TIME.com Print Page: TIME Magazine — The Myth About Homework
Our kids will be entering kindergarten soon.Â They will of course have homework.Â I don’t know when I started getting actual homework back in the 70s when I was in elementary, but it sure wasn’t kindergarten.
3 thoughts on “The Myth About Homework”
If I had to guess, I’d say U.S. schools are increasing the homework load because classroom management is becoming a rarer art. That’s based solely on my four years working in a high school and doing a lot of discipline paperwork/tracking.
The less teachers can get done in the classroom, the more they have to leave to the devices of the children and parents at home.
A little digression:
Most of the teachers I observed who were judged failures failed because of classroom management issues. They couldn’t keep a lid on things or were too easily sidetracked in their quest to keep the lack of control from going hostile.
Add to that the overarching built-in stupidity of class assignments: The “good” classes where you find more motivated learners, such as the AP sections and other advanced classes, tend to go to more senior teachers who are better liked/ more connected in their departments. So the most at-risk kids get stuck with the least motivated, least experienced, least capable teachers.
Add to it all the unfortunate state of community/school relations, with parents increasingly taking a hostile tack with the school whenever their kids are in some sort of trouble, and you get a situation where a harried, inexperienced teacher is probably happy to simply keep her classroom from exploding for an hour at a time before sending them home with a big load of crap to deal with.
I sometimes wonder why we should bother with school.
I don’t agree with everything in the article, especially about making the school day longer. Talk about making kids hate school! Plus I’d rather my daughter be home with me doing homework than spending more time sitting at a desk. What has happened to the concept of parents raising their own children? I also donâ€™t think all homework is a waste of time. My daughter has a spelling test every Friday. Throughout the week, they write sentences using the words, thus learning proper sentence structure, grammar, punctuation & creative writing. They also look up words in the dictionary (print & online), learning what the words mean and not just how to spell them. They make flashcards for science terms, practice math (very important), do career exploration, read, etc. I agree with 10 minutes per grade level and that is probably what my daughter has, but sometimes it is a struggle to keep her on task to finish. She is doing better this year â€“ 4th grade.
Another problem is that parents just have their kids overscheduled. In addition to homework, they might have piano or a dance lesson and sports practice on the same night. I limit my daughter to 2 extra curricular activities at a time and not 2 things on the same night. So she may have piano on Tuesday & volleyball practice on Monday & Wednesday. And since her piano is from a private instructor, we can change our schedule if necessary to accommodate the sports practice.
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