How much homework is reasonable?Subscribe
Hi All (this is my first reply post)
Where I teach, each grade level gets 10 minutes of hw for every year a child advances. Thus, first grade gets 10 minutes and fourth grade gets 40 minutes. I also stress that this is an average and some nights there may be less and some nights slightly more. Hw should be generally independent and not require a lot of parent help. I tell parents to stop after 40 min. and if the hw is not done - write a note in their child's agenda. I also ( ask your child's teacher) offer to send part of the next week's hw home on Friday. That way, the students can work on the hw over the weekend to help manage his/her school week (please note: I teach third and fourth grade).
I hated homework when I was not working and now that I am, I can honestly say it really takes a huge toll on my family. Several research reports indicate that the efficacy of homework is questionable and excessive homework can just be useless! I just don't remember it being this damn stressful when I was in school. My big thing lately is that I am sick to death of hearing that we need to have family dinners, and communicate, and all that...yet the entire society is geared towards constantly racing from event to event, game to game, extracurricular activity to extracurricular activity, the dentist, the practice, the orthodontist...We are simply never all in the same place at the same time. Then you add in excessive homework and life is just a nightmare. None of enjoys each other and it's just stress, stress, stress. Don't even get me started on religious education classes etc... It's hard to enjoy parenting at this stage of the game and I keep waiting to hear someone say, "Stop the insanity!"
I'm a high school English teacher, and the subject of HW is a sore point with me. I've been teaching for over twenty-five years, and what I am finding is that the longer I teach, the more both students and parents complain. Obviously, education is important to me, otherwise I would not have stayed in the field as long as I have. I am so distressed by all the whining and complaining! I don't believe in busy work, but if I'm to teach a literature course properly, the kids need to read the books. If I am to teach them how to write a proper essay, they need to write essays. If I am to help them develop critical reading skills, they need to answer questions.
I am finding that over the years I have given less and less HW as a result of parental complaints. While I don't think kids should spend four hours a night on HW, two hours in HS is reasonable. I'm sure on some nights they don't have any. It's just how it works out.
It's sad that in the country which has the most opportunity for its children, we are slowly deteriorating in the educational world. Parents need to stop supporting condoning their children's complaining and just tell them to do the work. And keep in mind that I have to grade this work. I wouldn't be giving it if I didn't feel it necessary. I spend way more time than the students each week on my own "HW."
I'm so glad to get that off my chest!