I had to do after fifth. My mom said to me the other day "come to think of it, I enver would've known if Lies was even doing homework, because I never even checked." Basically, I came home from school, did the homework, then went to work or gymnastics the rest of the night. I'm not sure why I did it, but my parents never had to remind me or help me. When I got to college, I was never stressed because the homework load was pretty much the same as it had been, just with a lot more reading.

I can see my parents did the same with my younger sibs. My brother had a lot of trouble with reading, and my mom did help a lot with that, but as he got older, she just reminded him to get his work done. Thankfully, my parents aren't obsessed with academic success and realized early on my brother was not meant to be an academic. Now he makes more money than all of us by building houses! He hated school, struggled with reading, barely ever did homework, and I think he's turned out just fine.
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:37 PM   #24
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my main memories of high school are of doing hours and hours of homework (i went to a public school). i'd go to school, go to practice, go home and eat and do work. it was a big grind, but i did learn a lot, and homework varied from meaningful to worthless. i have mixed feelings -- there's a tremendous amount of material to cover, and 180 days aren't going to do it, and i can't say how thankful i am, in retrospect, at the very good, broad education i have received. i have no idea if 3-4 hours of homework (and long stretches of work done on weekends) was the best way, or the only way, to do this.
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:52 PM   #25
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I think that ultimately the homework assigned is a reflection of the teacher's willingness to teach well. A teacher that gives nothing but busy work is probably not going to do very much other than trying to get the students to pass whatever standardized test the district/state has.

At least at the in the schools I've been to, how much homework and the quality of homework had a lot to do with the kinds of classes I took. I've taken all honors and Advanced Placement classas, and other than math I've had homework that was interesting and helpful for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours a night. From what I know, people who were in regular classes usually had busy work.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by COBL_04


Hmm, we're reading The Crucible aloud in class [I'm Hale ] and while that is quite good because our teacher stops us ever so often to explain a passage of the book, or get our thoughts on it but we do have an analytical essay on it next week and we are still just reading it.
There's quite a difference in reading Lit aloud and reading Ch 5.2 in a World History book aloud.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:29 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by firstlove
A teacher that gives nothing but busy work is probably not going to do very much other than trying to get the students to pass whatever standardized test the district/state has.

If only giving busy work was the way to make AYP.





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Old 09-07-2006, 07:59 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways


If only giving busy work was the way to make AYP.





That would awesome!


How about this one: If only meaningful learning and growth could be measured and contribute to AYP.

Yeah, right.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:36 PM   #29
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more interesting comments...
and I agree that it would be ridiculous to have to read chapter 5.2 of World History aloud in class. If there is a text, then assigning reading from it is as homework is desirable no doubt.

I guess I have far less of a problem with homework in middle school and no problem with a good couple hours homework in high school, especially as prep for college.

But I wonder what people think would happen if suddenly absolutely no homework were assigned for kids in say 4th grade and below? At about the age that for instance Lies reveals her mom stopped asking her kids about the work and they just did it at that point? I think there is a *huge* difference in memory, responsibility-taking, etc from kindergarten to 3rd and 4th grade, and before that age of around 9 or 10 or so kids just do not need much if any regular homework, that in fact it is detrimental in many many cases.

Why not let the homework scene start when kids are mature enough to own their responsibility in that regard? Presumably they are 'finishing' assignments in class til then, so it's not like they have no experience with 'work habits'?
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Old 09-08-2006, 01:16 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by vaz02
never never did homework or left it till late in the night cos i couldnt be arsed.

or copied someone else.

Homework is the most pointless work possible.
It WAS pretty pointless, for me. I can remember doing absolutely no homework for most of my school career. And I managed - by sheer and contrary ability to test well - to maintain an a average. Homework should only be assigned to those children who really need it - I mean, ye Gods, I really didn't need to do homework for anything that wasn't math. And I barely needed it for math.
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