Skip to comments.Here's the real truth on homework
Posted on 03/28/2012 5:55:30 AM PDT by jda
Research reveals primary school homework offers no real benefit - and only limited results in junior high school.
Only senior students in Years 11 and 12 benefit from after-school work, associate professor Richard Walker said.
"What the research shows is that, in countries where they spend more time on homework, the achievement results are lower," Dr Walker, from Sydney University's Education Faculty, said.
"The amount of homework is a really critical issue for kids. If they are overloaded they are not going to be happy and not going to enjoy it. There are other things kids want to do that are very valuable things for them to be doing.
"I don't think anyone except senior high school students should be doing a couple of hours of homework.
While the majority of 10 and 11-year-olds - 59 per cent - do less than two hours of homework per week, 22 per cent do three or four hours a week. Five per cent do seven or more hours a week.
It's not only kids who get tied down with homework - parents are also heavily involved. Dr Edwards said almost half of mums and dads - 41 per cent - helped out three or four days a week, with 15 per cent also chipping in on five or more days.
"A little bit of homework is probably OK at all ages, if part of the reason is to help kids become self-directed learners," Dr Walker said.
"But what the research shows is that only happens when upper primary and middle school students are given some assistance.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailytelegraph.com.au ...
Let's examine the study just a bit.
... in countries where they spend more time on homework, the achievement results are lower.
Could it be that they're spending too much time on social brainwashing rather than eduction? Hmm, doesn't seem to have been included.
The amount of homework is a really critical issue for kids. If they are overloaded they are not going to be happy and not going to enjoy it. There are other things kids want to do that are very valuable things for them to be doing.
So what they learn is to do only what they enjoy - that will really help them in their college and working careers!!
... the majority of 10 and 11-year-olds - 59 per cent - do less than two hours of homework per week
Less than two hours per week isn't homework - maybe the real problem is that they're not doing enough!!
I review resumes everyday and the quality is appalling (misspelled words, incomplete sentences, etc. - even with spell check!). I guess it should come as no surprise if this is any indication of what they learn (if you can call this learning).
I didn’t read the article except what you posted - but I was waiting for a part to say that in countries where kids are IN SCHOOL longer, there are better results, which would take care of both the homework, and the more practice time.
This is just more liberal claptrap to allow teachers to collect more tax monies while doing less. Educator work ethics are being pawned off on the kids, and the do-nothing generation grows.
I had 2-4 hours of homework a night when I was in high school. I was in AP classes beginning in my sophomore year, and I was taking college prep calculus and science courses by the time I was a senior. I graduated summa cum laude from college thanks to the hard work ethic instilled in me at a very young age.
Nowadays, kids aren’t learning how to do anything like we used to do it. Simple math using columns to add/subtract have been replaced with this fuzzy math garbage that teaches kids how to break up numbers. It’s mumbo jumbo if you as me. I tried to teach my 9 year old cousin how to do long division, and he says to me, “That’s not how we learned to do it in school!”
I said, “Show me how you learned to do it.”
I was aghast at what they were trying to get these kids to learn. I’ve done three-dimensional calculus with less effort. Kids don’t like homework. Period. That doesn’t mean we should just stop giving it to them!
Let’s make some assumptions. Let’s assume some primary school teachers can teach their students what they are supposed to learn in the classroom during class time. These teachers would have no reason to assign homework, as the kids have learned the material.
Then there are the teachers who can’t teach. But the kids in their class have to learn the material. So what to do? Send it home to Mom and Dad and have them do what they should have done in the first place!
I was homeschooled. Didn’t spend more than three hours a day on schoolwork until highschool - which I started early - and never ever ever had “homework”, everything got done during the school day.
Only senior students in Years 11 and 12 benefit from after-school work,
Does he say how you will get kids in grades 11 & 12 to do homework if you don’t make them do it in the lower grades?
As an ex-teacher, I tend to agree.
That’s pretty interesting. Did you have any issues...adapting, I guess, to homework?
I was HS’d, too, but we did full days and I had homework (usually studying for tests), but I’m not afraid of rethinking how I did things for my own kids. Different HS experiences are fascinating to me.
Respectfully disagree, jda. There’s lots of learning that can go on at home that isn’t school directed. I DO agree that if readin’ writin’& ‘rithmatic were the focus during school hours, students wouldn’t need to be doing hours of additional work every night.
It would be interesting to compare the hours of “formal” instruction in the public schools vs. those of home-schooled kids.
btw, I’m a product of the public schools (grade school) in the 50s, but I would definitely be home-schooling if I had little ones.
Finally, limit the use of electronic gadgets & get the kids ouside!
Homework works IF they stick to one area and not jump around. You can’t set a child to doing long division, when his teacher has not taught him all his multiplication table first.
BTW the state of GA has done away with CURSIVE reading and writing teaching. My 12 year old granddaughter is cursed to live in that state, and has NOT learn how to read CURSIVE, much less write it, and it caused her great shame at Christmas when she could not read the hand cursive written note that went with her very special Christmas present.
Then you have Head Start a totally worthless program, it is more of a BABYSITTER than an educational program. That we the TAX SLAVES are forced to pay for.
Are we assuming that kids are doing their own homework or is it possible they are having it done by a sibling or friend? Sorry, I didn’t read the whole article.
My only beef concerning homework is the lack of coordination between teachers. I’m not sure how early it starts, certainly by middle school, when a student has a different teacher for each subject. The amount of homework can pile up very fast when 6-8 teachers assign homework on one day. I know my son has been swamped at times when a paper is due, a project is due and a big test or two are scheduled for the same day. Plus the school district eliminated study halls several years ago. It was rare that I ever took a book home, now I’m buying used text books so my son has a copy at home and doesn’t have to lug 50 lbs. of books home all the time.
The major benefit of homework in my view is teaching the kids self discipline.
The sooner in life kids learn that there are things in life that you may not like to do but can do the better.
I have/had my kids practicing reading and math nightly since preschool
There are people that still write by hand?
I remember doing two and three hours of homework a night when I was a third-grader, mostly math drill sheets. It was ridiculous. I still remember the sensation of drowning in a sea of arithmetic, the utter drudgery of grinding through page after page of hand calculation. The teacher mostly didn't even grade them... she put a check mark on it to verify that it had been done. At the end of the year the teacher tried to fail me on the basis that I hadn't turned in over half of my homework assignments... she didn't realize my mom had saved every last one of those puppies, complete with the teacher's check mark showing they'd been received.
My time would have been much better spent building furniture in my dad's workshop, browsing through the World Book encyclopedias they'd bought for me (and which were kept in my room), building plastic model cars (a hobby I was just getting into) or learning electronics (by third grade my dad had already taught me how to solder).
Or just reading. I loved to read. If it hadn't been for the good books I had access to, I don't know what I would have done.
I can tell you for sure, though... in high school, homework had benefit for me. I did some important work in the trenches in high school, practicing my English composition, learning how to do proofs in Euclidean geometry and (later) exercises in trigonometry and calculus, and heaven help me if I hadn't done my homework in Mr. Tomlinson's Spanish class... but my homework in elementary school was a hell of boredom from which I benefitted nothing, and would have given almost anything to have escaped.
Something I've noticed - kids younger than about 25 can't make change. If it weren't for automatic cash registers, they would be totally lost.
If they can't do such simple mental exercises, how will they ever be able to calculate their car's gas mileage; or read a map; or balance a check book; or make a thoughful, reasonable, rational, logical decision? Obviously (and unfortunately), they can't and won't! Thus, Obama supporters!!!
-—I have/had my kids practicing reading and math nightly since preschool-—
You might as well homeschool. It only takes about three hours per day.
My daughter works part-time at a supermarket. A customer found out that she’s been homeschooled.
“That’s great! I’m sick of the schools. My kids don’t learn anything. I have to spend 2-3 hours a night teaching them. How do your parents do it?!”
“I do it pretty much on my own.”
It really isn’t. Just ask a homeschooling family.
We can’t imagine anything different.
Eh. There is plenty of time in life for people do to things that they don’t want to do. The nice thing about being young is that you don’t have responsibilities and you can do the things you want to do.
I respectfully disagree. The better the teacher I had growing up, the more homework. However, it was effective practice of what we learned in class and very relevant. To this day, I am grateful to my 3rd grade teacher for the amount of handwriting and multiplication table memorization she required. I mastered Geometry because I made so many mistakes on my homework early on and the teacher’s method of reviewing homework showed me where I was making the mistake and gave me the ability to correct it. I wouldn’t be as adept if I hadn’t spent time on any of this on my own at home.
Early in my career I worked with two high school students who were very bright (perfect score on SAT bright) and they were flunking a basic college math course. I asked one of the the students what happened and he told me that he got the material but he didn’t realize that he’d have to practice it. “Learning” the material is slightly different than mastering the material which should be the goal.
Quality homework also teaches people to work independently.
Homeschooling is definitely the way to go if you want to optimize self-directed learning and develop critical thinking skills.
No problems at all. By the later years - 6th grade or so on - we had pretty much gone to something closer to a tutoring setup than a traditional "class" style. My mom homeschooled up to 6 kids at a time, all different ages, so she's plan out what we'd do for a week or a month, depending on our age. Then every day she'd keep us on track, check our work, help with things we needed help with, but we used a lot of very self-directed curriculum. Like Saxon Math - a bite sized lesson every day that we'd learn alone or with help from Mom, then 30 practice problems. Some people would call that "homework"; I don't believe there was a distinction. The real key was not having class time and then separate work time. What a waste that would have been!
I started calculus classes at the local community college when I was 15, had no trouble adjusting, nor have any of my younger siblings thus far. And since #6 just got his full ride for nursing school lined up, well, that's not a bad record.
My husband's homeschool experiences are different than mine and we like brainstorming what we'll do with our little girl. Probably end up with some things like he did, some like I did, and some out of left field. But I'm a firm believer in the short school days for the younger years. I want my daughter to have the hours to read, or play legos, or learn to bake, that I had.
I see this problem all the time when reading comments by readers on Internet sites including Free Republic. One particularly annoying trend is the use of "there" in place of "their" and "they're"--even among seemingly intelligent writers.
That’s the point, JDA! The point is to make everyone wholesale reliant on government. They need mindless, unthinking masses to continue the socialist experiment.
I disagree with the entire system: government schools, institutionalized education, large classrooms, disaffected teachers. The more I hear from parents of “successful” government school students, the more I realize they’re basically homeschooling, just in the evenings. That’s what homework is, for involved families. For uninvolved ones it’s just another way to fail.
It’s self-evident that the more you work to learn, the more you will know, and it’s human nature that you can’t hold someone focused on a single thing beyond a certain point.
If we have a problem, maybe it’s that our students have too many distractions and don’t see the value of their classroom subjects, and so are unable to stay focused on their schoolwork long enough to learn the stuff.
What? You don’t think lazy little lay-abouts with zero work ethic will magically transform once they hit 11th Grade? Have you no faith in human nature?
So one misspelled or overlooked grammatical error makes an entire piece unintelligent? That is a pin headed view IMO.
So one misspelled or overlooked grammatical error makes an entire piece unintelligent? That is a pin headed view IMO.
The nice thing about being young is that you dont have responsibilities and you can do the things you want to do.
You are not wrong, but it is not one or the other, it is some of both.
2. Homework is extremely important.
a. reading assignments with reviews need to be done at home.
b. working math problems and practicing concepts taught at home a must.
This article as presented above is absolutely incorrect and someone or organization needs to expose it for what it is.
“...concepts taught at home...”
correction: “...concepts taught a must..”
I never went to public/government schools and two of the schools I went to did not follow traditional classroom/scheduling models. With the exception of “lecture labs,” which were to get students comfortable with large lecture sections we would encounter in college, I rarely was in a room with more than 24 other students and I had classes with less than ten students.
I do think with quality teachers, you can impart information efficiently and have students prepare or follow up by working on their own. Someone mentioned study halls in an earlier post. I always had some time during the day to work on homework which minimized what I took home. I think the problem might be eliminated school time for independent work, not necessarily too much homework.
You're absolutely right. JimRob knows this is a hugh and series problem on FR, and it's worsened over the past several years. I don't recall seeing these grammatical issues before 5/3/2005.
rarestia said “Simple math using columns to add/subtract have been replaced with this fuzzy math garbage that teaches kids how to break up numbers. Its mumbo jumbo if you as me. I tried to teach my 9 year old cousin how to do long division, and he says to me, Thats not how we learned to do it in school!”
I said, Show me how you learned to do it.
I was aghast at what they were trying to get these kids to learn.”
That’s the division junk they’re teaching to my nine year old too! I asked what they were teaching it like that for and they said they had to and it was supposed to be easier. i call BS.
I also noticed a couple of times when she got homework, it wasn’t for her, it was for me! She told this to the teacher and she laughed and said yes. It was okay, I could put evil pictures of obama;)
All in all, I really like the school. I’ve walked in after school during a meeting and saw the teachers having a meeting. holding hands and saying a prayer.
The teachers can still show their love of God.
I did keep an eye on those muslim chicks in drag go into the office after the Christmas program. In and out in a jiffy so i had nothing to worry about.
Agreed. It’s more than the homework. It’s the discipline to sit down, undistracted, and get it done, on your own.
I remember when my daughter was in 6th or 7th grade. Came home with at least 2 hours of homework everyday. Ridiculous. And I admit, I had issues at times trying to help her. It is true it you don't use it you lose it.
Yep, it’s like playing the Home Version of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”
“The nice thing about being young is that you dont have responsibilities and you can do the things you want to do.”
Wow! Just wow. Your statement is way too broad. Some semblance of responsibility should be taught at a young age, even before that first day in school. Oh, sorry, I should have read that with the /s tag.
Unless your kid is unusually smart, they just don't absorb what they need to know during the few hours they are in the classroom.
Are the liberals trying to “level the playing field” by dragging down the kids who do well and who's families value education down to the level of those who don't? By not having homework, there is no opportunity for parents to help their kids. That seems to be what they want. They want to deliberately dumb down America (if it is possible to get any dumber).
HA! I like that :) homework = home schooling, I never thought of it that way. But it so true.
“So one misspelled or overlooked grammatical error makes an entire piece unintelligent? That is a pin headed view IMO.”
it doesnt make the entire peace unintelligent but it does make it suspect. i can overlook obvious missspellings and typos on blogs and comments (not on resumes or theeme papers).
I think my viewpoint is significantly influenced by my attendance at a fine Jesuit high school. I went to school with a lot of really interesting, bright people who chose to do a lot of really interesting things with their lives during and after high school and college. Perhaps it was the sample, but everyone knew that eventually, we'd all go on to do "grown up" things, even if there were some detours along the way.
Which is my way of saying, I guess, that if my daughter wants to backpack through Europe when she's 18 instead of going to college right away, fine by me. More power to her.
I dated an elementary school teacher a few years ago. She was VERY liberal, but she tolerated what I said. We went to church together. We spent time in Bible study together. We prayed together. She was still a liberal. She believed that the government didn’t do enough for the kids and that it was partially her responsibility to turn out the next generation of “progressive-thinking citizens.”
I laughed at her abuse of the word citizen and quoted the old saying, “An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.” We didn’t last as a couple, needless to say.
“So one misspelled or overlooked grammatical error makes an entire piece unintelligent? That is a pin headed view IMO.
it doesnt make the entire peace unintelligent but it does make it suspect. i can overlook obvious missspellings and typos on blogs and comments (not on resumes or theeme papers).”
THIS IS A TEST. did anyone reading my comment above where i misspelled piece think i am unintelligent? how about the obvious (i hope) typos?
another think that drives me nuts is a history book with an obvious factual error (not a typo) or a book with glari9ngly incorrect captions on some of the pictures. i know these are suppose to go through an editor and the author may not have any say in the pictures but mistakes like these make me question everything else in the book.
btw i deliberately type all lower case except in official reports and letters. (see the book AIRPORT and the airport manager’s secretary in the beginning)
Responsibilities like picking up your toys? Sure. Setting the table? Fine, basic kid stuff. Beyond that, it is a waste of youth.
I stopped right there.
In other words, that “research” is on a par with “climate research”.
“...waste of youth”.
Hmmmm,I think I know what you’re saying, there should be free time allowed for the yute to do what they like as well. But it should be a balanced approach with ever-increasing responsibilities as they grow.
But personally... I think you are making a massive mistake.
Not only are you allowing/encouraging your children to sell themselves short which can only end in a life of regrets. But you are hurting society in general too, by depriving it of honest productive citizens which are in desperate short supply.
And on top of all that... there is the issue of marriage. College is where you want your children to find their mate. There is a short window of opportunity to find a quality mate after high school before they are all taken and you are left with nothing but players, people with massive psychological baggage or issues that will affect their lives forever like marrying someone divorced or with kids from someone else.
My kid grew up in a government school district with his high-school being rated #36 in the country. The reason for this is primarily that we have 80% immigrant population (40% Asian/40% Indian) who work their kids like dogs. My son grew up with this expectation all around him. The teachers are more than happy to give 1-2 hours of home-work a night to primary education kids.
Truth be told - he had 1+ hours of homework in first grade. It was almost ALL repetitive reading assignments. He is a superb reader, having mastered Harry Potter in second grade. So I would access that as being useful.
However - in 8 grade honors, by the end of the year they were expected to read two novel’s a week. That was excessive. In Honor’s science he had to do 5 hours the first night of school - that was excessive. (We pulled him out of honors after that!)
He got to the competitive high school and pulled a 3.6 GPA. He did an average of 1-2 hours a night there. Moral of the story. Some of the stuff was nonsense, and busy work. (5 hours of science homework was stupidity - this just turns kids off of learning, same with the heavy reading requirements.) On the other hand he has wonderful study habits/discipline (which I didn’t acquire until AFTER I went to college. ) His first year as a college freshman have been a breeze for him.
Summary - some homework is busy work, some homework is useful. He survived it, and is thriving, and is probably better off having been challenged a few times along the way. So the study is hooey!
All of my homeschoolers finished all college general requirements by the age of 15, and two finished B.S. degrees in mathematics by the age of 18. The oldest was equally successful by attend college part-time, working, traveling, and participating in a sport. He recently earned a masters in accounting at an age typical of the general population.