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Robert Winner

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Debate: A case against homework?

For those of us with kids or grandkids, are they tied down with homework from school. I have grandkids in almost every grade. The one thing I notice is that they have about two hours of homework every night. That roughly equates to 10 hours of school a day. That give parents about three hours to spend with their kids. Less if they participate in a sport or extra curricular activity. If they get behind then that ties up some or all of the weekend.

First graders are given a reading log and they cannot even read yet ... the teacher said that the parents are not to help ... the 1st grader must do it. What part of that do I understand .... NOT.

I feel bad for teachers they are caught in a trap. However, at some point we should evaluate if this is busy work or essential to learning. It is hard for a parent to support the school and the teachers when they go out of their way to influence kids to hate school.

Read any of my posts and you know I support schools. Perhaps it is time to evaluate the significance of the homework and projects required.

Is there a case against homework?

Topics: education
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    Oct 30 2012: Is the work being done by the student such that a teacher must be present? If yes, homework makes no sense. If no, exactly what is the nature of the work if it is deemed unnecessary for a teacher to provide immediate guidance and answer questions? Is the work such that the student is expected to take their best guess whenever unsure of the answer? If this is the plan then isn't lack of precision and correctness being reinforced? Is homework simply practice of principles introduced in the classroom? It is never a good idea to practice doing something wrong and students left to themselves are very likely to do just that. I'm still a believer in what I learned about homework in the second grade. . . it sucks.
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      Oct 30 2012: Tried to give a thumbs up but guess my thumb is broken. Well argued. Thanks.
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      Nov 1 2012: I agree 100%. The only thing I would add is with the emergence of widely available information source, such as the Internet, homework has become a test on who can sort through the random crap found on the Internet to get the information they are looking for. I believe without a teacher present homework is not generally done by the individual student. I mean lets get serious even if we deny our children Internet access are we really not going to help them if they have been struggling with a question for an hour, to the point of tears? Children are not learning thing for themselves anymore when doing homework. Homework is generally used as a reinforcement for what was learned in class, And practice makes perfect not guessing, we need to practice the right way not the wrong way.
      The only time I see homework as a benefit is in university when the students are mature enough and have gained the experience to know that if you do the work you gain the knowledge. school aged kids don't care about knowledge, they just want to get the homework done and go play outside, and so they should be.
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        Nov 2 2012: Homework certainly is a necessary evil in post-secondary education. One comment herein suggests no homework until grade 12. I think that has merit for those students who plan on going beyond grade 12. Homework sucks!

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