Open Discussion

Please write about whatever’s on your mind in the Comments.

84 Comments on “Open Discussion”

  1. Dawn says:

    Saw an interesting post on facebook on the group “Race to Nowhere, The Dark Side of Achievement”. The person said: It’s a little like the “war” on drugs. As long as customers (Admissions Departments) are willing to pay sky-high prices (admission to elite universities) for illegal drugs (hyper-achieving students), pushers (parents) will go to any lengths to supply them.

    The analogy isn’t perfect (they never are), but you get the general idea. Part of the solution is to get colleges to start rewarding relaxation, or (what amounts to the same thing, since slots are finite) to start penalizing frantic hyper-achievement.

    June 15th, 2010 at 3:24 pm
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  2. HomeworkBlues says:

    I saw that too, Dawn. Excellent analogy.

    June 15th, 2010 at 3:50 pm
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  3. PsychMom says:

    Yes to rewarding leisure and fun, but the other side of the coin…devalue or ignore the high marks. Imagine if the number of A’s and A+’s on your transcript, all those glowing recommendations and awards were marked against you …and the solid B student, who worked the last two summers, enjoys basketball with friends and who wants to travel Europe before entering university…he/she gets the golden ticket. It would certainly send a message about balance in one’s life.

    Cut throat ambition….the one on top is the best at what exactly?

    June 16th, 2010 at 7:07 am
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  4. HomeworkBlues says:

    Has Advanced Placement taken over our high schools? Apparently. And the ripple effect goes all the way down the academic chain. Award-winning school districts are redesigning their kindergarten curricula to ensure 5-year-olds are on the path to AP in high school.”

    I’m sure Jay Mathews and his infamous Challenge Index wold love it if we started prepping kindergarteners on AP testing. You never can start too early. After all, it’ll sell Newsweek. If it doesn’t go under first.

    If you can stomach (drum roll, please) Newsweek’s top US high schools ranking issue, here it is! Predicated solely on how many AP and IB tests a school churns out. Doesn’t matter if you flunked out. Mathews thinks that’s good enough.

    June 16th, 2010 at 11:52 am
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  5. HomeworkBlues says:

    “In our richest neighborhoods, students compete for the most AP courses on their transcripts as if they were collecting trophies at a track meet.”

    And this, I take it, is considered a good thing. Can’t help but invoke one of my favorite educational quotes:

    “Americans love education but hate learning.”
    Florence King

    June 16th, 2010 at 11:54 am
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  6. PsychMom says:

    What would happen if there simply was no more homework in school…and I’m including High School?

    I know that there are kids that have graduated from high school, gone on to have totally productive lives…yet curiously, admit to never having done a stitch of homework. I’m related to such a person….she graduated with so-so marks, got into Community college became a nurse, and did fine in her life. So it can be done. You can get through without doing it. The irony of it is that, had she decided to get into more administrative roles in nursing, she would now be earning more than me, who has two degrees and was an avid homework junkie.

    So why do teachers and schools think it’s necessary? Someone could say, “BUT, maybe she would have done better (whatever that means) if she had excelled in school. And she would have excelled if she did her homework? She excels or not based on her choices in life, and the cards that life deals, not based on school and homework.

    Does all of this hubbub about homework come down to values? You are a better person if you do homework? It really has nothing to do with learning at all but just shows how obedient you can be. I’m beginning to think that that is the case.

    June 17th, 2010 at 8:32 am
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  7. RobynHeud says:

    I just want to second what you said, PsychMom. I’ve always hated homework and skived out of more of it than I can remember and so graduated with what was considered a pretty lousy GPA. It felt like college wasn’t an option, plus I felt like it would just be more of the same so I joined the Navy. It was the best decision of my life. Now I’m married with a beautiful son and extensive training in the electronics field. I plan on going back to school, but since getting out (and moving around) I’ve had the opportunity to work at some excellent companies. Sometimes I think that way too (that if I had done my homework, I would have excelled) but then I realize that of all the decisions I’ve made, I have excelled, maybe not by the world’s standards, but by mine, and isn’t that all that really matters?

    June 17th, 2010 at 11:03 am
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  8. PsychMom says:

    Thanks Robyn…I think “excel” is a part of education lingo, that really doesn’t mean anything. By any standard you are a successful human being and no better or worse than someone who chose to go to Harvard, or who makes 400 million a year. ( With the level of scandal that seems to seep out of Boardrooms these days, there’s not much to aspire to amongst those types right now, anyway.)

    So if doing homework is no “measure of a man” or woman, then why have it at all? It seems it’s a fairy tale we tell kids, the same as we link behaviour in our young kids to Santa’s good list or bad list around Christmas time. “Santa’s watching and if you don’t eat your veggies, ……”

    Are we going to say “You have to do your homework or you’ll be a failure as a adult”? That’s what school’s try to tell us. Several teachers have told us, on this blog, that we’re failures as parents too, along with our soon-to-be-failure kids, because we don’t force our children to do their bidding when we all get home from school. You and my sister, and the millions of highly functional adults across North America are proof that homework is not necessary.

    June 17th, 2010 at 12:20 pm
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  9. Jaynie says:

    @psychmom: As a student who got A’s without trying, and as someone who has had a hard time doing “normal” things like getting a summer job, etc (because of social anxiety disorder), I would be quite cross if high grades were devalued or ignored completely. Aside from that, there are some programs (especially in the sciences) that A students would be best suited for. But it shouldn’t be stressful.

    Ideally, top universities should have some interview component where reasonably well trained staff could see if potential students led balanced lifestyles, not to mention whether or not they were actually suited for the program, although of course that would require a lot of time. It might cut down on the number of students taking university degrees just because they’re told they’re supposed to, bumbling through courses they aren’t good at that won’t benefit them in any way. Of course, some schools require an essay for admission, but there would need to be a way to stop Concerned Parents from doing that.

    June 18th, 2010 at 6:39 pm
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  10. FedUpMom says:

    I’m starting a new blog:

    I hope to see everyone there! I am open to ideas, suggestions, posts, etc. I called it a “Coalition” because I don’t want to be the only one! Thanks for stopping by.

    June 28th, 2010 at 9:58 am
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  11. Kirsten says:

    Hey guys
    This is kinda random, but this seems like a good place to give you my perspective/complain about my homework.
    I just turned 16, and I will be a junior in high school next year.

    All of my classes that aren’t electives are Advanced Placement classes. Needless to say, I have a lot of summer homework. I find that I was pressured into most of these classes. For example, I would rather have taken Anatomy than Mathematically Rigorous Chemistry… Anatomy is more interesting than Chemistry, and I hate math. I want to be a doctor or a vet, but Chem MR is AP while Anatomy is only a level three class. I am not looking forward to this year.

    As for the homework itself, it’s hard to think about. Towards the end of the previous school year I was pretty depressed. Stress and said depression led to cutting and suicidal thoughts, but that’s another story. I found that the same mindset continued into the summer, because I think of my summer homework every day. It drags me down, and I have to plan my summer around this homework. I can’t go to summer camp for two weeks, because the second week is when I’m starting my third book’s reading journal and questions for Humanities.

    It’s hard to enjoy the summer when you know the last week of it will be spent trying to finish the homework you didn’t have time for because you were too busy stressing over all your homework. =/

    July 6th, 2010 at 12:39 pm
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  12. Kirsten says:

    Also, as a side note:
    During the school year I found that my friends and I were going through the same situations, school-wise. There are three options: Good grades, sleep, or a social life. You can pick two, most of the time, but it usually came down to good grades or sleep.
    …I’m not proud to say this, but my little group formed a sort of cheating-system. Nobody ever said it out loud, it all just happened almost naturally, out of desperation. We each had time to do one or two subjects of homework and still get 5 or so hours of sleep. We would then get up early and get to school just after 6 and start doing any homework we didn’t finish the night before… and if necessary, pass around homework to copy. We would shuffle through cycles and take turns doing different subjects. We were all on honor roll.

    Health-wise, school is torture. I averaged 0-4 hours of sleep a night, but I have insomnia. Weekends were often spent sleeping or playing sports as opposed to a social life. Saturdays were always for catching up on sleep I missed during the week. Lunch was spent doing more homework. I don’t think I ate once at lunch after midterms. Caffeine is our friend, here in high school. They sell coffee in the cafeteria now, and anyone with a car is bound to make dunkin donuts trips if they have free time. That person becomes popular, fast… because we’re all in the same boat.

    Let it be noted that I have summer homework in band. Yes, band. Because in order to make a sort of “varsity jazz band” I have to devote time and money over the summer.

    …okay. I think I’m done ranting.
    Thanks for reading, sorry about that!

    July 6th, 2010 at 12:56 pm
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  13. PsychMom says:

    Thanks for writing Kirsten…if this is an average life for a good high school student in America, and school administrators and teachers can read this and say, “Yes, that’s OK…that’s what we expect of our students”…then there is something seriously wrong with education. What you describe is not healthy…it doesn’t even sound like education. What do your parents think of this lifestyle?

    July 6th, 2010 at 1:18 pm
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  14. Kirsten says:

    My father gets up around 3 am or so for his job. Every morning he’d walk around the house to find me (I tend to move spots every few hours to keep me from falling asleep, or sit somewhere uncomfortable) and check on me. Sometimes he would give me something to eat, knowing I’d skipped dinner. He was torn between telling me to sleep and making sure I got everything done. He’d watched me go from the bright-eyed, happy fifth-grader who liked to play sports and read by my OWN FREE WILL… to what I am now, which is described as a mindless, zombie-like state, only following a daily routine.

    My mother is a bit more tougher. She expects more, better from me. Why is this only a A-? Why isn’t it an A, or an A+? However, I am grateful for her. She has spent many a breakdown in the room with me.

    Mental breakdowns were/are fairly common for me. Stress builds up and I hyperventilate til I pass out, multiple times. It can last 30 seconds or a few hours. It happens to a lot of kids I talk to. As I said, we’re all in the same boat. Hehehe, we’ve all become very good at getting knots out of each others backs, too. :]

    July 6th, 2010 at 1:39 pm
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  15. FedUpMom says:

    Kirsten, I hope you’ll be okay this summer and getting through the rest of high school. Stay in touch and let us know how you’re doing.

    I have a question for you and your friends — how much do you think you’re actually learning? I often wonder about that. It seems to me that the chronic sleep deprivation and stress would make actual learning extremely difficult.

    I hope you’ll stop by my new blog and read the post entitled “The Misery Index”. I was thinking about students like you when I wrote it.

    Take care —

    July 6th, 2010 at 6:07 pm
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  16. Kirsten says:

    To be honest, I don’t think I’ve learned much of anything from school. And when I do, it’s because I crammed five minutes before a test, and I’ll forget everything the next day.

    To me/us, the point of school is to get through looking good, rather than actually being good. I remember when it was about being good, though. I was learning, then.

    …If we look good with good grades and everything, we get approval. From family, from colleges, from the world. And isn’t that what we’re SUPPOSED to want? 😛

    July 6th, 2010 at 6:53 pm
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  17. PsychMom says:

    There is a very pertinent posting today on Dan Pink’s blog….about Chinese education…we’re falling behind, folks, we’re falling behind.

    July 12th, 2010 at 8:58 am
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  18. FedUpMom says:

    … and here’s the blog!

    July 12th, 2010 at 10:16 am
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  19. PsychMom says:

    I guess I shoulda’ added that….sorry.
    Thanks FedUpMom

    July 12th, 2010 at 10:33 am
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  20. Jacqueline says:

    Ever wonder why someone becomes a teacher? the last few yrs have been horrible for my oldest who had decided to go for his GED instead of dealing with the crap he has had to deal with. We have recently moved and when he got his grade transcript the previous school neglected to add ALL his grades. the also had him registered as a student in 08 /09 we had moved from that town in August of 08. Now i have to try to get ALL his grades and they need to explain to us why they had him registered taking classes that he had no need for nor was even there.
    I have had it with the education system there just doesnt seem to be a place where we can complain , There is no such thing as a student advocate. When my son was in elementary school he had a teacher that would hit him and say” no one will believe you IM a teacher and ppl have to respect me!” We only found out cause he had started having really bad dreams when he finally told us he told us infront of a friend who is an RCMP officer , the officer didnt hesitate and went and arrested the teacher for abuse. Amazingly the case wasnt thrown out but the teacher was PROMOTED to a different school. Now how can a child ever think these ppl are trust worthy. He has absolutely no faith in the edcation system and doesnt trust a teacher in or out of school.
    When a parent complains it just seems the child suffers , who do we go ot?? NO ONE if we go the princepal they sweep it under the rug. go to the teacher pffft they punish the kid with bullying. so who do we go to? or do we just let our kids suffer the bullying from the teachers and say that it is a part of the learning process. I have started questioning the teachers methods, i will not allow my other 2 children to suffer like my oldest . I guess i am very hard towards teachers but i myself did not have a good experience when i was in school and it just seems there are more bad then good educators. I cant call them teachers, a teacher is someone who willingly happily shares knowledge and creates a happy safe enviroment for learning.

    July 31st, 2010 at 2:20 am
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  21. Kerry Dickinson says:

    I just posted 11 tips for parents on how to begin the school year on my blog East Bay Homework Blog. Last year Sara ran my tips on this blog and the comments were somewhat heated. If anyone reads my tips this year, I’d appreciate any comments.

    August 16th, 2010 at 10:27 am
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  22. FedUpMom says:

    Kerry, I responded to your post at my blog:

    August 16th, 2010 at 11:34 am
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  23. SailorEris says:

    I just had the most fun summer ever without my parents spending a lot of money (because most movie theaters have early specials), but then I realized something….I had homework. It just came in the mail today and it’s due at the first day of school. Two weeks away and my social life decimated.

    August 17th, 2010 at 2:01 pm
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  24. PsychMom says:

    I just wanted to pass along this link on unschooling. It was an article that was published in the Globe and Mail this weekend. I just read some of the comments and one commentor made the excelent point that if (in this case she was referring to Canadians) Canadian schooling was so great..then how come the commentors writing in seem to be so incapable of broadening their horizons or even able to contemplate a different way of educating children. I think the comment highlights just how closed some minds have become….rule bound, traditional and set. How did they get that way?
    There are over 400 comments…

    September 13th, 2010 at 8:30 am
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  25. PsychMom says:

    “excellent”…sorry for the typo

    September 13th, 2010 at 8:31 am
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  26. Sara Bennett says:

    Thanks for the link. Whenever I read about unschoolers, I always see the same criticism–that when students follow their own interests, they end up with gaps in their knowledge. My response–show me a kid who has gone through regular school who doesn’t have gaps.

    September 13th, 2010 at 8:58 am
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  27. PsychMom says:

    Yeah, and what I find startling is the belief that children who don’t go to school can’t possibly be learning anything useful. They simply must be unkempt, illiterate, and totally devoid of any usefulness to society if they haven’t been to school…just like those poor children whose parents don’t force them do homework….(chuckle).

    The whole idea of unschooling excites my imagination probably because it seems so naughty and forbidden. How sad is that? How indoctrinated has my mind been that my thinking has to take a 180 degree turn to even contemplate it?

    September 13th, 2010 at 9:07 am
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  28. Anonymous says:

    My child is a junior and starting to look at colleges. we’re wondering which are extremely stressful and which are more balanced. Has anyone seen the Daily Beast’s list of most stressful colleges? It is controversial, but at least it is bringing up the topic of stress and college life. Any ideas on good schools that don’t push kids to exhaustion?

    September 28th, 2010 at 5:57 pm
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  29. Red Lantern says:

    I just found this site from a Google search, and would like to bend the ear of like-minded parents for advice.

    My daughter is six years old and in the first grade. She has just received her first homework assignment, which is almost finished.

    Now, I’ll admit that I have a strong aversion to homework. First of all, my child spends enough time in school for her age–I’d like to give her the rest of her time to cavort, relax or partake in family activities. Also, I have issues with homework from my own childhood. I feel that it played a big part in damaging my relationship with my parents, which isn’t great to this day. I resent the idea that this could happen between my daughter and I, because right now we are still very close, despite all the other inevitable parent-child that we face just like everyone else.

    While I don’t support homework, I do accept that it is unreasonable to expect that my children won’t get any. My daughter hasn’t gotten an unreasonable amount–this is one fairly simple and potentially fun project. However, it’s like pulling teeth. I try to stay calm and not let her think that it’s a big deal on my end, but every tiny step is a battle. I can’t imagine what things will be like when she gets more.

    I am of the opinion that if a child must receive homework, it should be homework that they can take charge of on their own, requiring minimal wrangling from their parents. If I need to take charge, than it’s above her head–what’s the point? I really want homework to be her thing, to succeed or fail at without much input from me. Yet I know that I can’t drop the ball, at least not right now, because this particular assignment is definitely made to be done together. I fear that will often be the case. I’d like to let go of my end of this power struggle before it even really starts, but I don’t see a realistic option as to how.

    October 4th, 2010 at 1:49 pm
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  30. PsychMom says:

    You can drop it, you just don’t drop it while your daughter is holding it, Red Lantern. You take it out of her hands and deal with the teacher and the school.

    Just as you say, “I do accept that it is unreasonable to expect that my children won’t get any,” I say, Why is it so engrained that homework is an assumption in life?
    I have to go right now, but I’ll be back

    October 5th, 2010 at 6:52 am
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  31. PsychMom says:

    Continued to Red Lantern..I’m beginning to understand that school is my opportunity to really be a better parent to my child. I have to stand up and say no, and at the very least I have to think about what’s going on in my child’s life. I’m forced to wake up and smell the coffee before my child becomes just another “I hate school” statistic.

    Every time I’ve been dragged into doing homework projects, it’s gone badly. I don’t want to do homework, and I don’t want to spend my evening hours supervising my child while she attempts to. To my mind, Red Lantern, you have to make your mind up about the homework issue. Either you support it in your family’s life or you don’t…the schools do not ALLOW a middle ground because for the most part nothing is optional in school.

    October 5th, 2010 at 11:32 am
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  32. LAB says:

    Can anyone give me any advice on how to start a parent group to address homework issues, reading log issues, etc., with the school? I tried the PTA and they told me they don’t deal with stuff like this. I don’t want the school to think I am a jerk. However, I know they realize that teachers, parents, and kids are all sick of this stuff…yet it continues. If I don’t speak up, I feel like a loser (and too much like the moms I’ve tried to get to form a parent group with me–they all say, “Oh well, this is just the way it is. It’s always been this way. No use fighting it.”). I have tried to form a group for a year now and can’t find one single person willing to do anything about the issues (despite the fact that they have the same complaints I do). I believe they are trying not to make waves because they think their involvement in something like this will adversely effect their child and how their child is treated by teachers and administrators. I’m sick of fighting the fight alone and am on the verge of just giving up.

    At the moment, my son’s first grade teacher is telling me that if my son doesn’t read 8 or more books a month and log them, the class will not get to have a pizza party–all because of HIM. He already has an hour of homework a night, and he’s SIX. I refuse to stand over him cracking a whip and forcing him to read X number of books on top of the homework he already has. But now he’ll be the reason for no pizza party. It’s just insane! Who in god’s name thinks this kind of thing is a good idea?!

    November 11th, 2010 at 11:50 am
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  33. FedUpMom says:

    LAB says:

    I’m sick of fighting the fight alone and am on the verge of just giving up.

    Oh no! Please don’t give up.

    He already has an hour of homework a night, and he’s SIX.

    What? That’s outrageous. Have you heard of the ten-minute rule? It’s nonsense, but it’s promoted by Harris Cooper, the homework “expert”, and the NEA. A first-grader should have no more than 10 minutes of homework a night, a second-grader 20 minutes, and so on. You might be able to work out a time limit with the teacher and just have your son stop after that time. Have you asked to see the school’s homework policy?

    I don’t want the school to think I am a jerk.

    Let them think whatever they want. You have a right to your home life.

    if my son doesn’t read 8 or more books a month and log them, the class will not get to have a pizza party–all because of HIM.

    Just fake it. If your son hates to lie, find 8 obscure picture books, have him read them, write ’em up, you’re done. And be assured that you’re not the only one faking.

    November 11th, 2010 at 10:46 pm
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  34. Sara Bennett says:

    If you haven’t read The Case Against Homework, take a look at it. There are lots of ideas on ways to approach the problem. It’s true that many parents like to talk about the problem but don’t want to do anything about it–afraid of repercussions, mostly. But I’m confident you’ll find a few others to join with you. Good luck and keep us posted. But, no matter what, don’t give in. You are right and the school is wrong! Please keep us posted.

    November 12th, 2010 at 8:02 am
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  35. Homework helper says:

    I remember gruelling homework days – bags used to weigh like 10 pounds, and those were days with no student activism, we’d get our butt kicked if we couldn’t manage the volume.

    Maybe that was a reason why I chose to start helping with homework 🙂

    November 19th, 2010 at 12:38 am
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  36. One Angry Student says:

    Too much Homework?
    It’s Friday afternoon, and you just can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the weekend, but wait, you can’t you have to study for that Math test, write that LA essay, do that Health worksheet, make a drawing for Art, finish the Science package and do the French project. Students get too much homework, and the amount should be reduced. Too much homework causes depression in students , makes them grow up to detest learning , and denies students free time . Less homework would be beneficial to students.
    An excessive amount of homework can cause depression. An average grade 9 student gets about 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes of homework a day. This means that students work for about 7 hours a day. This much work and no praise for it makes students feel as if they are not appreciated and they are working towards nothing. Too much work makes the student feel overworked and may cause a mental breakdown .If they do not feel like they are working towards something, and then the quality of their work will go down. Also, an inability to complete the homework means that the students feel as if they have no skill in the subject whatsoever, therefore they stop trying, causing their grades to plummet. Furthermore, more homework means more incomplete homework, which can depress a child. For example, if a student dreams of going into a career like acting and they fail to complete a piece of drama homework, their dreams may shattered and they could quite easily become depressed. A smaller amount of homework will prevent this, as they will also have more time, and will do a more thorough job. In addition to that, the overload of homework results in a lack of free time, which can also cause depression. Too much homework also results in less or no time to connect and communicate to other peers, causing the student to feel left out, which can also cause depression as well as depriving them of the communication skills that will be necessary later in life. Depression can lead to suicide in a student’s later years of life, and if not suicide, it will almost definitely have a negative impact on the student’s life. It may make them unable to work to their full potential , impacting the amount of jobs that they could get, and not allowing them to get the jobs that they deserve. Therefore they will most likely be stuck in a “dead end” job, which may lead to them being depressed. Depression in students is often caused by too much homework.
    Some people believe that homework aids the learning process, although homework often has little effect on children, and as children go to school for about 6 hours a day, they should not need to have to complete assignments at home to prove that they understand. Moreover, homework usually causes children to grow up hating learning. This must be prevented, as a hate of learning obtained in early childhood will follow them throughout their lives, making it very difficult for them to get a job, as many jobs require college or university level education. If students hate learning, they will not attempt to learn in order to get a better job. Also, large amounts of homework such as studying make children feel like they are sick and tired of studying and gets them into the habit of not studying. This habit of not studying drastically affects the marks that students get on their tests, giving them a much lower average than they deserve. Homework like writing essays or answering some questions is generally considered “boring”. If “boring” pieces of homework are given regularly, then students create the stereotype that all homework is boring and then they begin to hate all homework. Furthermore, they may associate any kind of learning in the future with homework, and then not want to learn because of their bad experiences with homework and learning in the past. This means that they will not have the ability to learn well, which is a skill that would be needed later on in their lives when they have jobs. (E.g. in a new job or a promotion, they must learn new skills.) To prevent children from getting this feeling, the amount of homework should be decreased. Children can grow up to hate learning because of homework.
    Homework denies children free time. A lot of homework means that children have less time to socialize. It is important that children socialize, as if they do not, then they will have very bad communication skills. These communication skills will be necessary later in life. Also, lots of homework means that children do not have enough time to aid their community by doing things like raising money for charity and volunteering. This is very important during high school where you must do 40 hours of volunteer work in order to receive your diploma. Therefore the large amounts of homework students receive could mean that they are unable to graduate from high school. In addition to that, it gives the students less time to do activities outside of school, like clubs and bands. These activities help you get into university, so with less homework, there will be a higher amount of students getting into the university of their choice. The large amounts of homework also cut down “family time”. Children spend more time doing homework. This means that they have to spend less time with their family. If a student spends less time with their family, this will cause all kinds of problems with them when they grow up. It also may make them depressed, as they will not a good relationship with their parents and will not be able to tell them how they feel. Children do not have much free time because of homework.
    A smaller amount of homework could solve all the problems above. Less homework would mean that students will not get depressed, that they will not grow up to hate learning, and that they will have free time. A larger amount of homework would make the problems stated above worse. In conclusion, less homework would be better for a child academically, physiologically and socially.

    November 21st, 2010 at 3:03 pm
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  37. lachy says:

    i hate homework it is GAY

    November 22nd, 2010 at 11:07 pm
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  38. Jess says:

    I am a 19 year old girl going to a community college and about to have a mental breakdown. I can’t say that I’m taking all AP’s, but I can say that I have too much homework to do. And if it’s not homework it’s a test and so on and so forth. It’s getting to the point where I just don’t have the will power to do this anymore. I don’t want to go to school because I know that when I come home I’ll have more homework on top of whatever else I still have to do.

    I will admit that I’m a huge procrastinator, but that’s not even the problem. There’s just so much to do and not enough time. And after….14 years of this I’m at my breaking point.

    If any parents have any advice I would greatly appreciate it. I can’t exactly tell my own parents because they just think I go on the computer to much, but it’s only because the computer is the ONLY place I don’t have to think. I can’t even read (it’s one of my favorite past times) anymore because I just don’t have the drive. I’ve completely lost my mojo or something. It’s like…school has sucked out my “thirst for knowledge”. Cheesy, I know.

    Thanks in advance,


    November 28th, 2010 at 10:30 pm
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  39. ashely says:

    kids should not get any home work because some kids dont even understand what there homework is about and once they step into there class the teacher asked for there homework. The child says that I didnt do it because he/she doesnt know how to do it. Some teacher dont even help them on the lesson or anything. Then the teacher says that you could;ve gotten help from there parents. The teachers dont understand that parents have to work and since the economy is losing money, then they have to work 2 or 3 extra jobs. Thats why they should stop giving out homework.

    December 6th, 2010 at 7:06 pm
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  40. J says:

    I won’t go into detail on my kids and school. But here is where I see things going wrong in the public system. We have been in 3 different schools and 2 different districts. We move a lot.

    I have a K and a 1st grader. It all started out so wonderfully. DD is one of those self starters and just loves learning. At the first school her days were very well organized, I would say 50/50 on play and learning time. Homework made since. It was just enough to communicate to her that time will needed to be spent at home doing some school work. It was more gear for her to learn how to be a great student. I would say no more than 5 mins each night. She was encourage to do it neatly. Still she could finish it in about 5 mins.
    Then we moved and now I am starting to see what bad public school is. Teachers are unorganized and scattered. Administration can’t help that. I got the feeling the days were not used well. I got page after page on ideas and flash cards and list of games I could do at home to help my kids learn to read. This school gave one page of homework a week. Gave to my child on Monday and told to turn in on Friday. The next school gives more pages but again they are treated like college students in the fact they are given all on one day and asked to turn in at the end of the week. They are given time outs in school if no homework is turned in. This system isn’t providing immediate feedback.
    I have heard the way some teachers talk to the students and it is horrible. The screaming and yelling. Again administration can’t or doesn’t help this.

    The teachers could combine a lot of the testing into one thing. They could take all of the ideas they are sending home to me and implement them in the classroom. Making time for playing/learning time. It doesn’t take long to have one or two students read a book to ensure they can read. As far as the other objectives why not combine them. Do a little extra research or brainstorming and find some activities and allows a fun and learning experience.
    I have seen to much time in the day being wasted on individual work and very little is given to instruction and communication.
    If the focus was shifted just a little to show and teach the kids how to be great students the learning/testing process would be less stressful.

    When I or my husband as talked to these teachers, the not so great ones can only say how long they have been teaching, or tell me what other parents have complained about. (When I asked about the one page of homework a week – I was told some parents complain that was to much – which tells me my complaint isn’t a good one) Kids do need to learn that sometimes you will have to spend some time after hours preparing for the next day.

    When we spoke to the principle we were told to sit down with the teacher. The school board acts like they don’t even know what the school building looks like. It is just plain frustrating. It is almost like I am talking to a 2 year old. My biggest frustration is being taken seriously about my concerns.

    December 16th, 2010 at 9:47 am
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  41. Kate says:

    I have been very frustrated with my daughters start to the second semester of 7th grade. Her math teacher just assigns a lesson wich is usually 60+ problems and expects her to get it done in a night. Her english teacher expects the same. She ends up with 3-5+ hours per night. She loves to read but with all her homework she cannot. I talked to the teachers and they said that she should go to the library instead of outside at recess to work. If she was not doing this it was not their problem. So she went inside for recess. Even nocking of 30 min she still had a ton left. I then went to the principal. She told me that my daughter should quit dance and basketball, the two things she loves most. It is then I got really mad. I called and researched and found out that she should have 10 minuetes of home work per grade-70 min. not 3-5+! I then switched her to a private school and things have been a lot better.

    January 7th, 2011 at 12:57 am
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  42. Diane says:

    my son wrote this …

    “Homework is Useless!”
    By “Blade L”, 4th Grade

    “[Heavy sigh] Dad, why do I have to do my homework?” I exclaimed. “Why can’t I go outside and play?” Obesity is rising. Stop making homework and obesity will stop. The reason kids in elementary schools are getting fat is because of homework. Because of homework, kids don’t get outside enough to lose calories and weight.

    “Mum, I did all my homework, but I failed my test!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “Homework does not improve test grades.” said Mum. “Then what good does it do?” I asked. “Nothing until middle school.” said Mum. When I was in 2nd grade, I was upset by the amount of homework I got. My mum looked at studies by Dr. Harris Cooper and Alfie Kohn to find out if homework was necessary or not. Dr. Copper’s research showed no connection between test scores and homework in young children. This means that no matter how much homework your students do, their test grades won’t get better. In fact, way too much homework makes test grades go down.

    Some people think that homework helps kids organize their work. I saw a moving picture online that showed me how my brain develops. The piece of my brain that helps me to organize things grows last. It won’t finish growing until I’m an older teenager. This means that no matter how much homework I get, I won’t be able to organize things until my brain grows some more.

    Let’s talk about obesity. Obesity is dangerous. People can die from being obese. To get fitter and thinner, people need to go outside and play. Kids are not getting outside to play after school because of the amount of homework they get. Therefore, homework can be bad for your health.

    In conclusion, homework doesn’t improve test grades; it doesn’t help you get better organizational skills; and, it is not healthy for you. Therefore, I say homework should be stopped in all elementary schools!

    February 2nd, 2011 at 12:28 am
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  43. Sara Bennett says:

    What an excellent piece by a fourth grader! Here’s the moving picture of the brain he’s referring to.

    February 2nd, 2011 at 8:22 am
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  44. PsychMom says:

    To Diane and her son:

    Very nicely done. The piece shows a use of organized thinking that is not common in youngsters, as he himself noted.
    I hope his teacher and principal read it…..I mean really read it.

    February 2nd, 2011 at 8:32 am
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  45. Douglas Wolfe, English teacher says:

    Thank you, Blade, for a convincing and well-expressed argument. I hope the grownups listen.

    February 2nd, 2011 at 10:07 am
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  46. JP says:

    Bit of an eye opener…life and times of a high school kid.
    (especially the ones with actual ambition)
    I remember my gramps (a very smart uneducated guy) remarking one time…that the sheer amount of education going on in the world, and the amount of trouble the world gets into – were kind of both ramping up the ladder at a balanced rate. Something in that.

    Sometimes I feel like education has been turned into something similar to corporate profit-margin. It doesn’t matter anymore why you want it, or what it’s there for.
    It just keeps the shareholders (academics and future bosses) happy.
    How sad – only a few small percentage points’ worth of educated professionals ever really need the sloppy goo that’s been slapped inside their heads – to do brilliant things in our world.
    The rest of us are damned lucky to hit middle age and discover we still have an insatiable curiosity to know and understand something.

    Blade……….you rock.


    February 5th, 2011 at 10:38 am
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  47. Christy says:

    Homework is one of the many reasons why my future children will be home-schooled. My boyfriend was homeschooled in elementary and he only spent about 3-4 hours on schoolwork everyday, usually finshing by NOON. When he switched to public schooling for grade 7, he was on a grade 9 level.

    If kids are allowed to use their days efficiently instead of sitting at school for 8 hours and then doing a ton of homework afterwards, the results speak for themselves.

    February 9th, 2011 at 5:58 pm
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  48. caitlin says:

    Heey i think homework should be banned and styuff cause it makes our kids stressed

    March 1st, 2011 at 6:17 pm
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  49. Tony says:

    please go to this website before 3/5/11 and awnser the really easy 11 questions!! it is for a school project of mine for econ!!

    March 8th, 2011 at 3:47 am
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  50. Sara K says:

    I am a high school student in Massachusetts, and I am trying to campaign for my school to adopt a no homework day. I am looking for statistics and resources that I can use to present to the admisistration as backup for my cause. Anything that supports this or education reform in ways of homework and testing is apprieciated.
    thank you

    March 19th, 2011 at 7:57 pm
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  51. Sara Bennett says:

    Hi Sara K,

    Take a look around this website–including the FAQs, the interviews, and the quick facts–and you’ll have plenty of information to back you up.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    March 20th, 2011 at 11:45 am
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  52. ödev says:

    I just want to second what you said, PsychMom. I’ve always hated homework and skived out of more of it than I can remember and so graduated with what was considered a pretty lousy GPA. It felt like college wasn’t an option, plus I felt like it would just be more of the same so I joined the Navy. It was the best decision of my life. Now I’m married with a beautiful son and extensive training in the electronics field. I plan on going back to school, but since getting out (and moving around) I’ve had the opportunity to work at some excellent companies. Sometimes I think that way too (that if I had done my homework, I would have excelled) but then I realize that of all the decisions I’ve made, I have excelled, maybe not by the world’s standards, but by mine, and isn’t that all that really matters?

    June 13th, 2011 at 6:13 pm
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  53. Kayla &Shanice says:

    what is the purpose
    we do all this work at school so why should we take it home?
    mmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    July 5th, 2011 at 7:21 pm
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  54. Teacher says:

    I’m a teacher and I’m really disturbed by what I see here. How can parents not be expected to take a part in their child’s education? Do you not care what happens to your child in the future? I teach you child for one school year and you expect me to care more about ensuring their future than you do… That’s excatally what you’re saying when you tell me that you don’t think I should assign your child homework and ask that you make sure it’s done and done properly. But don’t worry, I’m sure your child will have a really great boss when they enter the workforce flipping burgers. And I’m sure that boss will be someone whose parents actually cared about their education and tried to encourge them to learn outside of school as well. I guess the world will always need worker drones…

    September 22nd, 2011 at 12:14 pm
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  55. FedUpMom says:

    For heaven’s sake, the parents who comment on this forum are some of the most involved, dedicated parents you could ever meet. Just because we don’t want to do the homework you assign doesn’t mean we don’t care about our kids’ education. Actually, we care so passionately that we don’t want to see our kids waste their time with busywork that does nothing but make them hate school and learning. And no, the busywork you send home will not magically prevent kids from becoming burger-flippers.

    September 22nd, 2011 at 4:41 pm
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  56. PsychMom says:

    You know, there’s nothing wrong with flipping burgers. I have bussed tables, been a waitress, washed dishes, cleaned floors and bathrooms. I’ve done these jobs by choice and been paid for them. Everytime a teacher makes a comment like that, they are putting down millions of people..millions, maybe billions.

    Life is about making decisions and choices. And as my daughter’s mother, I see it as my job to teach her how to try and make more good ones than bad ones. I don’t need to teach her to obey. I need to teach her to think. If I am a good role model, I always question things that don’t make sense to me. Homework for elementary age children makes no sense to me. Blind obedience to a tacher, or a boss…makes no sense to me.

    September 23rd, 2011 at 10:03 am
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  57. PsychMom says:

    sorry, teacher, not tacher..

    September 23rd, 2011 at 10:04 am
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  58. FEDUPSTUDENT says:

    I have spent many sleepless nights trying to do homework, having no time to do anything else. I wish my school wouldn’t give homework, but you see there is nothing I can do…
    Any advice?

    September 29th, 2011 at 11:50 pm
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  59. Scott Kolb says:

    I run a new website,, that is out to disrupt education, especially homework. Slader is a website we’ve created that offers solutions to homework questions in popular math, science and english textbooks. Our users create all the solutions.

    Most students hate homework because it just reinforces that they don’t understand, it provides no path to success. No student wants to be a failure, but they often don’t have the tools available when they need it. However, if given the tools along with some positive reinforcement, most students welcome the opportunity and confidence that comes from mastering concepts as they are introduced by the teacher.

    Rather than being frustrated with that “I just don’t understand!” feeling, they now have a place to go with no embarrassing consequences. They don’t have to drag themselves, feeling inadequate, to that tutoring center or to the teacher. They can just, somewhat anonymously, go to Slader and get the help they need at the very moment they need it.

    October 2nd, 2011 at 12:55 pm
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  60. Ceaira says:

    To fellow students who are complaining about homework,

    I’m in an accelerated program at my high school. I’m a Senior. All of my courses are either AP or advanced level classes. Plus, I’m also using proper grammar and spelling here so nobody here can really make a valid argument against my intelligence.

    Homework. It’s a dreaded, necessary evil. Actually, I’m starting to doubt if it’s necessary. Students should have homework but it starts to get ridiculous if it exceeds the 10 rules (10 minutes multiplied by grade level. I’m in 12th grade, I should just be doing 2 hours’ worth of homework max).

    I may have a certain sentiment towards homework just because of the level I’m in. People taking on higher level classes tend to already be resigned to homework. It’s a law that higher classes have more homework or at least more tests/quizzes which require more studying if you truly care about your grades. Unless you’re just a genius . . .

    I do my homework. I have had to stay up until 1-2am to finish my homework before. I have cheated on homework but only when I was positively sure I already know how to do the work and it was not a word-for-word answer. The majority of the time I do my work. I am meticulous with my work, probably more so than I should be with the complete lack of care teachers grade homework. If I cheat and I don’t understand the work, I’m screwed. I may have a higher homework average but if my test/quizzes average is a disaster, it doesn’t matter.

    However, I do think teachers need to give students a crash course on how to properly manage time. I will bet at least 75% of the students here that have complained procrastinated until the eleventh hour to do their homework. Well, it’s freaking obvious that you will have to take longer to finish it. You tend to hate homework even more when you’re exhausted and on the brink of delusional grandeur.

    I can not stress this enough. Students who need tutors, or just don’t ‘get’ the material, who can’t finish their homework before midnight, LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR TIME. There are so many resources out there, I’m sure fellow posters here would be happy to share. You won’t ever learn the material if you’re exhausted every day.

    So, for people who are utterly buried by homework and are tempted to cheat to get good grades, remember:

    1) If you don’t understand the material—ask your teacher, fellow classmates, Google, whatever. Sit down and take the time to study it and know it. Give yourself cushion space to
    2) Realize you’re royally screwed if you’ve cheated and you don’t really understand the material. You won’t get good grades.
    3) Check how you spend your time. If you’re a procrastinator, you better get to it. Homework will still be there later on and it won’t get any easier.
    4) That being said, if it’s easy. Just finish it for crying out loud. Do it on the bus or something. Find those wasted pocket of times.
    5) Homework can seem extremely pointless. Believe me, I know. However, no one said life was fair. Suck it up, get it done. No employers wants to know what skills you have to offer the company if your GPA is trash. Unless you just wanna work minimum wage all your life.

    Okay, know-it-all rant over. Sorry about that.

    October 4th, 2011 at 11:15 pm
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  61. PsychMom says:

    I was totally like you when I was a student, Ceaira. I understand what you’re saying and agree with you that that’s what you need to do if you want good grades.

    But 30 years later, as a mother with a young child in school…I now know (and I hope you will too when you’re 50) that grades don’t mean a blessed thing. They are meaningless.
    I have to go now but I’ll say more…

    October 5th, 2011 at 7:50 am
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  62. Ally says:

    Do kids spend too many lunches working on homework? My answer is yes. I contemplated not eating lunch and catching up with my friends on the first day, but I forced myself to go.

    What about homework projects that I have to stay home from school to do? I find this one ironic. We go to school to learn, and we’re given projects so huge we have to skip going to that learning place.

    Last year, I spent more lunches inside doing homework than outside with my friends. I swear half my school does that. And everyone acts like it’s perfectly normal.

    I once spent an entire day at home, working on a Sharpie colored poster that probably lowered my IQ by about ten points. I turned it in, and guess what I got on it?


    Because it was late because I had no time to go to school and turn it in.

    October 9th, 2011 at 10:54 pm
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  63. Ally says:

    I also must add that I realize why America is such a “stupid” country. It’s because we make learning mandatory. Every been to a house where the kids don’t read at all? It’s because reading, to them, is just one more thing on the chopping block of homework. People blame there being not enough homework, but kids are already spending four hours a day on it sometimes.

    October 9th, 2011 at 10:59 pm
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  64. Jimmeh says:

    Homework should be banned!

    December 14th, 2011 at 12:16 pm
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  65. g says:

    I think testing should be banned, not homework.

    Homework is done so that the child has time to practice things that he/she learned in school that day and for math studies it is essential.

    Reading is essential.

    Thinking is essential.

    I don’t like the strict curriculum geared towards test taking and scoring high on those tests. There should be more flexibility in classroom. Teacher should be entrusted to give different assignments to different students using different ways.

    Some kids are better visual and auditory learners, some learn better by reading, and most all learn even better though experience and hands-on.

    So no, I don’t want to ban homework. But I would be for banning testing and classroom lectures focused on test taking.

    Oh, and bring morality and ethics into the school. Maybe for just 1 hr / week, because not all families have great values they are imposing on their children and our future.

    Thank you

    December 16th, 2011 at 4:47 pm
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  66. student at danville high in boyle co ky says:

    why do we need to do the same thing that we have learned in class? when really some of us need to be working. at home of for money. doing what we already know is redundant. we could be makling our own future. in stead were stuck doing the same old thing over and over.

    January 24th, 2012 at 8:49 am
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  67. Anonymous says:

    homeworks the best thing ever and im a sophmore 🙂

    January 26th, 2012 at 1:20 pm
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  68. Thumpa says:

    Everyday students everywhere complain about getting homework. “It’s not fair. We do enough work at school.” How come we never hear, “Thank you. Homework will really help reinforce the things that we learned today.” “Homework helps students learn and reinforces concepts,” Elizabeth Yeow states in Homework: To do or not to do? Therefore, homework is very important and deserves some more respect from not only students, but from everyone. It should not be banned from schools or from anywhere.
    There are different opinions about homework, but in the end we all have had to deal with it at some points in our lives. Most people though, only look at the negative effects and neglect the positive things that come from doing homework each day. I agree that homework can bring a lot of stress to the person doing it, but once it’s over they better understand concepts taught at school. Not only that, but it gives the teacher a better understanding of what students know and what needs to be taught more. I know that this is true from personal experience when dealing with homework. It’s not fun and I as a student understand that, but there are ways to make it easier for yourself. Before you even start, go over what was given and make sure you understand. If there is confusion about anything, ask a teacher BEFORE you go home. Don’t wait until it’s to late. Second, look back at any notes given about the topic. They are there to help you when things are too hard to understand. To make things more fun, why not get a study group together. Then if you have questions and are too nervous to ask a teacher, you have other students there that are going through the same thing.
    Not only students do homework though. I mean think about it. Look around the neighborhood and see the different jobs. Almost all of them imply working at home. Business people, lawyers, doctors, and teachers. Throughout life, homework is always going to be there. So, why would we ban it in schools? Homework is preparing kids for the future and teaching them different responsibilities at a young age. It is leading them to things that will need to be done in high school, college, and more importantly jobs. Doing homework in most cases is a drag to everyone, but it almost often comes out with a positive affect on the people doing it. If it wasn’t for homework given out in school, my older sister would not be where she is today. Homework is still a part of her life. If she didn’t do homework as a student, she wouldn’t be willing to do it as an adult and therefore she wouldn’t have a job. That applies to adults almost everywhere and will even apply when we’re adults. So it is good to be getting homework at an early age to prepare us for what lies ahead.
    So you see, homework is actually a blessing in disguise. It’s just the way you go about doing it each day that will make or break your perspective of it. I suggest following the steps that I mentioned above and start looking at homework as a good thing. It’s only there to help you in the long run, so why not try to get along with it. A quote from an unknown author sums up homework perfectly. “Everything has it’s beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Homework is a beautiful thing that is helping to shape the minds of everyone. It is teaching life lessons, helping people retain more knowledge, improving study skills, and promoting independence and responsibility to people everywhere. I believe as a student and as a person preparing for adulthood that we should not ban homework in our schools.

    January 26th, 2012 at 5:22 pm
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  69. HomeworkBlues says:

    “This parent, for one, has concluded that “the homework question” itself is flawed.Further, our preoccupation with it has led us to overlook a far more important inquiry. Forget homework’s impact on our children’s test scores, report cards, and international aptitude exams — good or bad. The salient question, instead, is this: What does all this desk and test time mean for the quality of our kids’ lives, now and for their future?

    Let’s turn instead to the evidence that is mounting in our homes, our classrooms and our ball fields. At my kitchen table, putting in a second shift of homework after seven hours in school does not help my son become a more inquisitive, confident, life-long learner with an intrinsic sense of curiosity and joy in discovery. It does not allow my family to strike a graceful balance between school and home life. It does not leave time for those non-academic pursuits — lying on a blanket under the sky and puzzling out the constellations, peering under rocks, putting a nose in a book for long, lost hours — that can shape a child’s personality, aspirations and dreams.”

    Oh, yes. I’ve been singing this song for years. Thank you, Vicki Abeles, for crystalizing what the likes of FedupMom, PsychMom, Sara Bennett and myself have been saying over and over and over.

    Similarly, I find the question of whether high schools should start later or not grating. That is because researchers focus on ACHIEVEMENT. I read one article which showed that yes, students who are more rested do better in school (we even have to ask the question? That’s like saying my headache goes away when I stop fasting). While I applaud research that backs up what I already know anecdotally, we’re asking the question all wrong.

    We parents see the fallout each and every day. When our children are stressed, anxious, sleep deprived and depressed, does it really matter if it’s an A or a D? And what about the kid who outwardly appears to be an excellent student, on little sleep? Shall we conclude she doesn’t need any? Of course not.

    It’s not about whether scores go up or down. It’s about the very health and well being of our children and our families. We’ve asked this question enough. We already have the answers. It’s time for some action.

    May 15th, 2012 at 5:20 pm
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  70. PsychMom says:

    The first reference listed at the end of the article was written right here in Halifax!

    I agree that we’re asking the wrong question about homework. But I think we need to extend it further than that. We need to ask what school is for, and what childhood is for and what adolescence is for. Is infancy only a waiting game to get to toddlerhood? And is graduating from daycare the goal of toddlerhood? Of course not. So why do we define children by their achievement in school for 13 years of their lives.

    One of the issues we face in Nova Scotia is declining enrolment. The government is reducing budgets on that basis and class sizes are growing as schools close and programs shrink. But no matter what crisis arises in education, the only thing the education department sees as its goal is graduating students from highschool so they can go to university. There is some development here of some trades course now in the high schools, after about a 35 year hiatus. I would love to see more of our kids have choices as to how they spend their time…the kind of education they want. Teach them entreprenurial skills, bookkeeping, music, web design, management skills……give adolescents a purpose, a role to play instead of starting them down a road (in middle school) that tells them they will only count if they have a degree.

    We need to rethink kids…they weren’t built for homework. Or school for that matter.

    May 15th, 2012 at 7:50 pm
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  71. thedevilsadvocate says:

    Can I say something? I know this is an anti-homework site and all, but this is how I feel about homework. I am 22 and I am about to start my third year of medical school at Johns Hopkins University. When I was a sophomore year of high school, I began to truly do my homework, even seeking extra work when I had time. I worked 21 hour days, with only 2-3 hours of sleep per night, every night, for three years. I finished high school with 14 AP credits, and did all my homework without a complaint. When I got into Stanford University for my Undergraduate studies at the age of 16, only then did I realize how much doing my homework helped me. At Stanford, I did even better than I did in High school, the long work days and the countless hours of homework, instead of stressing me out in college, made my life a Stanford easily the best years of my life. This whole narrative of my experience with homework would show the opposite of what many of you seem to believe. Though it makes life tough now, and trust me no one wants to see their child suffer, it really helps so much more in the future.When your child goes to college, only then will you, and them, realize how much doing homework helps. Also, I saw a lot of criticism of teachers on this site. Strangely, these people have learned how to teach. They have been through school. In most cases, your child is not the first child they have taught. These people know what helps in college and beyond. Take it from a current student at one of the best medical schools in the world, who still benefits from those 22 hour workdays.

    June 12th, 2012 at 3:08 pm
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  72. patriot says:

    I must say that I completely agree with “thedevilsadvocate”. I am a 23 year old student at MIT, on my way to getting my PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and let me say that college would have been a living hell if I had not been so studious in my high school years. High school is a stepping-stone into college; if it is not properly utilized, I can say without a doubt that a student will not be as successful as they would have been if they had chosen to make the most out of their high school career. I know that they long hours may seem like a lot but we must remember that this is what the real world is going to be like. Would you like your child to be living in a fantasy world and then be in for a cruel awakening once they enter college? Also, once they get a job, they will be under constant pressure to meet certain deadlines and sometime all-nighters will be the only way that they can successfully meet these dates. This is exactly what schoolwork teaches children – how to complete a task in a timely manner and then submit it when it is due. This is a skill that can’t be enforced, though. Repetition is key and that is what our school system currently provides us. Maybe we should also look to other countries where our jobs are getting outsourced to. Why don’t we have jobs anymore and they do? That is because of their rigorous school curriculum that enforces vital skills in them that, apparently, we want to get rid of.

    June 12th, 2012 at 3:21 pm
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  73. donna says:

    HELP! Need to know where to go to file a complaint on my childs school and the school board. I have tried to go through the board but they just say “we will resolve the issue” but it is never really resolved. No reasons are given just that it has been resolved when in fact the problems are still there. I have had many problems with the principle on a personal level and with the treatment of my child. I have tried to go throught the recommended channels but i get no where. I cant even get an appt. with the president of the school board. I think i may need a lawyer or some kind of advocate. Any ideas? I am in San Jose ,Ca. and the school is Capri elementary in Cambell.


    August 20th, 2012 at 11:17 am
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  74. Jennifer says:

    I am so happy to see this mentality is shared by others. I have been opposed to homework for years as I watched my son struggle through an otherwise normal school experience, and it is through this observation, I have made a case against homework; in my own mind, anyway. I would have never guessed it was a mindset shared by so many others. I have decided, aside from projects students complete over time, reports and studying for tests, homework is ridiculous. Projects a child works on outside of school with a future due date, provide a child with opportunities to enhance essential skills such as time management and allows the child a real opportunity to be independant and engage in organized thinking that produces a tangible result. There are plenty of opportunities to engage in self expression and creativity, as well as an opportunity to expand their knowledge by researching an area they may need more information about in order to complete the project. Of course, it helps if the project is centered around a topic the child finds interesting in the first place, which presents a unique challenge to some areas of study. Maybe the teacher struggling with this should actively engage the students in developing projects that promote student interest in their particular subject. Reports offer a more academic-minded approach to student learning and represent an opportunity for a student to take time and independantly research a topic they may not have a lot of information on at present or a way to ensure the student thinks more about something they were presented with in class in order to re-enforce the material and offer long-term retention. Studying for tests is a catch 22 in some respects, because it creates a way for students who procrastinate to memorize information and after the dispensing of the information on the test, they often permanently dispense of it from their mind altogether. It is also somewhat necessary in order to tie material together that may have been collected over a period of time and to develop a cohesive understanding of the complete lesson in order to be assessed on that knowledge. For some, this will be more involved and take more time, than for others. Interestingly, if you think about it, studying is only required for material not yet learned or understood completely. You no longer need to study something you already know or understand. The concept of learning should be life long. The challenge for teachers, is to offer the student instruction in class that allows them to learn and understand the material in the time they have. Educators often complain there is not enough time in the school day to effectively teach the students the material. I say, tomorrow is another day. If the teacher is engaged in creating an environment of learning that is focused on the students, above anything else, they will figure out the best ways to effectively teach the students by offering the information in a way the student will comprehend the material and retain it. If a child is leaving school with instruction in class they barely understood and forced to figure out the application on their own before they are graded on homework or taking a test, they will likely suffer in the grades they get for those classes. Homework that is busy work, is largely an excuse for teachers to leave learning up to the student, in my opinion. I expect my child’s teachers to do their job and teach my child. The learning environment for their particular area of study ends at the end of class each day and begins again the next day. Students spend as much time at school as adults spend at work and the rest of their day should be an opportunity to engage in healthy extra-curricular activities, sports and clubs, or family and social time. The problem of homework is not a result of not enough time for the teachers to teach the subject, it is a problem with the lack of teachers who use creativity and practical application to tackling the real-life issue of engaging a student’s interest enough to allow for the material they are offering to be received well during the time they have with the student. If that doesn’t occur, it is simply a waste of that time, for both the student and the teacher. Maybe this simple and logical concept was missed by educators who spent too much time doing homework instead. The student should not be responsible for their own learning, only in the application once the learning is achieved. That is where the information becomes a useful tool, capable of any value. A student who achieves an A in a class because they are effective at doing busy work or are a type-A personality and memorize information well will be sadly disappointed when life fails to give them visual accolades to assess their progress. Where those students who did not achieve great grades based on poor performance on homework may not have been given the opportunites they were better equipped to handle. Teachers are the same as anyone else when it comes to real-world application. Just because someone does a particular job for a living, doesn’t mean they are necessarily good at their job or inspired by their job. School administrators should pay more attention to the response and opinions of the students regarding their teaching staff. The job does not just involve having the appropriate credentials or a knowledge of the material. It is just as important to be able to effectively impart that knowledge to others in a way they can understand and to be a person others can relate to well. It helps to be vibrant and inspired yourself, if you want to capture a young person’s interest. Schools that are interested in producing students who will acheive the most from their education should really be interested in filling their staff with great teachers rather than trying to fulfill the government’s standards of acheivement. Success is based on accomplishment.

    November 14th, 2012 at 5:49 pm
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  75. curious says:

    @ patrtiot

    Or maybe the jobs are getting outsourced cause the labor laws are lax or non-existed and they’re cheaper?

    What you and that other person is supporting is basically the method on making us office drones. You don’t need homework to teach a kid the real world there are other and most likely better methods. Sorry but that homework thing teaching real life is a cop out answer teachers use to avoid being creative.

    Plus why take the job if they are not going to take the time to make the changes to make their teaching carrer easier without having it at the expense of others(espeically those who are paying them)?

    November 15th, 2012 at 6:26 pm
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  76. Anonymous says:

    I suppose very few, if any, people will read this because this is such a large discussion. But regardless, I will put in my two cents.
    Far too many people on this website (the website generals included) are pushing for absolutely no homework ever. This is the wrong approach! This is the reason there is such a struggle in Washington to reach any agreement on policy (ahem, case in point…the almost month-long gov’t shutdown in 2013). Arguments like these have gray area, therefore more people should consider the gray area rather than just seeing it as black and white.
    I am a straight-A student with a weighted GPA in a high school that only weights AP classes (not honors classes) and uses a 7 pt grading scale (93% to 100% is an A). It’s tough to achieve the way I do – but many students at my school just tell me how “lucky” I am to be so smart. Trust me – it’s not luck. It’s a hell of a lot of hard work.
    Honestly, homework is too large a part of my life. Sure, I chose more challenging classes than most, but does that mean I should EVER have to do busywork? I have a job. I am on the debate team. I participate in a sport. I am in our honor society. I volunteer regularly. Life happens, and oftentimes homework holds me back. When managing all of these things and 4-9 hours of homework per night, something always falls behind. Sometimes it’s my friends. A lot of times it’s my family, sleep, or excercise. Even more often, it’s some combination of those.
    The irony of all this is that I am not for the homework-free plan… ESPECIALLY in high school. So many of the students on here simply say, “homework should be banned!” This is the mentality of many of the students in my school – a mentality of laziness and ignorance rather than one of reason and forward-thinking. These are the students who copy every night and then complain of how poor the teaching is when their grades suffer after a quiz or test. They blame others for their own mistakes – the first, and probably most influential of which – being that they blow off all howework as unneccessary.
    I have a few teachers who do a fabulous job of managing this. The first is my chemisty teacher. His policy? He hands out optional homework packets that he gives the answers for but does not grade. He reviews in class for tests and does many practice problems. I do well in his class not only because I am good at chemisty, but also because I can do as much of the homework as I want and choose to do what I see as meaningful and helpful. If I understand a concept, I don’t do the homework on it. Unfortunately for him, Chemistry is a core class with many sudents who are not very driven and don’t do homework AT ALL or pay any attention in class. These people complain about their grades and what a terrible teacher they think he is.
    Another teacher who handles it reasonably well: my AP Biology teacher. He is very intelligent and really loves both the material and the students. He advocates the “flipped classroom” that many colleges are trying. Outside of class, we watch lectures he has recorded and read however much of the textbook we want/need to understand the concept. Inside of class, we do labs (applying our knowledge), listen to more in-depth lectures, go over answers on practice tests, and are free to ask him about anything we don’t understand. This is a great system because the amount of time you have to spend on the class is your decision. But beware – laziness will not get you A’s. Many of those who do not seem to understand this dropped the class at the semester.
    My third teacher who handles homework well is my AP US History teacher. He told us from day 1 that he values our time and understands that we have busy schedules so he has never assigned busywork. We often are assigned readings outside of class – which we can do as much or as little of as we like – and then we have periodic small quizzes over the readings until we reach the end of the unit, at which point we have time to review and then a test. In class, he lectures and we take notes to reinforce the readings. He often takes days to just let us relax in class while he tells stories…and he is a great storyteller. He is excellent at preparing students for the AP test… last year our school had the largest number of people get 5’s yet and one of the largest numbers of 5’s in the state (the highest score – and he is the only APUSH teacher).
    So why is homework an issue for me still? This is because of people like my Spanish teacher. She assigns something every night, and much of the time, it is meaningless. In class, the only activities we do that are worth anything are review ones. I used to have more teachers like this in the past, but as I have moved through high school and taken more challenging classes, their numbers have dwindled.
    These are just a few of my teachers…all with different approaches to homework. I’m sure I have rambled, but this is a subject I feel strongly about and that I feel has more than one solution. All in all, homework is necessary, but NEEDS to be limited, or at least made optional. The current system requires far too much effort to maintain good grades because it blocks opportunities outside of school and results in students like myself who are burned-out because homework has taken over the places of other important things in life.

    January 20th, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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  77. karen patrick says:

    I’m lucky that my child does her homework at night without any problem. She understands that for a couple of hours, schoolwork is the priority, and then she can do something else. She understands that homework teaches her where her strengths are and where she needs to spend more attention. I feel bad for parents whose kids think that homework is a waste of time.

    February 4th, 2014 at 2:22 am
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  78. Esperanza Ramírez says:

    Gracias por sus valiosos aportes. Te cuento que tengo un niño de 8 años. Al cual todos los dias le asignan tareas que termina por hacer hasta la noche. Este fin de semana se asignaron escribir 100.000 cifras númericas. LLeva 7800 y nisiquiera va en la mitad. Esta cansado y no ha tenido descanso. Estamos todos cansados y no se que hacer. Gracias por su ayuda. Funza, cundinamarca, colombia.

    August 16th, 2014 at 9:49 pm
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  79. Kallie says:


    October 8th, 2014 at 4:24 pm
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  80. Anonymous says:

    I just got off of winter break and already have over an hour of homework. Our science teacher said we would be finishing a project after break and we had to present today! Half of the students weren’t ready (including me) and now we’re all getting points taken off.

    January 5th, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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  81. Cody says:

    Homework these days are full of stress and lead to little if any learning. Parents do most of the homework for kids in younger grades so they can satisfy the teachers. Kids do not start learning until after elementary school. Middle school starts with giving more and more homework to prepare kids for high school. The teachers do not even know what to prepare for the students when they do go to high school. this is why they cover a wide variety of topics and subjects. Even in high school more homework is added and teachers complain about not keeping track of students because they have so much grading to do. By giving less homework students can learn better in school and teachers can give better explanations for in class assignments.

    March 10th, 2015 at 5:24 pm
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  82. A not happy student says:

    The amount of homework that I am given every night is insane. I am currently writing three essays, for the SAME class. If I get a not so great grade, then I fail the entire class. They all have to be 4 pages long, and they’re all due tomorrow. My teacher said “You have two days to write three essays on whatever topic you like. Here are the restrictions, no topics on phones or how “terrible” this place is.” At that point, I got up and spoke my mind saying we will have no time to do anything else besides the homework for that class. The class is English. I go to my next period, history, and have the worst news of the day, ANOTHER essay. I only have 4 days to complete it. No one in my class is even CLOSE to finishing because all of the people in that English class is spending every minute of their free time for the English essays so they don’t fail. Then I learn that my free period in the history room, I can’t do homework. I am FORCED to read. I had an argument with the teacher with very good, and valid points. But the teacher just brushed it off like the points my classmates and I had made. Like they were worthless. We knew we won and had the right to do the homework in the period. But he didn’t listen. My classmates and I have been trying to get the two other teachers to cut down the homework that they give us, but they DOUBLED it. I’ve been up until 3 in the morning trying to stay ahead just incase something happens. I ALSO have to finish my reason to go to a certain night school. It’s so stressful. They expect us to be freaking superhuman and pull one all nighter after another, expecting us to be completely ready for school and not falling asleep in the classroom. Truth is, they don’t understand that everyone in those classrooms would rather break their leg, or kill themselves to get out of school. People like me DREAD the thought of waking up on a weekday knowing that we are federally forced to go to school. Knowing that they have to hear the words “Tim to get up to go to school!” Or “have a great day at SCHOOL.” I’ve been so behind in sleep that I have been waking up at 4:30 I’m the morning because of the stress of knowing that I have UNFINISHED homework, and if k don’t get it done, I will fail.

    November 16th, 2015 at 6:34 pm
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  83. S says:

    I’m a highschool student, and I’m sick of homework replacing…living. This year I plan to do something about it. I want to start a “No Homework Campaign.” I will speak to officials and the student council to see what we can do and try to get other students and parents on board. However I am unsure how to approach this. Who can make this decision? Should I go right to a school official or gather support first? I don’t want the first thing I get to be a flat out “no” from a guidance counselor or the principle. If anyone could give me any ideas or suggestions that would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!


    September 2nd, 2016 at 11:38 pm
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  84. Snad says:

    Alright, here’s what I think, the kids need some downtime, I understand that much, but its to prepare them for the next year and so that the kid just doesn’t forget how to do things. I would enjoy if they reduced the amount of work.

    January 18th, 2018 at 4:54 pm
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