Homework in a Stop Homework Household

At the end of dinner last night, I said, “I have to go write a post for Stop Homework tomorrow.” And without skipping a beat I turned to my daughter and said,”and I guess it’s time for you to do your homework, too.” Her response, “you write for Stop Homework, and I do homework. Kind of ironic, don’t you think?” Of course, I do my best to change homework policy, both at her high school (where I’ve been talking to the principal), and in the world at large, but obviously there’s still a lot to be done.

Let me know what you’ve done recently by posting a Comment. Even though the school year is winding down, it’s not too late to talk to your child’s teacher or principal, talk to other parents, write a letter to your local newspaper, start a petition, run for School Board,….

7 thoughts on “Homework in a Stop Homework Household

  1. I have a child with some attentional issues. I have had to work very hard to accommodate his needs (on both ends of the spectrum – he is also gifted). I feel like I can’t use too much of my limited influence to worry about something non-specific when I use so much as an advocate for my son.

    It is really too bad, because we suffer through meaningless homework that much more due to his issues, and with his abilities – the homework is truly meaningless – he is ahead of grade level in almost everything, so he isn’t even learning anything new from it.

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  2. K, ditto on this end. I’ve posted frequently on this blog. My daughter is 2e as well, attention/distractibility issues coupled with high giftedness. And as you know, GT and ADD go hand in hand far more than people realize. Often the ones who get it the least are the educators themselves. How sad and hiliarious that we must educate the educators. Just what do they do at all those training sessions?

    2e is the group hardest hit by homework. I know the “G” word isn’t always welcome in non-GT circles. I’m not a snob about these things but I can no more change the “G” factor than I can the color of her eyes. The reason this group has the hardest time is because it’s so hard to get accommodations (she’s getting B’s in an above level class, we don’t see a problem), and this group needs to be in gifted programs. The attentional issues get worse when they are not.

    You said it. Much of the homework is meaningless. We started in private and the school initially refused advanced studies for her because she wasn’t finishing everything. I had to fight to get her what she needed, she’d come home crying every day that school was too easy. I had to convince them that making it easier when she doesn’t finish is about the worst thing you can do to a GT/ADD child, it just makes them more bored and they’ll tune out even more.

    I made some headway but to this day I shake my head that I was paying tuition so my daughter could be simultaneously bored and saddled with useless homework. But I will tell you that pointless homework increased exponentially when my daughter began public. At least many of the private school projects were fun.

    When the gifted ADD child hits fifth or sixth is about when the wheels start to fall off. That is when the homework volume increases and the demands begin to overwhelm them. The solution? My daughter has said it for years. I want harder, not more, I want harder, not more. If only the educators would listen to her.

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  3. All these comments from you struggling parents makes me wonder too….what do teacher’s learn in teacher’s college? They can’t seem to handle the kids who have trouble learning. They can’t handle the kids who learn really quickly. So who are they teaching?

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  4. PsychMom, yes, you do wonder, what on earth are the teachers learning as they earn their degrees? Many don’t have content knowledge, they can’t seem to address the weak learners or the strong ones. My daughter is a very advanced student. She could have gotten by with just accommodations, extra time on tests, extra time to complete work (I’d rather no homework in elementary), and they couldn’t even do that! We should all be even more angry because this is how our tax dollars are spent.

    I went to a program on working with the schools to advocate for your twice exceptional child (GT/LD or any learning based exceptionalities). The speaker talked about how to educate the schools. He then asked how many parents had run into problems advocating and almost every hand shot up.

    Even the one and only parent who actually was finally making some headway stated this: That I have to educate the educators makes me furious. I’m happy to educate them really, but isn’t it their job to know? I’m happy to inform them but not fight with them. They are educators. They are supposed to know these things. And they don’t.

    I’ll add to that. Our county has early out Mondays in elementary school. Kids are released two hours early one day a week so teachers can have weekly training. Two immediate flaws with this plan. For one, I’m curious to know what the teachers are learning in those two hours. Please don’t tell me they waste two precious hours every single week crunching test score numbers. Also, all the teachers did is send the work home. Whoopie! They get paid, we do the work. Just who is the greater fool here?

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  5. Good question about teacher’s school…I’ll have to get my dad on here to talk about it–he’s an elementary school science teacher pre-K through 5th and previously has taught college english, so if anyone knows that side of the equation he probably would. (plus, his other specialty is the psychology of learning, so he’s way into trying to help kids learn better, not just stuffing facts into their heads).

    Frankly, I think ‘harder, not more’ should be the mantra for pretty much the whole education system, not just the GT community. They should remember that when they start piling on the homework in middle school, make it deeper and more intellectually challenging, don’t just quadruple the amount of the same kinds of stuff we were getting in 4th and 5th grade.

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  6. I think that all schools should stop homework or limit the amount of it. Overworking kids is a bad idea. I propose giving all kids the time in school to get their work done. At the very least there should be no homework over vacation periods.

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  7. I think I get way too much homework. Maybe only getting homework when I don’t complete school stuff would be ok. Not just random, out of the blue topics.
    stressed_out_student Year 9, age 14
    p.s. got to go revise for a math exam, a science exam and finish an english pres, which has consumed my week… I think I’ve barely spoken too my parents for a week… 😦

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