Why homework is important

ArkansasgardenboyMay 9, 2002

Parents can get more involved with their children's learning. They can know what is being taught. They can know their child better by knowing his/her strengths and weaknesses. Again this is another item which works if practiced with the whole picture in clear view. Try it you will see great results.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content/homework.html

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Parents can do all these things without any kind of homework. They can ask about school, do educational things together, talk about the world. Being involved in homework is just one way. And the homework stuff is usually the boring part of learning anyway. I'd rather spend time with children going on nature walks or playing with a science kit or looking at the world almanac for weird facts than drilling them on the times tables or spelling words or diagramming sentences. Teachers should be able to handle the basics. Parents should make education a part of life without making school the kid's whole life.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2002 at 2:28AM
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Again there are some teacher in elementary school that give too much homework nowadays, not all but some. Especially in about the 5th grade when kids have different teacher for different subjects. Sometimes they don't coordinate with each ohter and you can find that they Math teacher might give so many math problems that it can be hard for the child to do his English , and other subject such as History, and Science.

My daughter teaches at a Middle school now, and they don't believe in giving a lot- of homework. Most of their studying goes on at school. They must be doing something right because the average scores at that school on the Standford Acievement tests are in the 90%, the upper 10% in the Nation. The school does though have a lot of parental involvement and interaction between the teachers and the parents.

It is true though Parents can find their child weaknesses many times by seeing their preformance at school, and keeping up with the subjects that their child are taking.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2002 at 7:50AM
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Why should homework be boring? I don't think homework should be assigned just for something to do. It should be exciting, motivating and to stimulate more interest in learning. Projects, book reports, speeches, and other activities which involved parents and other resources.
Communication is the key that many families refuse to use nowadays. Instead of getting involved in the activities with their children, too many feel isolated from the school, teacher and community, because they have other priorities. Involvement is a key. Parents need to be in touch with the teacher and their children. Volunteer to go on school trips. These can be some of the most rewarding experiences for you and your child.
Projects which involved both parents and your child can be some of the best times in life and why not let it be home and school centered. The two of the three strongest links in the chain. Church being the other one.
Is "Show and Tell" a homework project?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2002 at 8:02AM
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I think homework is important because it helps the kids learn how to learn. I went to a rural school district where almost no homework was assigned - even in high school - because most of the families were farmers and the kids had chores after school. Well, when I got to college - what a rude awakening! The students from city districts had the advantage - because they had been drilled in homework!

My oldest is only in 1st grade and has homework 3-4 nights a week, plus reading ever night. I think it's great! I agree that all learning is not book learning, and we do lots of everyday science around the home, nature observations on walks, etc - but I agree wholeheartly that homework is important.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2002 at 10:20AM
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The hard thing about assigning homework to a group of children is their varying abilities and skill levels. Some children can take an assignment home (a review of something learned in class) and have no problems. Others will take it home, but since they forgot the lesson in class, they are unable to complete the assignment, which just leads to frustration.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2002 at 4:22PM
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Hard to believe, I know, I can hardly believe it myself, but this time I agree with ya, Arkansas.

DS is in 3rd grade. At his new school I am disappointed in the homework. He has HW 3 nights/week, but it's paperwork. Takes 20 mins and he can do it completely on his own. At his old school, before we moved, he used to get projects, book reports, little research type assignments. Some parents complained because the kids could not do those assignments on their own. Some parents just did it for they kids. They missed the point entirely, it was supposed to be a parent/child venture. I could teach my son how to find info on the internet and in the library. He once had to do a project on a Native American tribe, written paper, model, the works. The time frame to work on it was at the same time we were out of town for a family event. So, we visited and researched the regional Native American culture on our trip. We would probably not have made a point to do that if he didn't have that project, it wouldn't have been a priority. Other times he had to construct some sort of "thing." Then it was fun to search the house for materials, problem solving. His little brother, too young for school even, not to be left out, had to create his version of the project, too. It was a riot every time! Time consuming, yes, frustrating, sometimes. But worth the effort every time.

Yes, I can do those things with my kids without it being an assignment, and sometimes I do. But life is busy and it's easy to put it off, not get around to things we mean to do. Besides, the extra experience of taking those projects in and sharing them with peers is beneficial.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2002 at 4:47PM
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Okay, I see how homework can be beneficial. Definitely, the better the assignment, the better the effect.

I just see kids whose parents seem so obsessed with their performance at school, and you see these people posting on this forum that their first graders aren't getting good enough grades. In first grade! If my parents had expressed concern about my grades when I was six - well, I think that would have made me approach school with an attitude of fear and dread, instead of excitement.

I just feel like when school is this great accumulation of tasks and judgements, how are kids supposed to realize that learning is fun, uncompetitive, and what matters is how hard you try, not where you rank? It would be nice if they would try because they loved school, not because of deadlines and grades and requirements and worry about disappointing their parents.

I am just talking about homework for grade-school kids. I spend 30+ hours per week doing homework myself right now (could that be making me hostile :) and I know there is no way to get away from it later in life. But let kids be kids!

And I do believe that a good teacher, with a small enough class and decent resources, can teach well above the standard curriculum without assigning homework. But that doesn't mean that he or she shouldn't go above that curriculum, I guess. As long as all that exceptional teaching hasn't worn the kids out.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2002 at 6:20PM
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The problem with homework, as I see it, is that it works when it works, but when it doesn't, it is a complete failure. Think about the kids whose parents are illiterate, nearly so, or never understood math/schience/english as a student themselves. Hopefully, that child won't come home with homework that s/he needs a little coaching for. A similar problem happens for the child who comes home to an empty house for any length of time. There are other children who come home and take care of younger siblings or have significant chores to do (ie farming).

All of these children start out with a scholastic disadvantage. For one reason or another education/schoolwork isn't a great focus for their families. I am not knocking such families, merely pointing out that scholastic achievement isn't a high priority in all households. In those circumstances incomplete or poorly done homework becomes commonplace. This helps produce poor grades and possibly poor understanding of the concepts. Those students are then likely to find schoolwork more frustrating and non-fulfilling. Their road to scholastic achievement is then made even more difficult.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2002 at 8:49PM
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Duckie, I agree that is a problem, I hate to see students left out of a learning opportunity because of home situations. It's a tempting, politically correct, thing to make sure those kids aren't made to feel inferior by not giving home projects. But, IMO, setting assignments based on a few students' scholastic disadvantage results in the entire curriculum being "dumbed down."

    Bookmark   May 10, 2002 at 9:23AM
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The chain of ignorance is hard to break. Some just choose to refuse to try until maybe they hear a "WAKE Up" call. You may be one of the ones who helps break that chain. I believe it takes a "village" to educate and that is the life before you. Healing always starts from within and learning works the same way. You must desire and have a will to live and you must have a desire and a will to learn or you will die physically, mentally and spiritually.
Sometimes it just takes someone to get one to the hospital or doctor for care because they may be so sick they are unable to take themselves. Apply this to the educational area. The ones who are least educated tend to remain in the same situation as their parents unless they are determine to rise above. I believe God helps those who help themselves more than the ones who choose to not help themselves. He may send them help and give them many choices and chances to improve. I believe He does. It is a matter of choice in most situations. God rewards deeds.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2002 at 11:34AM
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I don't think that anyone is advocating dumbing down the curriculum for kids who don't get help at home. I don't see where Duckie said (s)he though that was the answer.

When you use the phrase "so those kids aren't made to feel inferior" you frame it as everyone's favorite issue, the supposed over-emphasis on self-esteem that schools have now. I don't see how that emphasis has done any more harm than good, but that is another issue. The fact is that this isn't about self-esteem, it is about scholastic success. By taking a class and making the work that they do at home a big part of their education, you are putting success out of reach for some children, because they simply can't get the help at home that others can.

Any child whose parents have the time and aptitude to take part in his or her education is naturally going to have an advantage in school, no matter what. But when you make parents taking an interest a required part of the curriculum, then you have children who, despite their natural abilities, have a huge obstacle to completing the requirements.

So the constructive thing to do would be to think of ways that these children can be helped, not to assume that the ones who have the natural advantage are going to somehow have it taken away from them.

After-school programs are an option. Personally I think that from grade school through high school, the school day should be a little longer and should have relaxed recreational time built into it for students to get all of their homework (or "out-of-class" work) done with the help of qualified teachers, if their parents want that option. They could also have reading, educational games and other activities as options. I am not talking about an after-school program but a longer school day with these things built into it. I think longer school days and year-round school would really help our kids learn more, as opposed to just getting more stressed out by expecting them to do more and more in the same amount of time.

There are probably a lot of families out there that do take an interest in their children's education, and want to help with homework, but just don't have time because of work, other children, other family obligations, or because the child has a learning disability, to keep up with the load of homework that the teacher gives every night. Maybe in some families where homework is a difficult issue, the children would benefit more not having to do it at home every night, and being able to play games and have un-stressful fun with their families in the time they have together.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2002 at 11:52AM
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This may sound like I'm contridicting myself, but yes I agree with homework and yes my children had it. I would consider the school they went to , to be an average type school. Like I said sometimes there were teachers that when the children were sent to different teachers for different subject(5th grade here) it was like "The Left hand didn't know what the Right Hand was doing" in other words they didn't coordinate their assignments and sometimes the child which have 50 or more hard Math problems along with many pages of work from other techer, making him/ner having to spend a few hrs. on homework , or even more than a few hrs.

My sister-in-law who's son was making straight A's at the time said her son had to spend three hrs. a night at times doing all the homework that all the teacher assigned.

I have always participated in my children's learning. When a child is in elementary school I don't know how else they would learn to read well unless they had parental involvement. And as for Math going over the additional facts, multiplication tables and checking their homework to make sure they understood what was being taught can be very helpful. I've been there.

I don't though agree that a teacher that gives lots of homework is better than a teacher that does not. You can't judge a teacher by this at all. It is how well she explains the work. If she gives additional work at home, that's alright as long as it isn't an extreme amount.

I was just remarking that at some schools the kids don't have a lot of homework and are making really well on test that prove they have learned way about the National Average and are in the top 10% in the Nation. I think that has a lot to do with the teacher and I know the parents. The principal at the school I am speaking of is very choosy also about the teachers she hires to teach classes. The parents are very supporting money wise and volunteering wise. They help supplement the school with additional supplies that the state doesn't. They also help with things like dances for the children, and also a fun day with rides for the kids at the end of the year. They help the teacher watch over the children on field trips.

There was a teacher one of my children had that I thought gave too many project for a third grader always giving projects that the parent would spend lots of time on trying to find object to buy at stores. Once we ended up making white modeling clay (playdough) to make a permanent dessert scene in a box. Plus had to find the items to put in the box, had to have the child cut out items....always something like this..some teacher can give to much of that work also. Been there.
Oh well just wanted to be understood, before someone thought I never helped a child with homework, if they did that will totally be wrong as I have always went overboard to do the best I could for both of my children. (Plus teaching Preschool for 10 yrs. and people saying I always wanted to do my job more than perfect -I've never wanted to let a child down)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2002 at 5:08PM
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Undoubtedly money is not the answer if it is spent in the manner previously spent. How is it going to change? We may have the answers but what are the solutions? Are you familiar with these statistics? Go to: http://nclb.gov/next/stats/index.html

Here is a link that might be useful: http://nclb.gov/next/stats/index.html

    Bookmark   May 10, 2002 at 10:11PM
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Hey gardenboy, what about the kids who CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES??????Do they deserve to fail too??

    Bookmark   May 10, 2002 at 11:35PM
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You are mistaken. This is what this all about. Trying to help those who have difficultly in learning. ect. Teachers and schools can't solved all of society's problems. Everyone must help. Society must change if you are going to see real results.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2002 at 6:52AM
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Sad to say, but if parents don't take an interest in their children, there is no amount the rest of us can do to fill that gap. Certainly hours of homework is not the answer.

To me, some homework is a good idea. It teaches responsiblity. But when I see an ES teacher assigning hours of homework it makes me think she isn't doing her job well enough so she is sending home her unfinished work.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2002 at 12:56PM
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I choose to help make a difference. I plan to continue to love children, talk to them, play with them, talk to teachers and parents in encouraging them to be involved in their child's learning, assist teachers, read to children and help my grandchilden learn to work. Volunteer to go on trips with children and their parents. I visit in homes daily and talk to many elderly people and I hand out reading material that encourages and inspires further study. I enjoy getting in touch with people. The "door to door" approach still works and I am thankful people are friendly and receptive.
Ther are many "lonely people", who are just needing someone to talk and share your time with them. I enjoy helping in making it a better day because they still know someone still cares and are concern for them.
I love people. Really this is why I have posted so much. I do care even if you may not think so. Just keep tuning in. I have learn to appreciate people even if our opinions are different. We may not have views as different as assumed by some.
I still believe it does make a difference if your child will do his/her homework. I believe it pays to stay in touch with your child's teacher.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2002 at 8:49PM
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Gardenboy: "Undoubtedly money is not the answer if it is spent in the manner previously spent."

1. According to that chart, they have done a better and better job without increased funding. It seems to me that that indicates that they are spending the money very wisely - or at least relatively wisely.

2. Just because education has improved without more money being spent doesn't mean that more money wouldn't help it improve even more. That is not logical - I can learn to be a safer driver while driving an unsafe car, but if I was able to buy a Volvo, I would be that much safer, thanks to the combination of money and skills. It takes both.

3. That chart only says what the federal government spends, but states contribute a huge amount to education. So for all that chart tells us, the increase in scores corresponds with an increase in overall funding. Kids don't learn any better with federal money than with state money, I don't think. I doubt they can tell the difference.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2002 at 1:21AM
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This might be of interest to some of you. http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ushistory/results/

Here is a link that might be useful: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ushistory/results/

    Bookmark   May 13, 2002 at 10:33AM
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Spending money for where the needs are the greatest makes sense to me. http:www.heritage.org/library/backgrounder/bg1481.html

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.heritage.org/library/backgrounder/bg1481.html

    Bookmark   May 14, 2002 at 11:52AM
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One value of homework that no one has noticed, though they've spoken about it:

"Hopefully, that child won't come home with homework that s/he needs a little coaching for. "


"Others will take it home, but since they forgot the lesson in class, they are unable to complete the assignment, which just leads to frustration."

A crucial part of homework is that it provides FEEDBACK FOR THE TEACHER. If the kid takes the homework home and can't complete it, she knows he forgot the lesson they learned in class, and she needs to find another way to get it into his head. She also knows that neither she or the kid will get much help from the kid's parents, and she can try to teach w/ that in mind.

She also knows who misunderstood what about how things were explained--and who got it the first time, and therefore doesn't need further coaching (thereby freeing her up to help the kid who does).

I have a bright kid who does her homework almost totally by herself (at least I think she does, though a few times I've heard her say things about her after-school teacher that got me worried--I think when she gets lazy Ms. Napier tells her the answers; but I know that she can do it completely alone, because she does at home.)

I don't think the debate aobut why homework is important is exactly the same conversation about whether parents should be involved, or pay attention to their child's learning strengths or weaknesses.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2002 at 2:59PM
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