View Full Version : Is Homework necessary? Does it actually contribute to a student's success?


sarahsweets
10-20-16, 04:22 AM
This has become a movement here in NJ and some schools have modified their guidelines for students. Does a lot of homework help re-enforce what is learned in school? I dont necessarily mean like, writing papers-those can help you become a better writer and learn how to communicate through words. But the type of textbook questions and definitions,handouts,etc. Have you found that they helped you? I have 3 kids and youngest is now 13. Her work load for 8th grade seems to have doubled and she is really struggling emotionally with the stress. Its not that she doesnt get it, its just the amount she has and the repetition of the same things are tough. The kids all had a lot of homework in elementary school. Meanwhile my 11th grader seems to get all her work done in school.
Is it the amount of homework or the type what matters?
Some districts have made it so there is no homework at all, or limited it to once a week. They have said that kids being with their families and having a break is more important.
what do you think?
I have more to share but I need to organize it a bit in my mind first.

XXXOOO
sarah

BellaVita
10-20-16, 05:27 AM
Homework always took me so long - I remember in 6th grade I often worked on homework for 6 hours a night.

I don't know what to think.

I think for me and having ADHD it made it take way longer than it was supposed to take, even in highschool (I went to boarding school for nearly 3 of my highschool years) I would skip going to most activities and skip the socialization/fun period and study/work on homework all the way until bed time almost.

It was exhausting and I don't miss it a bit.

I don't know what could've been different or better, much of it was "busywork" and I think it could've been reduced. I think the type matters but also not drowning the child with question after question.

peripatetic
10-20-16, 09:44 AM
i think children in this country, from what i've seen and what i recall growing up, spend an inordinate amount of time on school work and there's not enough balance that doesn't overwhelm.

students are pressured to do all the extracurriculars, plus all of the APs, plus, plus, plus.

it's maddening.

with my e, she's already on waiting lists and i don't plan to opt in with the homework thing here--fully admitting that's because we have that option and not everyone does. we've had a rash of students down south in the palo alto area who are throwing themselves in front of trains. the pressure we put on young people is ******* mindblowing. and i recall being one of those young people. i went to waldorf though ultimately and then boarding school, so i got out of a lot of homework because public and many private elementary and middle schools weren't designed to work well with alternative learners anyway.

i agree...there's too much homework and not enough social and life and family time and play supported by what's given out to do in the evenings/over the weekends in our public schools.

Caco3girl
10-20-16, 10:11 AM
For certain things it is important to reinforce what was done at school, specifically I am thinking about Math. Many children seem to understand what happened that day in class, they can even follow along with the teachers example, but ask them to do it on their own and they suddenly realize they are stumped.

For the worksheets that are find this factoid in the book and write it down...I think those are useless. I think it would be better to teach kids how to pull out important tid-bits and outline a science chapter rather than search through 25 pages for this one little piece of information. I think they would learn more in the process and also it would assist with college.

Tetrahedra
10-20-16, 08:29 PM
Schools throw unnecessary homework at their students because they don't know what else to do with them. We don't have the greatest educational system in the world, and sometimes its easier to blame everything on the children rather than looking inward at the system.

That said, homework is necessary to establish good practice and routine. It teaches kids how to balance workloads and how to prioritize. These are important parts of growing up that all children need to know. It's the fact that children are expected to sacrifice their family, sports, and social lives in order to do six plus hours of homework each night that's the upsetting part. Again, they need to know what a healthy balance is, and they need to be able to uphold a balanced schedule.

Another challenge--in defense of the schools--is that not all children learn the same way. Some need to have many hours in order to get the information through their heads. Some of them don't. Because teachers can't tailor their homework load and lesson plan for each individual student, they have to give the same amount to everyone. (Can you imagine how much uproar there would be if a teacher gave one student less/different homework than another because that student had a different learning style?)

So to answer the overall question: Yes, homework is necessary. But like all things, in the wrong quantities, it can be damaging.

ginniebean
10-21-16, 01:47 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2239928/Is-homework-waste-time-Study-18-000-schoolchildren-finds-relationship-spending-time-work-home-better-grades.html

Cyllya
10-21-16, 11:35 AM
There are some people in the USA and similar countries who are legally classified as homeschooling but don't make their kids do any homeschool work. Instead they just try to give their kids an enriching life, similar to what other parents do on weekends and school breaks, except they can do more of it. The kids tend to turn out fine.

They are able to turn out fine because school is pretty useless. Kids who go to school and turn out fine are turning out fine in spite of school, not because of it. Anything that increases the amount of time spent on school, whether it's homework or longer class hours, is getting in the way of the kid's actual education.

For certain things it is important to reinforce what was done at school, specifically I am thinking about Math. Many children seem to understand what happened that day in class, they can even follow along with the teachers example, but ask them to do it on their own and they suddenly realize they are stumped.

They should definitely practice any skills being taught, but wouldn't it make more sense for them to do it during class? It's not like they spend the entirety of class time on lecture. If they reduced the amount of school hours, then homework would make more sense.

That said, homework is necessary to establish good practice and routine. It teaches kids how to balance workloads and how to prioritize. These are important parts of growing up that all children need to know.
I don't think homework contributes to those goals, even in small amounts. Thinking back to my own school experience, the way we were trained to handle homework seemed particularly contrary to those goals. (For example, we were trained to consider all homework to be of equal priority even when that wasn't true. And for multi-day assignments, we were trained to consider the length of time between assignment and due date to be the amount of time required to do the work responsibly, even though that's not how due dates work in "the real world." That second one took me a few years to unlearn; I remember being baffled with how tasks were assigned at my current workplace.)

But even if homework could achieve those goals, why does that make homework necessary? And why do children need to learn those things at a certain age? Kids who don't have homework don't seem to have worse prioritizing or routine-creating skills than anyone else.

Society has all kinds of weird ideas that [bad thing X] is absolutely necessary in order to teach children [good thing Y].

aeon
10-21-16, 12:12 PM
There are some people in the USA and similar countries who are legally classified as homeschooling but don't make their kids do any homeschool work. Instead they just try to give their kids an enriching life, similar to what other parents do on weekends and school breaks, except they can do more of it. The kids tend to turn out fine.

They are able to turn out fine because school is pretty useless. Kids who go to school and turn out fine are turning out fine in spite of school, not because of it. Anything that increases the amount of time spent on school, whether it's homework or longer class hours, is getting in the way of the kid's actual education.

:goodpost: :thankyou:


Just superb,
Ian

Tetrahedra
10-21-16, 08:00 PM
There are some people in the USA and similar countries who are legally classified as homeschooling but don't make their kids do any homeschool work. Instead they just try to give their kids an enriching life, similar to what other parents do on weekends and school breaks, except they can do more of it. The kids tend to turn out fine.

They are able to turn out fine because school is pretty useless. Kids who go to school and turn out fine are turning out fine in spite of school, not because of it. Anything that increases the amount of time spent on school, whether it's homework or longer class hours, is getting in the way of the kid's actual education.

How odd! I can see where things such as basic science and history would be able to be taught this way, but what about more advanced science or math? There must be some homeschool work . . . probably not a whole lot, though.

I think that our school system is under significant pressure, so the only things they can think to do that's not going to result in changing the system entirely is to give the kids more homework and keep them in school more days of the school year. Recognizing that many of our educators aren't a good fit in the teaching profession and that different kids learn in different styles is daunting and expensive.

Flory
10-21-16, 11:30 PM
School/high school era it was highly unlikely I could even do my homework for a variety of reasons : outright refusal, poor prioritising, forgetfulness or I just couldn't do it because of things at home being so difficult with my behaviour my parents eventually stopped fighting me over it and decided just getting me through the school gates was achievement enough. I was eventually expelled (more for behavioural problems than anything) for me homework was just yet another thing I was shouted at about and caused conflict for me at school.

I think extra curricular study can help to solidify learning but that there's a better way of doing it for sure :)

kilted_scotsman
10-29-16, 05:33 PM
Finland has one of the top educational systems in the world. It's pupils don't do homework.

They also prioritise interpersonal/relationship learning for the first few years of school, teaching the kids how to interact with trust and empathy..... once that's in place they move on to more conventional subjects.

This means the kids are more likely to help each other and look out for each other as they grow and learn.

One other thing.... there are no exams/grades until the last years.

It's pretty much like good homeschooling, but with much more socialising.

I do like the Scandinavians

dvdnvwls
10-29-16, 06:35 PM
Look in the scientific literature and you'll find studies showing that ,at least for the younger students, homework is proven useless.

Look in schools and you'll find a lot of homework being given.

Why? It doesn't even matter why. School homework for the young is proven useless at best. It's time for it to stop.

Maybe pushy whiny parents like their kids to have homework because it makes the parents feel superior. Maybe teachers don't know what else to do, or are afraid of change. Maybe administrators pressure the teachers. But none of the reasons matter anymore, in light of the facts.

acdc01
11-04-16, 05:31 PM
Finland has one of the top educational systems in the world. It's pupils don't do homework.

They also prioritise interpersonal/relationship learning for the first few years of school, teaching the kids how to interact with trust and empathy..... once that's in place they move on to more conventional subjects.

This means the kids are more likely to help each other and look out for each other as they grow and learn.

One other thing.... there are no exams/grades until the last years.

It's pretty much like good homeschooling, but with much more socialising.

I do like the Scandinavians

Do the kids do "homework" during school in Scandinavia?

I'm all for classes that teach you the kind of things that actually help you in life versus the amount of useless crap we have to study.

aeon
11-04-16, 07:49 PM
If success means being a functional cog in the grinding gears of capitalism
as found in most liberal democracies over the last ~50 years, then yes,
homework is absolutely necessary inasmuch as it serves a dual purpose of
dulling the mind and conditioning groupthink. ;)


Thanks,
Ian

john2100
11-04-16, 09:18 PM
Finland has one of the top educational systems in the world. It's pupils don't do homework.

They also prioritise interpersonal/relationship learning for the first few years of school, teaching the kids how to interact with trust and empathy..... once that's in place they move on to more conventional subjects.

This means the kids are more likely to help each other and look out for each other as they grow and learn.

One other thing.... there are no exams/grades until the last years.

It's pretty much like good homeschooling, but with much more socialising.

I do like the Scandinavians

Interesting quote from business insider about finland edu. system

"The difference between weakest and strongest students is the smallest in the World"

That's something to think about in regards to homework.
There are only 3 possibilities here :

1.Most of the students are below average.
2.Most of the students are average.
3.Most of the students are above average.

Bluechoo
11-05-16, 02:18 PM
Homework in secondary school: made me want to barf and was often ignored or saved till the last minute, and was usually the reason for me getting lower grades. I could do fine on quizzes and tests, and I could prove that I understood the material, but I hated homework

Homework in college: I still did not like it, but I started to see that I did more reinforcing outside of class, via homework, and it was necessary for me to really grasp the material. In college, the homework is probably more intelligently formed to fulfill learning goals. Working in study groups really helped me manage the work-load; holding myself accountable to others motivated me to keep up the pace when I was working alone. And with a study group, you can break the assignments up and delegate them to each other, then each person can share how to solve the problems and everyone can get the assignments done a lot faster. That helped, but I will mention that sometimes I preferred to struggle through an entire set of problems on my own because I really needed to get into the material myself.

john2100
11-05-16, 02:51 PM
"Is Homework necessary? Does it actually contribute to a student's success?"

The purpose of school is to teach a student material.
The pursope of HW is :

a) reinforce any given knowledge and HW often offers a practical application of that knowledge

b)HW helps students to figure out, if they really understand the given knowledge.

c)HW often includes material that teacher was not able to go thru ,or any material that doesn't require teacher's interaction anymore,but it is important for any further understanding of a subject.

Image if you had to learn math all by your self.You would probably do this.

1.Learn the theory, then go through some practical examples (class)
2.You would then try to solve some math problems all by yourself (homework)
-this will give you many more possibilities to use that theoretical knowledge.

If u only did 1. then it would be extremely difficult to be proficient in math . If your theory was really good, you would be able to figure out the math problems, but it would take you way too long.


So HW makes sense if a,b,c conditions are met ,
Many times however it is not the case.

JennK258
11-26-16, 02:34 PM
My son is in 10th grade and has never really had much homework. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but... it just hasn't. I don't know if there is a light homework policy in our school system... I will have to ask the next time I talk to teacher or guidance counselor. I know most teachers don't give homework on Wednesday because it's church night... one of the benefits of living in the bible belt lol!

Pugly
12-01-16, 10:42 AM
Like most things school related the idea is kinda right, but the implementation is often horrible and misinformed.

There are some things that to learn... sometimes just requires consistent/focused practice. Think learning to play an instrument, learning to read, doing advanced theoretical physics... it just takes effort to get these things inside your brain.

Homework theoretically is supposed to get students to do this focused practice, so they can develop skills. But that doesn't happen, and homework just becomes busy work at home. Plus the kind of work to get good at something is very mentally draining... which can't really happen when a student is already drained by going to school all day. Also good practice really needs supervision of an expert, and with advanced stuff I don't see parents really supervising the homework that much.

With most successful students, I don't even think they consider the point of homework anyways... they just focus on getting it done... regardless of what the educational benefit. They are trained to jump at the opportunity to get the answers without putting in any of the work in, which is really quite a horrible lesson to learn when you think about it... but it's really not their fault because that's just a side effect of a poorly thought out educational system.

Luvmybully
12-01-16, 02:14 PM
Homework should be outlawed in all elementary schools. It has been proven to have NO effect whatsoever on children's grades and comprehension. There is nothing positive that comes from it. To the contrary, it has been shown to cause harm. So WHY have it at all?

Young children are not miniature adults. They can not handle a huge load of adult like responsibilities and not have something suffer for it. Elementary aged children need more free time, time to play, time to focus on what THEY are interested in, time to learn how to function in the world.

They do not need to spend 8 hours in school, then come home and be forced to spend even more time on schoolwork.

Luvmybully
12-01-16, 02:34 PM
That said, homework is necessary to establish good practice and routine. It teaches kids how to balance workloads and how to prioritize. These are important parts of growing up that all children need to know. It's the fact that children are expected to sacrifice their family, sports, and social lives in order to do six plus hours of homework each night that's the upsetting part. Again, they need to know what a healthy balance is, and they need to be able to uphold a balanced schedule.

I don't agree with this at all. Forcing kids to do schoolwork at home does not teach them how to prioritize in healthy ways. Sacrificing something important to you, when you get no benefit from it, is not healthy, and is one of the reasons so many people need help learning how to find a healthy balance as adults. After school life is vital and crucial, it should not be viewed as optional, so kids can do more schoolwork.


Another challenge--in defense of the schools--is that not all children learn the same way. Some need to have many hours in order to get the information through their heads. Some of them don't. Because teachers can't tailor their homework load and lesson plan for each individual student, they have to give the same amount to everyone. (Can you imagine how much uproar there would be if a teacher gave one student less/different homework than another because that student had a different learning style?)



Again, I do not agree with this at all. Yes, every child learns differently. What you just said is the exact opposite of allowing all children to learn in their own way. Forcing children to do hours of repetition, at home, when they do not need it, is not helping anyone learn in their own way.

Parents must take responsibility for their own children's education. Of course, some do not. But it is not the burden of the other children to work extra at home because some child needs extra help.