Monday, January 19, 2009

How much homework is too much?

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?

11 comments:

Tracy said...

Well my son is only in preschool, but I am already dreading this. My nephew is in 1st grade and already has way too much homework in my opinion. I think they need to lay off a little and let kids be kids. I distinctly remember coming home after school and being able to play outside before dinner, not sit at a table doing homework for hours.

Stephanie (schock77) said...

Being a teacher myself I can't trell you how sad this makes me. :( Our only homework for my kindergartener is 20 minutes of reading (either him reading or me reading to him) They have optional stuff they can do- like a page a week were you write words beginning with the focus letter, etc. I'm sorry to hear that it is not the same where you are. :(

Jennifer Page said...

Sometimes I feel that the kids do have a little too much homework. I sit with my youngest while he doing his work and it tells me what he is doing in school. I kinda like that. But I hate it when homework starts to cut into the time of other activities.

Tracie said...

Ugh! As a former teacher, I do think many teachers give out way to much homework.

Lucrecia said...

Thanks Stephanie and Tracie! I was honestly curious what teachers thought. Seems it only makes their job a lot harder too. I keep meaning to ask my MIL who was a teacher for 30 years.

Melisa said...

I have had the same struggles. Worst so far was I came home late from wk one day last wk, I was trying to make dinner & A announced that *I* had homework!? Her teacher sent home a worksheet for an adult to fill out after they read an essay my child wrote. Ugh, really? Homework for me!? (not like the other adult was hm that night)

Lena said...

I felt like Nathaniel had a lot of homework in 1st grade. In 2nd and 3rd grade (where we are now) I've just grown accustomed to it!

AnneYarbs79 said...

Don't. Get. Me. Started.

Oh- and I just had a panic attack as I realized we have a "land form model" project due tomorrow? Thursday?? Friday??? My husband and I are yelling at each other over who should know when its due. Great.

Thanks supid homework.

Eli's Lids said...

Homework = Busywork! Really... kids should have to to homework on the topics they aren't getting as practice...
http://elislids.blogspot.com/

Rachael Giallongo said...

I honestly dont think my kids have enough homework. They are not challenged to put in more than little effort at best. I think it depends on what each kid is ready to handle and I wish schools and teachers would see kids as individuals!

Niecy said...

WOW! Awesome article and it really makes you think. I hope you guys find a happy medium for Colton soon!!!