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that we rethink the concept of homework, less repetitive drills and more creative exploration.

I would propose that we find a way for US schools to offer students flexibility in their homework options. While repetitive drills may be absolutely necessary for some learners, other learners would benefit greatly from deeper creative exploration into areas related to the topic in question. This is not an easy subject to broach, as schools depend on their published scores for their survival under the current mandated achievement structure.

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    JB E

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    Jun 30 2012: I agree that their needs to be change in the teaching methods in US public schools for sure. I am the only parent in my divorced family that actually sits down and helps my two girls with their homework and the time I enjoy the most when doing this is when they come to me with a project that involves their creativity. So with that being said, I think that having more creative work projects might actually engage the parents more to participate in the homework with their kids. I see a whole disruption in the modern day family as it is when homework dominates the child s free time and disengages the parent from the child for lengths of time. Even though parents should be involved in helping their kids with their homework even if its not the creative kind, that simply is not the case, I think parents have more attention deficit that the kids sometimes, so anything that can engage the parent and the child and bring them together to work threw problems is a extremely valuable learning experience.
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    Jun 26 2012: Both methods work. I would leave it up to the teacher to produce results with whatever method she prefers.
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    Jun 26 2012: If you are a parent of a child in school, you could consider discussing this issue with your child's teachers. A teacher often thinks of both classwork and homework at once in considering how students' time is best spent. Many teachers like to focus the deeper creative exploration for class time when it is easier for students to work in collaborative groups and to send the more routine material home for homework.
    I remember when sitting on the selection committee for secondary math materials for my school district that we opted for materials that focus classtime on exploration and discourse about alternative solution strategies and that leave the reenforcement of lessons and any sort of practice of routines for the homework. In fact, I remember the trainer for the text series we ultimately chose advising that we send the more routine stuff home for homework, because families are better able to support their students in the more routine problems than in exploratory work, not to mention that many parents are troubled when they see lots of exploration and not enough practice of the sorts of techniques that require practice.
    Again, if you are a parent, do raise this with the teacher. Not every aspect of classroom operations needs to be approached top down.
    Teachers are used to discussing such a subject with parents and making accomodations for students as part of differentiating instruction.
    I will in two weeks need to explain carefully to a group of parents ambitious for their children why I will give their kids so little homework in summer. It is because of how intensively I will use the classtime.