I've been dealing with homework for what seems my entire life. I had barely stopped having my own homework before it reared its ugly head in the form of my oldest sons. Even in Kindergarten they bring home packets worth of homework. My eldest has never enjoyed homework so it became a struggle early on. We both dread the start of a new school year, not because of school itself but because of the battles against homework. His high test grades made it apparent he was learning the material, however his over all grade would suffer because of missing or incomplete homework.
We live in a state that has standardized testing. Because of this, the teachers teach for the test and especially in elementary school work becomes very redundant and boring. My son would consistently score above average on these, once again showing the material was being absorbed without the addition of homework.
My 1st grader has 10 spelling words, 8 pages of homework, 5 sight words each week and is supposed to read aloud to us 30 minutes a night. During Soccer and Baseball season, 2 evenings a week he has practice. That leaves only 2 nights to get the homework complete. We are left with the dilemma of having him stay up past his bed time to complete it or just turning it in late on many occasions. At 7 years old he is already starting to feel, and resent, the pressure of good grades and homework.
None of this takes into account the time commitment of myself and my husband. While some of this pressure might be relieved if one of us did not work full time, I can't help but believe he would be no more likely to want to leave school and come home to immediately start working on school work again. I know it makes me cranky when I have to take work home on a regular basis. When I leave work I want to leave it there. I want to go home and enjoy my time with my family doing things that benefit my family.
I ran across this article on MSN and it brought up some very good points.
I do think kids in high school need some homework to prepare them for the self study discipline that will be necessary in college. They are also able to do this with little to no parental supervision and are able to go to bed later and still function well. Teenager bed times, that sounds like a post of its own!
Do your kids have homework? Do you feel it adds benefit to their learning or just additional stress?