The other day I stumbled across a blog where the blogger agreed with the Washington Post critique of The Case Against Homework that students these days just aren’t doing that much homework. The readers of that blog took the blogger to task, describing in depth the amount of time their children are spending on homework. You can read it here.
5 thoughts on “Listen Up Defenders of Homework: Our Children Are Spending More Time On Homework Than You Think”
I’m convinced that those who think homework has not become burdensome in length (and quality) simply do not have children in public schools and do not know anyone with children in public schools. Either that, or I have had the fantasic coincidence to communicate with every exception to the rule within several surrounding counties of my home and beyond.
To critics of the theory of too much homework I say: walk in our shoes for a day or two. Sit at my kitchen table and force my child to stay on task in order to complete a mindless worksheet while she frets about the other assignments waiting for attention that night. Sit with us while we shovel down dinner so we have time for remaining homework and showers, and listen in to our dinner conversation which inevitably revolves around–you guessed it–homework. Come with us on a family vacation trip and stew with us at night in the hotel room as we wait for the assigned reading to be over.
You want to argue that long homework assignments are necessary? Let’s have a go at it. But, don’t insult me by stating that my nightly nightmare doesn’t exist. Adopt a kid for a week and see for yourself.
I would hardly classify the response to that blog as “taking her to task”. There were a total of about 8 comments, of which 4-5 were parents complaining that their kids have much more homework than the avg 22 minutes. Probably true. You will find people above the average of any statistical measurement. But there are just as many people below that average who balance out those with a lot of homework.
Second, I think the whole problem here is that you (and others) are taking misapplied and inappropriate homework assignments to advocate the banning of homework. A bad teacher assigning a bad assignment does not make the idea or theory of homework bad. Just as with the case of alcohol. There are thousands of people that abuse alcohol by doing things such as driving drunk (and killing people), assaulting people while drunk, or killing themselves due to alcohol poisoning, etc. But this doesn’t mean that alcohol is an inherently bad idea. Because for every person that uses alcohol in an irresponsible way there are 2, 3, 5, 10 people that use alcohol responsiblly and enjoy it. So do we ban alcohol because its use is misapplied by a small minority of people? I sure hope not, just like with homework (Granted the analogy isn’t 100% accurate because homework does have some positive benefits whereas alcohol has very few “positive” benefits). But the point is that, the idea (homework) isn’t whats wrong. It is the misapplication of the idea by bad teachers that is the problem.
only 8 comments does nothing to defend homework….many factors are involved , but most likely, parents are REPEATEDLY told there is nothing we can do about it, which creates a helpless attitude—–DOES THAT MAKE IT RIGHT? Are you aware that 40 – 60 min of homework is assigned to GRADE 2 students, 3-4 X each week? If you check this out, you will be told that homework should only be 10-20 min long…….the reason it is NOT 20 min long in reality is , I believe, that 7-8 yr olds are not able to focus as well, following a full day at school. SIGNED, A MOTHER THAT KNOWS
I am doing a project in middle school on why we shouldn’t have as much homework as we have now. I am a grade 6 student in NS, Canada and I agree with all your arguments. Could you give me a list of key points and info I can use?
Strong Bad Stinkoman (That’s not my real name)
If you’d like to send me a few specific questions, I’d be happy to answer them for you. If you’d like to conduct a telephone interview with me, I’d be happy to do that, too. Just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org