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 ...
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.
So what else do you have them do with their day?
I was used to homework. I would get home from school, make a snack and get started. I was often doing homework up until bed time. I often ate dinner at my desk. I had no social life, but I thrived on that. I was then and still am an introvert.
Kids often need social interaction, so keeping them under piles of homework is not the best prescription for success. I think we agree on that point. However, I think homework is a necessity, esp. for kids looking to get into anything outside of administrative 9-5 work.
I work in IT and often have to work nights and weekends. I’m always on call. I think having that mentality drilled into you from a young age makes you better prepared for the rigors of adulthood. Life isn’t fair nor easy.
Dennis Prager claims he never did homework, and he graduated from Columbia.
I routinely meet academically successful homeschoolers and their parents, and the reports are almost always the same. These academically successful homeschoolers rarely spend more than 2 to 3 hours a day in formal studies and almost never report doing “homework”.
What's going on? Why are academically successful children ( homeschooled or institutionalized) successful?
We spend as a nation up to a quarter of million dollars per child for K-12 education, yet we do NOT know the answers to the following questions:
1) Is the government school merely sending home a curriculum for the child and parents to follow in the home?
2) Is child acquiring his knowledge due to the afterschooling efforts of the child and the parent?
3) Where **exactly** is the child acquiring his knowledge, in the home or in the school?
4) Who is doing the real teaching? Is the parent and child by following the curriculum that is sent home, or is the teacher?
5) Is the school merely functioning as a developer of curriculum, a testing service, and an evaluator and grader of projects?
6) What are the commonalities in habits between academically successful homeschoolers and institutionalized children. Have these habits be identified, measured, timed, and tested?
Well, I can only speak from personal experience, but my only regrets are that I spent too much time on BS and not enough on life when I was younger--and this comes from a person that spent very little time on BS! My view is that people who are going to succeed in life are people who are going to succeed in life.
As a note on marriage, I think a lot of divorce depends on the circles in which you run. We're (my wife and I) thirty-somethings, and in our circle, we don't know anyone who is divorced. Divorces are disproportionately skewed towards the lower class. Keep out of it and you're much, much less likely to divorce. For my own marriage story, I met my wife while I was in graduate school. I attended a good graduate school, but I got in by virtue of very good test scores. I wasn't particularly interested in college, and my grades reflected that lack of interest. If I applied myself in college, maybe I would have attended a better graduate school--but then I wouldn't have met my wife or had my daugher.
Scary to think of the road not traveled.
When my daughter was in high school in CA, neither the algebra nor the Geometry text books had any examples, so if the parent wanted to help the student, at home, they had to go to the bookstore and purchase other materials.
I have always thought that the absence of examples was intentional, to purposefully prevent giving an advantage to students whose parents would teach at home, what the teacher failed to get across in the classroom.
I read and read and read. We’d turn in my book list to the evaluator at the end of the year and it would have 300 books on it. She’d ask me “This is really how many you read this year?” And I’d answer, “No, these are just the new ones. I didn’t list re-reads”.
I played outside with my siblings. We tromped all over our wooded acre and a half, and the neighbors’ woods, and whatever else we could without getting in trouble. We played Indians or homesteaders or space cadets.
I wrote stories, although that was mostly when I was an older teen. We went to parks, chess clubs, enrichment classes. I had regular babysitting jobs. Mom read aloud to us for an hour a day.
It was heavenly. And it was in the 90s, not the 50s. I can do this for my daughter too. Kids don’t hate school half as much when it’s not destroying their chance to actually have fun.
Not to brag, but to demonstrate that I got an education: my SAT scores, at 16, were high enough that I was the only National Merit Semifinalist in my school district. I got a bachelors’ and a master’s degree in computer science. All my siblings have been accepted to and completed or are completing good college degrees.
Completely understand the relationship between fractions and percentages;
How to calculate square roots and cube roots;
Completely understand plane geometry to include the differences among squares, rectangles, circles, cubes, cylinders, parallelograms, rhombuses, radii and diameters.
Enough English to know the differences between "differences between" and "differences among."
In short, I learned everything I need to hold a job because I did my homework in grades 1 through 10.
I should have clarified my complaint about the textbooks lacking examples. The examples were for me, as much as my daughter because, I needed the refresher, before I could teach her.