« Boosting Math and Science | Main | Classroom Gadgets »

Homework No Burden?

| 31 Comments

A new poll shows that most parents and teachers feel that the amount of homework given to students today is just about right. The results appear to contradict reports about rising concerns over the homework burden on kids.

What's your view? How much homeworkshould kids get? What is the educational value of homework? Are there alternatives?

31 Comments

teachers ought to give homework if they feel the students need the extra work, but it shouldn't be required and there shold be no penalty if students don't do it.

I teach Special Ed and I full know that if I'm giving my students homework on a regular basis, it won't get done. In turn, I have my students do almost all of the work in class. Although, for me, it is much easier to receive Math homework back, than it is to receive any English, Science, or Social Studies. This is due to their reading abilities being so low.

All in all, I feel there is nothing wrong with not giving much homework, even moreso when you know that they won't do the homework. I make sure that their parents know this from the get-go too. I have yet to have any complaints about this.

What's the point of giving homework if you know it won't be done or if you have no enforcement policy to ensure that it does get done?

Whatever homework policy a teacher does have must be even-handed for all students and enforceable.

I have been in education for 43 years as primary, middle school, and high school teacher, as adminsitrator, and as college professor.I am still working, not retired,in the area of staff development.
Why give homework? The idea began when schools had shorter hours per day, fewer subjects, and when the idea of "the more homework I give, the better teacher I am" was prevelant.
Now, however, students spend more hours in school, they have more external events in their lives, and they have more subjects.
For the past 25 years, the only homework I have given is work thatlegitimately can be done at home: watching a specific TV program to participate in discussion the next day, study for a test, a spelling or vocabulary list,to complete reading a story or book, or to study for a test. It is obvious to me if the student completed this work by their results.
Workbook pages, essays, math problems to solve I do NOT assign for homework,nor do i recommend this to teachers I train because (1) the student worked 8 hours in school, while pass on more work? (2) Who is to prove that the students actually did all his own work?
Kids have a long day with many more pressures than we ever had as children. Let them go home and enjoy the rest of the day, the weekend, and their vacations.
Those who flunk, after teacher review of why, should be assigned summer school for 4 weeks intensive work in the subject(s) they failed.
OPTIONAL home practice is OK if it is optional. Student study groups after school, working together on skills is acceptable...but work at home, with the burdens or lack of supportt there should not be an option. The kids who need practice the most, don't do it...and those who don't need itm shouln't have to be bothered with busy work. School is their job...do the best they can in school, and go home without work. teachers, too, want to end their day without more work at night, well....your studnets do, too. In my 90 minute daily work period, I was able to keep up with all my corrections and grading, even at secondary level witrh 6 blocks of students. I went home to my familiy with little work after school. We need to have the cooprtaion of the students: Do all your work in school, work hard here, and there will be no homework, except to study.

I was an educator in the public schools before moving on to a university. In my experience, the amount of homework given to high school students to prepare them for college is unrealistic.

We tell the students that they need 8-10 hours of sleep. They are in classes 6-7 hours, have extracurricular activities (necessary to get into college), hold a job, do community service, and on top of everything else--4-5 hours of homework. All of this leaves little time for that 8-10 hours of sleep, nevermind a social life.

Some of the smartest educators I know gave very little homework. One example is a math teacher who assigned only 4 or 5 problems to do at home to make sure that the lesson was reinforced and that the students understood it. She told them which additional problems to do if they needed more practice. The grades on tests would show who did the work, so there was no need to grade homework, especially if they didn't do it because they still didn't understand it.

If students want to succeed, they will do the extra work at home at all costs. We should not punish them because life gets in the way sometimes--this only adds stress. High school courses have become so advanced now that the freshman year of college could be eliminated--most of it is a review.

I agree with Dr. Elaine Gallagher Rodriquez's comments, especially about working hard. Why not use the time in the classroom to challenge the students to work hard and manage their time.

Question: If someone brings work home from their work, does that mean it is "homework"?

And...Why not do all the learning at home side by side with parents and siblings and that it's all home-learning.

Very little homework needs to be given to children in elementary school. Perhaps, a quarterly special project or extra reading points that could be extra credit.

Adding homework in high school could help with college, although should not be overdone. Schools should set up a system of each core subject having a homework night that work can be assigned, but doesn't have to be. Students would not come home with a six subject overload and have no time for other healthy activities for mind and body!

This is the first time I am participating in this "group". I am pretty excited.
Now, my opinion is that even though I do not agree with a lot of homework, unfortunately the lack of it also hurts the student who may otherwise have no way of practicing the skills that were taught in the school setting. I am a High school and Middle School teacher (At the same time) and I see students on a daily basis who are so...oblivious to what is going on at school that they come to school with no materials to work with, no desire to be in school, much less willing to do any work. However, in light of the new NCLB regulations if a student does not fulfill the requirements the sate is asking for then we are the ones to be 'punished' In order for these students to accomplish such goals, they need the extra practice and yes, does who need it the most hardly ever do it, but does who are succeeding want more and they genuinely do it for their own good (and enjoyment) so why punish those who sincerely desire to grow? Now, even the best of students will tell you that they have learned thanks to those teachers who were demanding, who push to the limit (not beyond) and requested responsability out of them. When they see a teacher who is looking more for the easiness of his/her life (teacher's life that is) then they lose interest in the subeject being taught. I think that in the end, it is thanks to those teachers who demanded the more from us (including lots of 'extra practice' at home) are the ones we are very thankful for.
Cori

All homework given to students should be purposeful and not busy work to impress their parents. Homework reinforces a lesson. Parents and studens with busy after-school schedules should not be stressed trying to decode homework that is unclear. Also, homework should carry some weight in grading.

At our Jr. High we only have 44 minute classes. It is almost impossible to teach a lesson, go over any questions from the previous day and give an assignment that can be completed in 44 minutes. I try not to give alot of homework because most parents can not help my students do their math anyway. Qhen the parents help the student the parent and student end up fighting because the parent teaches it in a different way than I do. Therefore, I try real hard to keep homework to a minimum.

I don't know whom they polled, but it certainly wasn't me or any of the people within my sphere of influence!
We believe that the amount of homework is too high, and contradicts the increasing admonishments of the educational world to "have a meal together", and to be "well-rounded". While I am a staunch advocate of learning and attainment of higher knowledge, I am opposed to creating busy work for children solely for the purpose of filling a grade book. Learning should be adventurous, meaningful, and engaging. From what I've seen both in schools as an employee, and at home as a parent, is that homework is not creatively employed; rather, it is burdensome, and often consumes so much time that children do not get adequate rest or family time-practices to which we give lip-service, and which studies have shown that all children need in order to thrive during the school day. We are not instilling a love of learning in this country.
In speaking with friends and colleagues, we all agree that we never had the stressors that our children encounter. Homework was balanced, and reinforced what was occurring in the classroom. We don't see that happening today, however. Despite the increased workload, the quality of learning and critical thinking is not improved. Sadly, our country's culture is reflective of this trend to provide quantity, with no regard to quality.

I agree with Bill!

What is the point of education? Is it to fill a grade book, or to instill a love of learning within a person- to inspire?
If a child has mastered a subject area, why should that person be subjected to meaningless busy work?

AS a teacher I think that homework is a good way for children to review some of what they have learned in class and learn to be responsible for something on their own. I havew always assigned my elementary school students 15 to 20 minutes worth of work per day and I have always made sure that they could do it entirely without the help from parents (since not all parents are able or available to help). As a parent I find that the best homework is homework that is consistent and built on the same model each week(e.g spelling words: Monday-copy, Tuesday-meaning sheet, Wednesday-word puzzle or word search, Thursday- study for test). This type of homework also works best for teachers because it helps the kids study (by giving clear exercises) and it helps with reviewing the homework in class quickly. The worst kind of homework for elementary school children are the 'projects'. They are gnerally impossible for a child to accomplish on their own, they require all kinds of accessories (poster boards, resource materials etc.), and lots of parent involvment. The result as can be seen from the displayed work at school is usually a nice set of completed parent projects. A good way to see if the parents still know how to write reports and follow directions!
I find that my children have the set 'study' kind of homework, and the projects. Generally there is too much of both. My children participate in very few extra-curricular activities because they have a 45 min. bus ride from school plus one to two hours of homework daily, which leaves them barely an hour to play each day. And everybody tells me that middle school is much worse! I think they could do with half the amount of homework. It worries me when my 11 year old who is doing really well academically, tells me he does not want to go to college because he is tired of homework.

I've always believed that homework serves two functions. First, it allows parents to see and understand what has been learned in the classroom that day, so if any concerns arise, they can be addressed in a timely manner. Parents work all day and are not able to be in the classroom as they were 30 years ago; homework helps parents know what's going on - on a daily basis.
Second, homework is good independent practice for the student. I often assess my teaching of a subject by monitoring how the student performs the task. If the task is performed with understanding, I know I can move forward.
I have used the tried-and-true measurement of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. So, my fifth graders usually have 50 minutes of homework. This is adjusted for students who have learning disabilities and for students who are gifted and may be doing research.

The issue of home work is difficult for me. I teach student with emotional disorder. I try to give homework as a responsibiltiy thing for them. However, often I do not recieve it back. Yes, it does give the parents information of what is going on in the classroom. However, it the students do take it home or return it. I am not sure if the students are acquiring the skills and knowledge I am teaching them.

I'm very surprised to see that this chat, by majority, favors little to no homework. The front page article today indicates homework is something parents like. I for one feel homework should be given when someone does not finish their work in class, unless they are goofing in class. If they are using this option to goof instead of managing their in-class work time, then I think teachers should put that student on observation probation and take away the option of doing it at home. Once the student's inclass habits improve then they can earn back the opportunity to spread their work over more time if necessary.

From K-3 homework may be necessary for some students to reach NCLB goals and their state and district standards. Homework packets should be designed to meet the needs of each student's skill level (yes have more options than the same set for everyone). I believe homework, occassionally should inform the teacher about the student's culture and family traditions(not all student's have strong family traditions or cultures and we need to find ways to celebrate these student's too). This way the teacher knows who is taking Karate, who skates, who bikes, who dances or swims, and which students might be eligible for scholarships to extracurricular activity camps, and other hobbies etc.

I think the amount of homework that students are given as they progress through the years is brutal for them. I teach piano lessons and I watched a very talented girl fall by the wayside in her extra-curricular music activities because of so much homework. Her homelife became a lot more stressed. Mom simply could not cope with the amount of homework because this child was slightly below average and simply could not keep up. Children need time to relax at home and get adequate rest.

I have twins in an academic magnet school so their situation might be a little different. I believe the amount of homework is too much. They are in school from 7:30 to 2:30 every day learning and then to pile on homework for the sake of homework just doesn't make sense. Families have other things going on; i.e., church, scouts, sports, and how about some down time or family time? There are always large projects peppered through the year in addition to weekly tests in some subjects that require study time and to have nightly homework on top of those big projects and studying for tests just seems inconsiderate of the child and the parent. Where's the study that proves that homework increases intelligence?

I have learned to expect complaints that I give too much homework or too little homework, no matter how much or how little I assign. I don't treat homework terribly seriously; it is a small fraction of the overall grade. I tell my students that they should try the homework and not too spend a lot of time on it. I generally give full credit for anything that looks like an attempt. Parents of struggling students always appreciate the accomodation of limiting homework time (I tell them never more than 25 minutes on work for my class), while parents of the top students often question why there is so little homework. I think that homework is an issue primarily because parents expect it; when a child is failing parents always suspect it is "because she doesn't do her homework." The real reason is nearly always elsewhere.

Whether homework is given or not students should be encouraged to go over the days’ lessons. This will help reinforce what was taught during the day, help students to identify any areas they need to have explained and make revision at the end of semester less hectic. Homework does not necessarily have to be assigned by teachers but by encouraging our students/children to become critical thinkers and problem solvers who recognise the need for revision and reinforcement we can create better student. It may be also necessary to create an environment where students/children feel the drive to do work. I converted one of my bedrooms into a study area. It contains a bookcase with both my daughter and my books a computer desk and my computer. It does not contain a radio or television. It is designed as a study area and when I cannot find my four year old, she is in the room whether sitting by the desk or lying on the floor, writing, colouring and drawing. She also joins me when I am studying. In essence I don’t need to tell her go do work, she does it all on her own and I believe if that attitude is encouraged it will benefit all through her life.

I see entirely too many middle and high school students running around not in school on school days. I, though I am not presently enrolled do about 6 hours a day of reading, and mathematics just for my own entertainment and edification. At 59 years old, to occupy my time, I find my self reading authors such as Dickens, Hawthorn, Dumas, burns, and Elliott as well as Ludlum and others. I by books on mathematics and work through them. I am slow and at times it is like plowing mud but I get through. I have been pursuing a college degree for 30 years now and have achieved Senior standing and a GPA of 3.44, not bad for a high school drop out. My opinion about the students of today, you can lead a jackass to water but you can't make it drink. Learning is an affair of the heart. You must have an inborne inquizitivness and a love to find the how, where, when, what, and why. Todays education envirement seem more intent on producing acceptors rather than thinkers. Homework, it is probably not enough but then not everybody learns at the same rate or through the same type program.

Research shows that homework is necessary to re-inforce concepts that were learned in the classroom Busy work is one thing, but homework that is thought out and necessary is another.

"Practice makes Perfect" Homework is necesary and should be given much much more than what teachers are giving now, one,two or three pages of homework on Math is not enough, All the kids will learn by practicing a lot, to practice a lot needs to have lots of home work, Please do not give the impression that kids will get tiered of doing too much homework, NO!, It does not get them to do their homework in couple of hours, instead of watching TV let them sit at the table and do the math and have FUN doing their homework.

I give homework everyday. Children need to learn how to take responsibility for their learning. Even if you do not get all the homework back, that's not the point. Homework is independent learning, reteaching and challenging what you have taught. I encourage homework. Now,
DO NOT GIVE EXCESSIVE HOMEWORK.
EXPECT CHILDREN TO DO THE HOMEWORK.
SET UP A SYSTEM, IMPACT THEIR GRADE.

Life is full of things you do not want to do. Oh, well, bite the dust!

First of all, homework to me is considered practice! Yes, there is practice at school, but students need more reinforcement. My students have to do their homework and there are consequences if they don't. My parents understand this and they want me to send homework home. If my students don't do homework you can definitely see it on a quiz or a test. Many children today are wrapped up into other things that get them away from learning. Being involved in sports and activities are great, but education and learning are also great!

First of all, homework to me is considered practice! Yes, there is practice at school, but students need more reinforcement. My students have to do their homework and there are consequences if they don't. My parents understand this and they want me to send homework home. If my students don't do homework you can definitely see it on a quiz or a test. Many children today are wrapped up into other things that get them away from learning. Being involved in sports and activities are great, but education and learning are also great!

As an up-and-coming math teacher, I do intend to give my students homework every night, as I feel it is good independent practice after a day of guided/class practice, so to speak. However, anyone who feels that A LOT of homework should be given clearly knows nothing about the psychology of children and adolescents (To me, any particular subject assignment that takes longer than 1/2 hour or so is too much, given the fact that each student is also receiving homework from each of his/her 5 other classes!!). There are VERY FEW students who would welcome the "extra practice." In fact, we are in a day and age, unfortunately, where it is hard enough to get some students to do the bare minimum!! Assigning ridiculous amounts of homework will simply discourage them (b/c they will anticipate that the assignment will take them a very long time), and they simply won't try it at all! Keep in mind that I am still a student myself, and I know what it's like to have excessive amounts of homework...and I know that many of my classmates(on ALL levels!! -- elementary school through high school) did not bother with homework assignments for that very reason. Thus, my opinion is that homework is, indeed, necessary for practice...but limit the amount you give. When students see that the homework "doesn't look so bad," they are more willing to try it. But when the amount of homework due is "insane" or "unfair," (to mimic the exact language I've heard used with reference to homework) they don't even bother with it. Trust me...I graduated from high school in 2001, so I know what "the kids of today" are saying.

Home work causes stress for kids I know this from experience because i am in the 8th grade.

This is stupid

i think its wrong for teachers to give us the kids consequences just for not doing homework my teacher Mr.bird is threatning us to take away our graduation ceremony if we dont do our homework he has mental issues

homework is too overwhelming!the students have to do the homework and the teachers have to correct it so it's a lot of stress on both the students and the teacher.

Comments are now closed for this post.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • elisa: homework is too overwhelming!the students have to do the homework read more
  • adriana: i think its wrong for teachers to give us the read more
  • Kevin Paul: This is stupid read more
  • matt l.: Home work causes stress for kids I know this from read more
  • Elizabeth Racioppo/Graduate Student Pursuing Secondary Math Ed: As an up-and-coming math teacher, I do intend to give read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Tags

Pages