Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homework...More Harm Than Good

Homework takes up so much time...endless drills, busywork. Kids lose valuable time with their families and their friends...and precious time for themselves, as well...to create, to imagine, to play. Kids (and parents) get stressed out keeping up with the piles of homework. It's a shame that schools do not realize that children are burned out from the tests and homework by the time they hit middle school...and there's no improvement in achievement. The fact that all this starts so early these days...when a child is merely five or six years old is the biggest shame of all...let's give kids back their childhood.

Homework: New Research Suggests It May Be an Unnecessary Evil
by Alfie Kohn, Education Expert:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alfie-kohn/homework-research_b_2184918.html

The essay itself is worth reading...do studies show any meaningful benefit to all of this homework?

The first footnote of the piece nails it on the head...how many parents (including myself) feel about this topic: "It's important to remember that some people object to homework for reasons that aren't related to the dispute about whether research might show that homework provides academic benefits. They argue that (a) six hours a day of academics are enough, and kids should have the chance after school to explore other interests and develop in other ways -- or be able simply to relax in the same way that most adults like to relax after work; and (b) the decision about what kids do during family time should be made by families, not schools. Let's put these arguments aside for now, even though they ought to be (but rarely are) included in any discussion of the topic."

If that's not enough...click on the below link to find out about a book written by two Brooklyn moms, Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish, The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It.

Is Homework Getting Out of Hand:

http://www.newyorkfamily.com/schools-giving-students-too-much-homework/

It's very difficult to believe that parents can change the mindset of those running traditional schools. I doubt there will be a reduction of homework and tests for elementary school children. There was parental opposition to public kindergarten going from half days to full days, that didn't stop it from happening in NYC a while ago. There was parental concern regarding the compulsory school age being lowered from age 6 to age 5 in NY, and yet politicians pushed it through for 2013 (with hopefully the promised waiver for those parents who do not want to lock their five year olds in school for 6 hours a day). Soon, pre-k will become mandatory, I bet...with tax payer money funding the full-day childcare (to rush parents back into full-time jobs to keep the economic wheel spinning) and more parents feeling pressure to start children off on the hard-working path to academic success. After all, this isn't Finland...kids performing supremely well with "school hours cut in half, little homework, no standardized tests":

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/january/finnish-schools-reform-012012.html