Homework...

cybele

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I'd love to re-hash the homework debate if that is okay.


Do you believe that homework is beneficial to education or not? If so, what type of homework is beneficial? At what point is too much? What type of homework does your child bring home?
 

pwsowner

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Homework is beneficial because it gives them a little more learning time, and the working on their own gives them a different kind of practice, but it's most beneficial if the parents work with them sometimes. An hour a day is good. 2 hours once in a while won't hurt, but no more than that.
 

MamaRuthie

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i think its good if its something they understand sometimes we have a problem with Ellies maths homework where they have to start a new chapter in the textbook for homework and its something new they haven't done before and she doesn't understand what she is doing.

Ellie is in year 8 and she gets homework for all her subjects its just whatever they didn't finish in class from the subjects they had that day they have four periods a day but sometimes they have double English so they only have three different classes

I also think she gets too much French homework there is seriously an hours worth sometimes of just French and that's not including the other subjects she has homework from that day
 

cybele

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MamaRuthie said:
I also think she gets too much French homework there is seriously an hours worth sometimes of just French and that's not including the other subjects she has homework from that day
This is interesting to me because I have noticed the same situation with my 14yr old and history this semester. She gets a noticeably larger amount of history homework than anything else, and what inspired me to make this thread is that I think it's a very excessive amount for year 7 when you consider that she has homework for her other subjects too.
 

TabascoNatalie

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pwsowner said:
Homework is beneficial because it gives them a little more learning time, and the working on their own gives them a different kind of practice, but it's most beneficial if the parents work with them sometimes. An hour a day is good. 2 hours once in a while won't hurt, but no more than that.
Well, must disagree with that. When kids return from school very late afternoon, then attend sports, or other activities, what about time for other things?
Mine doesn't have homework yet.

I'm not a big fan of homework, though its necessary to have some practice + independent study skills, which is essential if kids go on pursuing academics any further. Maybe depends on what sort of homework.

As for one subject being more than others -- is it bigger amount of homework, or kids just take longer time on them?
 

cybele

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In our situation it's content, yesterday, as an example, she had a chapter to read for English, one textbook page for Math, a report to write up for Environmental Studies but for History she had a 12 page photocopied booklet to read, four worksheets and a project that is supposed to last a fortnight on one of the wives of Henry 8th to start.
It all looks like very interesting stuff but she's in year 7 and she has more history homework than Azriel who is in year 11.
 

mom2many

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I'm not a fan of homework, but it's not homework itself, it's the quantity that so many kids get.

It's excessive.
 

parentastic

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To my knowledge, studies do not support the idea that homework is beneficial. There are several prominent authors who analyzed this question:

The case against homework: how homework is hurting our children and what we can do about it (Bennet & Kalish)
Read their fact sheet here. Interesting stuff!

The homework Myth: whyour kids get too much of a bad thing (Kohn)
 

akmom

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I do think homework is beneficial, but excessive homework is not. My second-grade daughter has about 10 minutes of math worksheets each night, 15 minutes of reading, and one science worksheet each week which takes maybe 20 minutes on whatever day she does it.

I volunteer afternoons at her school one day a week, basically just going around tutoring kids as they work on assignments, and there is a huge gap in comprehension. Some kids get it right away, others work on it but aren't doing it right (and the instructor doesn't realize until it's graded), and yet others spend the entire time not knowing what to do. I think it really takes a one-on-one evaluation, watching the student perform the work, to ensure that they're getting it, and correcting them if they aren't. I mean, some of them can articulate their questions and ask a teacher, but a lot of them aren't sure if they get it, or think they're doing it right, or just waste away the time because they are frustrated and don't want to bother. That's what homework is ideal for; it gives parents a glimpse at what they are working on each day (rather than waiting till the end of each quarter) and the opportunity to work with them one-on-one.

Whether they utilize it or not varies by family, I'm sure. But a large quantity of busy work doesn't do a lot of good. Either they get it already and it burns them out, or they don't get it and don't benefit anyway.

ETA: I guess substantial homework becomes more relevant for older kids. I should have asked what age group you had in mind. Obviously I have seven-year-olds in mind!
 
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IADad

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I think one of the chief benefits of homework, is learning to manage time and devote attention to study. However, I think most of the homework assigned is wasted time. It's either stuff they don't understand so they are just practicing doing it wrong (and as parents we have little in the way of support materials...) It should be a time for them to research, and explore. Read something and write an essay, that can be so interdisciplinary.
 

IADad

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MamaRuthie said:
i think its good if its something they understand sometimes we have a problem with Ellies maths homework where they have to start a new chapter in the textbook for homework and its something new they haven't done before and she doesn't understand what she is doing.

Ellie is in year 8 and she gets homework for all her subjects its just whatever they didn't finish in class from the subjects they had that day they have four periods a day but sometimes they have double English so they only have three different classes

I also think she gets too much French homework there is seriously an hours worth sometimes of just French and that's not including the other subjects she has homework from that day

Unfortunately language is one of those things that traditionally takes a lot of time, lots of vocabulary etc. to study.
 

pwsowner

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I think that's one of the main issues, what kind of homework. Homework well planed out can be beneficial, while the wrong homework can just be detrimental.
 

cybele

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Ugh, LOTE.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for learning languages, but LOTE homework is my most hated of the homework.

Their primary school teaches Cantonese, which I can't speak a word of so they come up to me with their homework saying "MUUUUMM what does this say?" and I stand there shrugging. I got a break when the high school the older ones went to doesn't teach a LOTE, but Lux is going to a different high school next year and they have both German and Japanese, they do a semester of each in year 7 and 8, then they pick which one they want to learn following that. Can't speak a word of those either.

To be honest with you, I did 10 years of Latin at school and I can barely string a sentence together. For me, language really is one of those use it or lose it things.

On another note, I can hold a conversation in Hindi, but I do actually use that one which is probably why.



Well that went remarkably off topic.
 

parentastic

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Back to the topic at hand: my SD has just started her school for a few week now in first grade (she is 7 y. old). Her mom was working with her on her homework, and she was so discouraged, so I took her place instead.

And went WTF?!?

SD is learning to read, so here is what her homework was: on the page is a box with about 15 small words (they are simple two-syllables words, but this is really hard for her, because she tends to forget the first syllable before she finishes reading the second).
Under it is a list of check boxes - about 10 check boxes.
So she is supposed to read each of the 15 word in the box, then tick one of the check-box under it and start over... till she has done it basically 10 times.

Of course you can picture the situation: incredibly tired little girl, fedup, bored, cranky, with no more attention spam; exhausted mom got her after work school, barely had the time to drive home, make dinner, eat, then WHAM over one hour of homework to do and then it's nearly time to go sleep. Poor girls (both of them!)

So I am looking at her homework and I can't believe how stupid it is. Because of course, after the 3rd time, she is not really reading anymore, she is <I>guessing</I> by trying to remember what word were where instead of reading. And of course she is dead BORED!! No wonder kids have such a hard time to read!

So I took the words in the box and made funny sentences with them and had her read that. At least it made some sense now and it was a little more interesting. Poor kid.

Any of you have "modified" what homework they were supposed to do, in an attempt to help?
 
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cybele

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I haven't modified, but I have when the kids are younger taken homework sheets into the teacher the next day and explained the problem.
 

singledad

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parentastic said:
SD is learning to read, so here is what her homework was: on the page is a box with about 15 small words (they are simple two-syllables words, but this is really hard for her, because she tends to forget the first syllable before she finishes reading the second).
Under it is a list of check boxes - about 10 check boxes.
So she is supposed to read each of the 15 word in the box, then tick one of the check-box under it and start over... till she has done it basically 10 times.
Seriously - WTF? Are they TRYING to teach her that reading is boring? Because that's what they'll accomplish by making her read the same 15 random words 10 times over.

My DD has simple little story books. It's all 1 and 2 syllable words, but they make and actual story. And there are pictures too. And she only has to practise until she can read one page, which contains about 15 words (give or take) out loud. The fact that it's an actual story makes it a lot easier, because she is engaged... (and of course, a lot of the words repeat, so she ends up doing the repetition, but without it being boring)

Interestingly, it's the exact same stories that I read when I was in grade 1. I think they were written with the express purpose of teaching children to read, and if it works, there is no reason to change it...
 

parentastic

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singledad said:
Seriously - WTF? Are they TRYING to teach her that reading is boring? Because that's what they'll accomplish by making her read the same 15 random words 10 times over.
My thoughts exactly

singledad said:
Interestingly, it's the exact same stories that I read when I was in grade 1. I think they were written with the express purpose of teaching children to read, and if it works, there is no reason to change it...
Yeah... I am going to do some searches and see if I can find that in french (I would have asked for a reference to yours, but they probably aren't in the right language!)
 

IADad

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parentastic said:
"attention SPAM" hahahaha

Any of you have "modified" what homework they were supposed to do, in an attempt to help?
Yeah, I've made additional problems up and try to make them fun and applicable. ODS has trouble with how to approach word problems. So, I try to make up some that teach the kind of this on his worksheet, but in more applicable subject matter. I'll do that with English and vocabulary stuff, try to make examples using things in his world, things he likes.
 

IADad

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cybele said:
I haven't modified, but I have when the kids are younger taken homework sheets into the teacher the next day and explained the problem.
YES - Can they not provide us with some support. If we don't understand the goals of the homework or dan't have explanatory materials, there are times it's really difficult to help.

We had a math worksheet that said to "Graph to solve the problem" Um, okay, personally I wouldn't have used a graph for that kind of problem and couldn't quite see how you would so I was lost as to how to help. And he can't bring every text book home or he'll have 300 pounds of books to carry.

There was a story on the Today show about homework, the amount and type that our kids get, and they made a lot of good points that so much of it is pointless that it takes away from the really useful and necessary work.

They had a teacher say that she'd much rather have a child bring back a paper having tried and failed to complete it than one where the parents helped to the extent that they had largely completed it rather than the child. Oh, really, then why do you grade homework? Curriculum gets packed in simply to move along and stay on schedule. If you get a good grade, great, if you don't, "oh well, maybe you'll learn it next year. yikes.
 

akmom

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My daughter had one similar to what you describe, Parentastic. I mixed in a random activity to distract her from the boredom. I made her read the word and then run up the stairs and back down, and each time I timed her. So the goal I gave her was to do it faster each time. So she would try to cut her time by reading faster, and also by darting up the stairs faster. No one ever knew what it took to get through that homework, but it doesn't really matter. They're my kids, I can make them do it however I want! She learned the words, that's all that matters. And she was definitely having fun, thinking that the stair races were part of it.