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Homework, boo! Or yay! Or something.

ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
edited March 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
Homework is undoubtedly a valuable aspect of a child's education. It serves to set him loose with information he's been given and make him apply it on his own to assorted problems. It can teach skills such as research and problem solving. Clearly, children need to be assigned homework in order to succeed.

However, it seems to me that the situation has gotten somewhat out of hand. When I was in grammar school, I had maybe 20-30 minutes of homework a night. By high school I had maybe an hour. More if I had a major paper or report due. My schools weren't the best in the universe, but I like to think that my peers and I received a decent, if not stellar, education. So what makes for a stellar education? Apparently more homework.

I was talking to a teacher the other day about the quality of education in my daughter's and other children's schools. The teacher lamented that my daughter's school was sub-par because it wasn't assigning enough homework. Her own similarly aged child receives about 20 minutes a night, which is presumably a good number, at least according to this teacher.

My daughter is three.

While it's anecdotal, I know a lot of high school students are receiving 2-3 hours of homework per night. Why? Is it reasonable to expect a child to spend more time on what is basically work than his parents? Is it reasonable to expect a toddler to be focused on his studies? Are we complete fucking nutters when it comes to homework?

I could see if there was at least a correlation between insane amounts of homework and test scores, but this doesn't seem to be the case. Our schools, nationally speaking, suck. They suck more now than they did fifty years ago, and - again, speaking anecdotally - I don't know a lot of people from back then who labored three+ hours per night on homework. I managed to become pretty well-educated despite never having homework until starting kindergarten. Perhaps I'd be a super-genius if only I'd been writing essays from birth on such important subjects as "My Favorite Baby Foods" and "A Chemical Analysis of the Contents of My Diaper."

Any educational-type folks or teachers want to chime in here? Is there any sound basis for loading up kids with more and more homework? Is it an overreaction to the plight of our educational system? Is it a crutch for lazy teachers who figure quantity trumps quality? Could I ask any more questions? I mean, really?

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Posts

  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Are we complete fucking nutters when it comes to homework?

    Yes, we are.
    I think that the homework binge is just to create the appearance of a good school, as in when the fed comes in to talk about their unrealistic workload the school gets to say "But our students are given horrendously large amounts of homework every night! Give us a break!"
    Of course, all of this homework will poison many students on learning, and there is a correlation between obsecenly large amounts of homework and lower test scores.
    Only in America.
    Edit: And its perfectly reasonable for students to be working more than their parents, because the people in charge are preparing our children for a lifetime of high hour wage slavery as dictated by corporate America.

    Picardathon on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I almost always finished my homework in class during HS (which was great during pre-calc as the teacher was okay with me and 3 other guys who finished early as well playing poker for the last 10 'do your homework' minutes) so I would have to say that an increase in the difficulty of homework would probably be good for the childrens. However, going with my own experiences and bullshitting with friends at the time, en-bulk assignments are extremely pointless. It just takes more time to fill in more fluff for the student, and probably wastes hours of the teacher's time going through all of it. On top of that it would seem to be counter-productive to making kids interested in what they're learning as it's most likely going to be focused more on rote than on critical thinking in order to make grading the metric ton of paper easier.

    Not to mention the fact that it will either fuck over kids who take part in after school activities with no real reason, or simply drive others away because playing tennis, getting good grades, and experiencing the 'outside world' simply can't all co-exist in one day. Then again, maybe that's for the best. I mean, there's bears and shit out there.

    moniker on
  • Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I've gone to a prestigious prep school and an enormous public school.

    At the prep school, I had maybe 45 minutes of homework a night, up to two hours on a regular basis, and two or three times a year I would have three or four hours due to my own slacking.

    At the public school, I have maybe half an hour up to an hour depending on how much I feel like doing.

    My point is, a lot of schools talk about how great they are and how they assign two hours of homework a night, but either that is a severe underestimation of a students' ability or an overestimation of the work.

    Charles Kinbote on
  • foursquaremanfoursquareman Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Your daughter is three and going to school? Is that normal in America? My son is three, and he isn't going to school for another two years.

    foursquareman on
  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    Your three year old shouldn't have any homework other than bringing cute arts and crafts home for you to put on the fridge.

    Medopine on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Your daughter is three and going to school? Is that normal in America? My son is three, and he isn't going to school for another two years.

    Both my cousins started Montessori around that time. Mostly because my cousins/cousin-in-law are teachers and it's way better than just having a daycare type setup for when they're all at work. Plus they knew some of the teachers there. Seems like they're doing well as they're both pretty damn smart for their age.

    moniker on
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    My entire academic career was focused on how to do the least amount of work possible outside of the classroom. I was able to wring a B average in college out of an F amount of effort. It just seemed like Jr. high and High School were solely there to prepare me for that. They were a collossal waste of time academically, and the only interesting learning I did I managed to do on my own.

    I think the real problem that exhists is the emphasis on standardized tests, and how schools think it can make or break them. There's too much time and effort devoted to teaching you things you're "supposed to know", rather than having teachers being creative and using their own passions.

    RocketSauce on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    I almost always finished my homework in class during HS (which was great during pre-calc as the teacher was okay with me and 3 other guys who finished early as well playing poker for the last 10 'do your homework' minutes) so I would have to say that an increase in the difficulty of homework would probably be good for the childrens.

    What I would really like is an increase in difficulty for schoolwork and tests coupled with a departure from the 70%-C/80%-B/etc norm we have. Ideally, a homework assignment would contain a variety of difficulties in the problems, ranging from "duh" to "nigh impossible". There's no expectation that any student gets them all correct, and completing maybe half of them would be considered passing. That way everyone, from dolt to genius, gets challenged.

    Oh, and jumble all the difficulties together, so students don't know how hard a problem is until they start to tackle them. That way you don't wind up with kids doing the first 50% and ignoring the rest because they're too hard. You'd probably wind up with a lot of "dumb" kids accidentally solving difficult problems.

    This wouldn't work as well on essays and other non-discreet problem sets, but it would work great for math, science, and any fact-based discipline.

    ElJeffe on
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  • TachTach Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm with you, Jeff. 1-2 hours in high school was normal for me, usually 2-3 classes that demanded homework for them.

    But- homework for a pre-schooler? That's moronic. I really don't think there's anything substansive to be gained from it in a long or short run.

    Tach on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    Your daughter is three and going to school? Is that normal in America? My son is three, and he isn't going to school for another two years.

    It's a "pre-school", and is basically a glorified daycare with some structure and minor learning elements attached. It's more education-oriented than anything I went to when I was a kid, which apparently means it sucks. From what I head, kids are now expected to be mostly literate before they start kindergarten.

    The cynic in me believes this environment has been fostered by kindergarten and primary school teachers. "Well, I'm sorry your kid is poorly educated, but it's really not our fault. It's expected he be proficient in the three R's before he arrives at our school." Basically, "Fuck, teaching little kids is hard. Let's just have the parents do it, so we can just hand them books and demand reports on them."

    ElJeffe on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    This wouldn't work as well on essays and other non-discreet problem sets, but it would work great for math, science, and any fact-based discipline.

    certainty.png

    moniker on
  • TachTach Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Your daughter is three and going to school? Is that normal in America? My son is three, and he isn't going to school for another two years.

    It's a "pre-school", and is basically a glorified daycare with some structure and minor learning elements attached. It's more education-oriented than anything I went to when I was a kid, which apparently means it sucks. From what I head, kids are now expected to be mostly literate before they start kindergarten.

    The cynic in me believes this environment has been fostered by kindergarten and primary school teachers. "Well, I'm sorry your kid is poorly educated, but it's really not our fault. It's expected he be proficient in the three R's before he arrives at our school." Basically, "Fuck, teaching little kids is hard. Let's just have the parents do it, so we can just hand them books and demand reports on them."

    While a cyncial point of view- it seems to make a whole lot of sense to me.

    Tach on
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wait, what? Three year olds get homework now? I don't think I encountered homework until I was like 8. Holy shit, I'm twenty and I still have to force myself to do homework. In fact I just cranked out a paper in one hour because last night I thought it would be a better idea to get high and watch back-to-back Lost episodes for four hours than do my homework.

    Azio on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I went to a pretty good public school, and didn't end up with that much homework. Partly because we only had four classes at a time, 90 minutes each, but mostly because the community is probably wealthy enough to afford to spend a good amount on its teachers. I'm reasonably sure the best teacher I had was making six figures or close to it. The doctorate probably helped there...

    Anyway, so said teacher broke his class (AP Calc BC) down like so:
    10-20 minutes explaining the previous day's problems, if they were from a previous AP test he'd explain exactly how they were scored so we could prepare for that.
    20-30 minutes explaining that day's lesson
    10 minutes doing the first few problems of the homework he assigned with us, basically
    whatever time was left, we got to do whatever vaguely constructive thing we wanted. Obviously it was always the homework, and we always did them in groups because at that point why not?

    36 kids in the class, 34 of us got a 5 on the AP Test, other two kids got a 4. Same teacher for AP Physics C (Mechanics), I think it was like 29 5's, a 4 and a 3. I for one knew that subject far better than I knew anything they taught me in college. I'd guess we averaged 20 minutes a night homework? Tops. I frequently didn't have any besides the extra credit questions.

    Generally speaking, homework is incredibly overrated. Obviously with some subjects (like math) you have to do problems to get it figured out, but overdoing it just creates a certain amount of loathing in students. There's a healthy balance and I think over an hour on a normal night is ridiculous. Obviously some nights you go over because of projects or papers to write, but the average night an hour should be the max.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    In fact I just cranked out a paper in one hour because last night I thought it would be a better idea to get high and watch back-to-back Lost episodes for four hours than do my homework.

    I see no reason that plan could possibly fail.

    ElJeffe on
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  • ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I wouldn't have so much of a problem with homework in high-school/college if it's wasn't a complete fucking waste of time, and nothing more than busy-work on the part of lazy and/or unimaginative teachers who are slaves to a rigid and bureaucratised curriculum.

    I walked into uni with no idea how to construct the sustained argument necessary for a tertiary-level essay, and I was far from alone. According to my academic friends, the standard for first-years has dropped fairly dramatically in the years between then and now.

    That's not to say high-school kids should be held to uni standards, but they should at least get some background in critical thinking, clear writing, and be afforded at least a little intellectual independence.

    Zsetrek on
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2008
    Part of the issue is that there are tons of parents who show no interest in continuing their child's education at home. If the parents aren't going to read to the kids, the kids are going to do worse in reading at school, so the school needs to assign more homework to keep them up to speed.

    Doc on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    In fact I just cranked out a paper in one hour because last night I thought it would be a better idea to get high and watch back-to-back Lost episodes for four hours than do my homework.

    I see no reason that plan could possibly fail.

    Depends on the length of the paper, anything less than three pages and I think that's the correct method. Over that, you should have spent maybe two hours on it. Starting papers less than six hours before they're due is absolutely the way to go, or the University of Michigan's standards are slipping, I'm not entirely sure which it was.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • foursquaremanfoursquareman Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    It's a "pre-school", and is basically a glorified daycare with some structure and minor learning elements attached. It's more education-oriented than anything I went to when I was a kid, which apparently means it sucks. From what I head, kids are now expected to be mostly literate before they start kindergarten.

    The cynic in me believes this environment has been fostered by kindergarten and primary school teachers. "Well, I'm sorry your kid is poorly educated, but it's really not our fault. It's expected he be proficient in the three R's before he arrives at our school." Basically, "Fuck, teaching little kids is hard. Let's just have the parents do it, so we can just hand them books and demand reports on them."

    Wow, homework in pre-school! All I remember from pre-school was falling over the playground equipment and the middle of the day naps.

    I would like to find a school that doesn't actually assign homework. I really think it's a waste, most of the time.

    foursquareman on
  • HaphazardHaphazard Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Well, searching for another article I read about homework recently, I stumbled over this one from the Times. Can't find the one I was looking for, I'll try tomorrow once more.

    Haphazard on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Doc wrote: »
    Part of the issue is that there are tons of parents who show no interest in continuing their child's education at home. If the parents aren't going to read to the kids, the kids are going to do worse in reading at school, so the school needs to assign more homework to keep them up to speed.
    My parents read to me all the damn time, but more importantly for my development, I wanted to play Ultima 6 like my dad and my mom refused to read me the text while he was at work so I had to learn to read...telekinesis was an early word for me, reading wise.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    I had a great math teacher that would tell us when we needed to absolutely memorize something (definition of a function, for example) and would also tell us when the homework problems were just for practice and could be done during commercials while watching a Blazers game on TV.

    (He liked basketball a lot. He hated soccer and said "God gave us hands so we could USE them!" when asked about it :P)


    I think homework helps you study because it forces you to practice/rethink concepts you learned during class. But honestly anything over 15 minutes (for things that aren't papers, etc) is not going to do you a lot of good, in my experience (at least at the high school level and below).

    Medopine on
  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Well, the teachers haven't got time to actually TEACH anything in class, they're too busy dealing with kids who they aren't allowed to discipline when they act up. So, I guess they have to make up for it somewhere.

    But seriously, a pre-schooler shouldn't have homework. Homework on a regular basis, IMO, shouldn't start until about 2nd grade. A little bit now and then in 1st grade to get the idea, maybe, but not every night.

    And, at the other end of the spectrum, the middle school in my neighborhood didn't assign ANY homework because the parents complained so much the teachers gave up. We're a nation of extremes, unable to find a middle ground.

    My middle-schooler is in a charter school this year, and they're just about right with the homework, IMO. What she gets SHOULD take her an average of about an hour a night (more some nights, less others). Of course, she dawdles and stretches things out so it takes her all night, or rushes through things and doesn't give complete answers, so we make her do it over until she's given acceptable answers for everything, and it sometimes takes her all night to do what should have taken a half hour, but that's not the teacher's problem.

    Homework is important, but too much homework just guarantees that those kids who are struggling never catch up, because it will take them more time, and they'll never finish, and finally just give up altogether.

    Nerissa on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    Actually, finding out that my daughter's school is apparently lousy by modern standards was kind of cool. I'd largely assumed that most of her education was derived from school. She knows her letters, she's been able to write her name for about a year, she can tell you what letter most words start with by sound, she can spell a few herself, she knows all her colors and shapes and can do basic math. Apparently just about everything she knows is from Julie and I. Go us, I guess.

    Spoilered for excessively cute, vaguely on-topic anecdote:
    Maddie was complaining the other day that she never learns anything in school, which surprised my wife and I, because we thought she was learning plenty. We asked what the teachers taught, and she responded:

    Maddie: "Well, they teach us fruit."

    Julie: "They... they teach you fruit?"

    Maddie: "Yeah. Fruit."

    Julie: "What, you mean different kinds of fruit?"

    Maddie: "Yeah, you know, apples. Grapes. Fruit."

    Julie: "Uh huh..."

    Maddie: "And I always go up to my teacher, and I say 'Miss Sierra, what are we gonna learn today?' and she just says, 'Fruit.' Nothing but fruit!"

    Julie and I: *too busy laughing to say anything*

    Maddie: "I already know fruit! I don't want to keep learning fruit!"

    And so on. It was her first tirade.

    ElJeffe on
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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    A lot of the time, homework is a bad teacher's tool to give the illusion to the school administration and to parents that, oh look I'm a good teacher I'm giving a lot of homework!

    I disagree with your claim at the end of your first paragraph, ElJeffe, where you said children need to be assigned homework to succeed. There are plenty of other ways to learn material, and while its application is necessary, it doesn't have to be assigned as homework. What is the difference between having the class work on a problem set in class, on their own, and then going over the problems one by one? Nothing.

    Obviously for more major assignments this doesn't work, as one can't really do research and write a paper while in class, but I've always thought that assigning retarded problem sets and stuff as homework is... well, retarded.

    edit: clarity

    ege02 on
  • TachTach Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Sounds like she's qualified to move up to AP Vegetables 101

    Tach on
  • Zen VulgarityZen Vulgarity What a lovely day for tea Secret British ThreadRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Your child is smart for her age, Jeffe.

    Lament it.

    Also, most students who are beyond the class will wind up getting penalized for doing their homework (if they refuse to do it), yet may still do well on tests. It's an odd risk/reward for more advanced students.

    Zen Vulgarity on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2008
    I was a real snake in highschool, I really did the bare minimal homework I could at any given time unless I felt like it. In alot of cases Because of my participation in discussions and other demonstrations of knowing material, I still got an okay grade. I really cant say I ever enjoyed work sheets, and in general I think the should be done away with (I guess you need them in math, but I hate math)

    Iruka on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, kids shouldn't have a lot of homework. The assigned homework, however, should be checked by a parent. It enforced a study habit in me. By middle school, however, it should be over an hour. I had, generally at least two hours of nightly homework in highschool, and I benefited greatly from it. Certain things - classic languages, math, philosophy - require tedious repetition, and to make any curricular progress requires lots of homework. I think two to three hours of homework for a student in highschool is perfectly adequate.

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  • TavTav Irish Minister for DefenceRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm in secondary school (The same as high school, I'm 17) and I receive about two and a half hours to three hours a night worth of homework/study. If it's not written homework, there's usually a test of some sort to do some study for. I personally find the amount of homework that we get to be completely overwhelming, and often feel incredibly stressed out by the amount of pressure put on me by my teachers and parents. I really do think that the amount of homework that students get is too much, although I'm probably biased.

    Tav on
  • Zen VulgarityZen Vulgarity What a lovely day for tea Secret British ThreadRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Yeah, kids shouldn't have a lot of homework. The assigned homework, however, should be checked by a parent. It enforced a study habit in me. By middle school, however, it should be over an hour. I had, generally at least two hours of nightly homework in highschool, and I benefited greatly from it. Certain things - classic languages, math, philosophy - require tedious repetition, and to make any curricular progress requires lots of homework. I think two to three hours of homework for a student in highschool is perfectly adequate.

    Assuming how many classes in High School, Pods?

    I had eight. That would be roughly about twenty minutes a class.

    Zen Vulgarity on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    Also, most students who are beyond the class will wind up getting penalized for doing their homework (if they refuse to do it), yet may still do well on tests. It's an odd risk/reward for more advanced students.

    This was me in high-school. I graduated with a B-average because for the first three years I would do none of the homework and ace all of the tests.

    ElJeffe on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Yeah, kids shouldn't have a lot of homework. The assigned homework, however, should be checked by a parent. It enforced a study habit in me. By middle school, however, it should be over an hour. I had, generally at least two hours of nightly homework in highschool, and I benefited greatly from it. Certain things - classic languages, math, philosophy - require tedious repetition, and to make any curricular progress requires lots of homework. I think two to three hours of homework for a student in highschool is perfectly adequate.

    Assuming how many classes in High School, Pods?

    I had eight. That would be roughly about twenty minutes a class.

    Most of my classes had weekly or twice-weekly assignments. Each class may have an hour a week for its single assignment, but once you finish the assignment, you're done for that class. I liked it this way, because on the occasions when I did my homework (mostly in my senior year), I could front load my work and kick back the second half of the week.

    ElJeffe on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    ege02 wrote: »
    I disagree with your claim at the end of your first paragraph, ElJeffe, where you said children need to be assigned homework to succeed. There are plenty of other ways to learn material, and while its application is necessary, it doesn't have to be assigned as homework. What is the difference between having the class work on a problem set in class, on their own, and then going over the problems one by one? Nothing.

    Technically, there's no reason the work couldn't be done at school, I suppose. I was just assuming that the time in class would be needed for actual instruction. My main point was that education requires a student to do work on his own; where he happens to be at the time is largely irrelevant.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Yeah, kids shouldn't have a lot of homework. The assigned homework, however, should be checked by a parent. It enforced a study habit in me. By middle school, however, it should be over an hour. I had, generally at least two hours of nightly homework in highschool, and I benefited greatly from it. Certain things - classic languages, math, philosophy - require tedious repetition, and to make any curricular progress requires lots of homework. I think two to three hours of homework for a student in highschool is perfectly adequate.

    Assuming how many classes in High School, Pods?

    I had eight. That would be roughly about twenty minutes a class.

    Six. My school's policy was at least two hours of homework a night, preferably three, and we were always required to be ready for a quiz -- some teachers really abused that last part :P

    I am very thankful for it.

    Lots of great classics professors say that corporal punishment was the only way to learn Latin and Greek. Not because of some systematic sadism, but somethings can't be learned by "Brainstorming."(1)


    (1)No, I am not advertising we break out the knuckle-knockers. I'm just pointing out the laziness in our modern abstract education system. Nobody needs to keep a "journal" for every class or make 1500 projects in middle school.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Yeah, kids shouldn't have a lot of homework. The assigned homework, however, should be checked by a parent. It enforced a study habit in me. By middle school, however, it should be over an hour. I had, generally at least two hours of nightly homework in highschool, and I benefited greatly from it. Certain things - classic languages, math, philosophy - require tedious repetition, and to make any curricular progress requires lots of homework. I think two to three hours of homework for a student in highschool is perfectly adequate.

    Math does not require tedious repetition. You get a concept, shown how it's useful, are given a couple problems to practice how it works, then a couple more clever questions to figure out some other applications with it. Ideally one of those problems would be a well thought out story problem.

    Then the next lesson you make sure the new problems use the previous lessons to reinforce what you've learned. Most things in math you can learn with maybe 10 problems, only truly tricky and important concepts like say, the chain rule, should get more than that.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Yeah, kids shouldn't have a lot of homework. The assigned homework, however, should be checked by a parent. It enforced a study habit in me. By middle school, however, it should be over an hour. I had, generally at least two hours of nightly homework in highschool, and I benefited greatly from it. Certain things - classic languages, math, philosophy - require tedious repetition, and to make any curricular progress requires lots of homework. I think two to three hours of homework for a student in highschool is perfectly adequate.

    Assuming how many classes in High School, Pods?

    I had eight. That would be roughly about twenty minutes a class.

    Six. My school's policy was at least two hours of homework a night, preferably three, and we were always required to be ready for a quiz -- some teachers really abused that last part :P

    I am very thankful for it.

    Lots of great classics professors say that corporal punishment was the only way to learn Latin and Greek. Not because of some systematic sadism, but somethings can't be learned by "Brainstorming."(1)


    (1)No, I am not advertising we break out the knuckle-knockers. I'm just pointing out the laziness in our modern abstract education system. Nobody needs to keep a "journal" for every class or make 1500 projects in middle school.

    This is a really stupid policy. It encourages exactly the kind of meaningless busy work that destroys any love of learning that we're born with. Human curiosity is a gift and the way things work now they try to strangle that. It's so dumb.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
  • Rabid_LlamaRabid_Llama Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I was assigned a lot of homework in high school. Some of it was useful, most of it was busy work. I think if teachers would cut the fat off of homework loads it would improve the education of the students greatly. I hated homework in high school for that reason.

    Now that I am in college, I have assloads more homework to do but it is all relevant and it feels necessary so it doesn't bother me at all.

    Rabid_Llama on
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  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    Yeah, kids shouldn't have a lot of homework. The assigned homework, however, should be checked by a parent. It enforced a study habit in me. By middle school, however, it should be over an hour. I had, generally at least two hours of nightly homework in highschool, and I benefited greatly from it. Certain things - classic languages, math, philosophy - require tedious repetition, and to make any curricular progress requires lots of homework. I think two to three hours of homework for a student in highschool is perfectly adequate.

    That bit is beyond most parents these days... they either can't be bothered or don't know the material well enough themselves to adequately check it.

    Also, if the kid comes home and says "I don't have any math homework tonight" it's usually tough to find out they've been lying before the end of the term when report cards come out. As a parent, you have to be pro-active, and too many teachers haven't got the time or patience to send out an e-mail (or whatever) to the parents every day telling them what the assignment was. We're fortunate in that there is someone at my kid's school who collects that information from the 4 core classes every day and e-mails it to any parent who asks to be on the list, so seh can't get away with that, but they're a small school and intending to stay that way, so they can do that. I can't imagine one of the regular neighborhood shools doing that.

    Nerissa on
  • Zen VulgarityZen Vulgarity What a lovely day for tea Secret British ThreadRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, most students who are beyond the class will wind up getting penalized for doing their homework (if they refuse to do it), yet may still do well on tests. It's an odd risk/reward for more advanced students.

    This was me in high-school. I graduated with a B-average because for the first three years I would do none of the homework and ace all of the tests.

    What was absolutely fascinating was the number of highly intelligent people I have found to do this, even if they recognize the intrinsic value of the "grade" for a better school.

    Zen Vulgarity on
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