General Question

flo's avatar

How valuable is homework?

Asked by flo (7166 points ) October 16th, 2012

Whether you are an educator, parent, or an ex-student looking back, still in school, do you believe homework is a godsend, that if it weren’t for homework there would be a lot of dropouts from high school, university etc. that it helps instill dicipline, or do you think something else about it?

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103 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

Homework is for people who didnt understand what was talked about in class. It can be a really helpful tool to re-enforce what you learned that day in class or to help teach you some of the things you may have missed.

That said, I absolutely hated homework. I’m really good at learning by listening and writing things down. Throughout highschool I never did my homework. Aced pretty much every test that was given because I actually paid attention in class but ended up with poorer grades due to never doing homework. To me, it was just mindless busy work, but I do see its value for some students.

I like that in college most of the time homework is optional or just not graded. I’ll do assignments if its stuff I didn’t fully understand, but if I got it on the first pass I’m not going to waste my time with it.

Unbroken's avatar

I rarely did homework. I passed by tests or work I scrambled together before, after or during class. As it so happens I dropped out of college. But whether due solely to that, I doubt it. It was a struggle to learn to do so it didn’t help.
I suppose it depends on individual learning style.

Kayak8's avatar

I did limited homework in school (mostly essays and longer papers). I did more homework for my masters because we met one weekend each month and had to teach ourselves the material in between the classes. I love learning, so I sure don’t mind doing homework—didn’t need it for grades in high school and undergrad, but enjoyed the homework I did do.

Shippy's avatar

I don’t recall ever doing homework, and I was a very good student in that I got all my bits and pieces and graduated as Americans call it. I think these days, there is too much pressure on kids to do homework and it seems to take up a lot of time. It also pressurizes parents I am sure. Kids should pay attention at school and do other things at home.

dabbler's avatar

I think it depends on the subject, coursework is all about mastery.
If you can do your thermodynamics problem set off the top of your head then heck who needs the homework.
If you can write your French or Mandarin essay without looking up some vocabulary then you’re ready.
Otherwise master it in the homework.

Also, part of the purpose of coursework is to demonstrate your mastery of the subject to the professor’s satisfaction. That is part of your job as a student. That demonstration is what makes the degree meaningful. The professor has every right to say ‘show me’.

wundayatta's avatar

They give my son way too much homework. I can’t see that it helps him. It just takes away his childhood. I think he learns better in other ways.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Homework is (should be) basically practice and application or exploration. It’s, at best, intended to clarify in the first case and provide insight and a base for the next class and most productive when used in moderation. It can also be to the benefit of the professor in teasing out concepts that the lecture didn’t instill properly. I only do/did homework when it was part of the grade or when I felt I needed further application and practice to properly understand the concept(s) or their relation.

Looking back it was too frequently over assigned, used as a substitute for teaching or discussion, and it’s results were too often ignored or glossed over.

JLeslie's avatar

I have read studies that homework at very young ages does not have any real significant impact on learning or future academic or adult habits or success. When I say young, I mean before 3rd grade. I am very against daily homework in grades k-2. It is a source of family conflict and the children cannot do the work on their own. A project here and there is fine with me, but more than that I think is not useful.

Grades 3 and above, homework can teach some discipline, reinforce a topic, and allow for children to further discover where they may need help on a subject, but I am still against excessive amounts of homework. I think have a study period as an option as an elective in school so children get homework done while in school is a good idea. That way if children have responsibilities at home, or after school activities they are not trying to get all their homework done while possibly missing family time.

Most adults don’t bring work home with them, so how is that preparing them for real life exactly? Being focused in school is the most important part of school. Although, I do find the new education model very interesting that allows children to move through subjects at their own pace using computer learning and web classrooms, and then class time is there for teachers to not lecture an entire class, but rather have one on one time with students as they hit bumps in their learning,

LuckyGuy's avatar

I hated homework but I sure learned a lot by doing it. (I did very well in school.) There are only so many examples the teacher can discuss in class. Homework gives you the chance to see others and use your own head instead of having someone else telling you what to do next.
I hated it though. Did I mention that i did not like homework?

amujinx's avatar

In high school I was often in school from first bell (and sometimes an hour earlier than school started) until 11 at night because of all the extra-curricular activities I did. I never had time to do my homework, so I would it all the period before it was due while in another class. I still aced everything, so it seemed more like a waste of time to me than helpful.

laineybug's avatar

Homework is good for people who need things to be explained differently or reinforced. Some of my friends get by just because of homework. I hate homework though. I didn’t do for half of eighth and ninth grade. I still had at least B’s in my classes because I aced every test and classwork assignment but never did my homework. In eighth grade my geometry teacher told me I was a type of person that she hates because I aced everything without doing homework. So the usefulness of homework just varies by how much you pay attention in class and how you learn best.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I would have preferred spending extra time in a classroom setting rather than get out of school mid-afternoon or having as much summer vacation.

There are too many potential challenges with homework unless in a home-schooling scenario. What if the child has to go home to hours of chores? What if they are slower to grasp a certain topic and their parents cannot or will not help out? What if they have multiple teachers that have no clue how much is being handed out as assignments for after class? The list goes on.

Is homework valuable? It probably is when it comes to subjects that we grasp and enjoy. Unless a teacher has the awareness and time to coach each student as an individual, we end up with the responses like the ones above.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Homework is good for developing study skills and discipline outside of school. I always got my high school homework done in school, during lunch or study halls. When I went to college I had a tough time adjusting. It would have helped me to have more homework.

tom_g's avatar

Mandatory homework is the easiest way to beat the love of learning out of someone. I’m constantly emailing my kids’ teacher, letting her know that my kid will not be doing a specific homework assignment.

mangeons's avatar

I agree with @tom_g. I’m a senior in high school, and even though I’ve luckily never had massive amounts of homework (despite taking honors/AP classes) I think that homework should not be mandatory. I think if a student is failing a class or needs extra help understanding the material then homework should be an option, but in general I find most homework to be just pointless busywork that can cause a student to dread school and learning.

SpatzieLover's avatar

As a homeschooling mom, I can tell you first hand that my son learns perfectly well without any homework.

For me, I despised the time suck that homework was. I learned nothing new from doing homework.

flo's avatar

Most students are helped a great deal by homework I think eventhough they don’t like it at the time. There is only so much a teacher can do in class. Even if a teacher is so exceptional that some students wouldn’t need it, without it, most teachers are not exceptional. France about to ban it. Maybe there is a case to be made for reducing the amount, but banning it ridiculous. It is like throwing the bath with the bathwater.

tom_g's avatar

@flo – The bathwater is shit, and the bath isn’t much better. If creating obedient workers who hate learning is the goal, then homework is fine. But kids spend all day in school. If the teachers and schools can’t develop a curriculum that can work for that amount of time, then maybe we need better teachers, schools, and a different educational model altogether. Oh, and did I mention that the people attending these schools all day are kids, who are forced to sit at a desk, rotting all day only to come home and be prescribed more shit busywork?

Sure, some kids need extra help. My daughter scored almost a perfect score in the damn MCAS (Massachusetts’ ridiculous testing program) in both ELA and math. She spends 90% of her free time playing outside (learning) and reading. Her homework takes her away from her learning, her siblings, her parents, and her life. It also hits her over the head with the fact that learning is not enough. Busy work and obedience is the game. It’s horseshit, and I’m humiliated that I am putting my kids through this. But I have very little options right now. I am, however, a very vocal presence at my kids’ schools, and I refuse to allow my daughter to burn her youth away doing busy work which is nothing more than assembly line training.

Optional homework is great.

mangeons's avatar

@flo Yes, some students are helped by homework. Which is why it should be made optional, so that the students who can easily ace a class and learn material without doing homework don’t have to waste their time doing busy work that is doing nothing but making them hate going to school.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tom_g Correct me if this is wrong, but aren’t your children homeschooled?
@mangeons How would a teacher go about making homework optional in order to help those that need it and will benefit from it?

tom_g's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer – Nope. Unfortunately not. We played around with the idea for a few years, but couldn’t make it work. I feel guilty about it.

flo's avatar

I hope parents who hate the whole idea of homework at least don’t voice this hatred of homework around the kids since it poisons the relashinship between the kid and the teachers/school, When they are learning the fire drill let’s say, if they don’t have respect for them, ...

I’m thinking the kids who hate it might be because they are not getting the material. When kids are good at something they generally love doing it. And if the homework is minimal to moderate amount there is enough time for other activities.

Unbroken's avatar

@Pied-Pfeffer Imo you could give comprehension tests toward the end of the day if they get an A or B it’s optional.

laineybug's avatar

@flo I understand the material in my classes just fine and I still hate homework. It takes up time and is generally really boring. Sometimes it can be helpful to remember things learned in class, but that’s about it for me.

mangeons's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer The teacher could say something like, “There is extra practice work available if anyone is interested, come see me after class and I can give it to you.” If they have concerns about a particular child who is doing poorly in the class, then they could have a private conference with the student and discuss different options.

@flo Honestly, you’re just flat out wrong about your second point. I do extremely well in school and I don’t like homework, “not getting the material” has nothing to do with it. I’m a senior in high school. I love English (it’s what I’m planning on majoring in in college) and I love English class. Does that mean I just love getting English homework that just wastes my time when I already understand the material? Certainly not. I wouldn’t make assumptions about something like that, simply because you’re often going to be wrong (such as in this case).

flo's avatar

Optional makes sense to me. I’m just against depriving the ones who need it, I’m not for forcing the kds who don’t need it and don’t like it. By the way, how often do you hear “I’m so glad my parents made me take pinao” etc.

tom_g's avatar

@flo: “I hope parents who hate the whole idea of homework at least don’t voice this hatred of homework around the kids it poisons the relashinship between the kid and the teachers. Even when they are learning the fire drill let’s say”

I am very vocal to my daughter about my concerns about her homework. If she has a few minutes of thought-provoking homework, I encourage that. She never complains about homework. It’s me as her father who wants to protect her childhood and her very strong will to learn. If there is busy work, I have to cut her off and I email the teacher.

When we learn in my house, we learn – we don’t talk about it. If I’m talking about it, then there is a problem. It’s not about learning, period.

@flo: “I’m thinking the kids who hate it might be because they are not getting the material.”

First of all, it’s not just kids who hate the homework. Like I mentioned, it’s involved parents who want better for their children. Educated parents don’t appreciate schools dumbing down their kids and preparing them for an assembly line making iPhones.
Sure, there are kids who don’t get the material. My son is like that, although he’s only in the first grade. He hates doing homework, and fortunately, he doesn’t have much mandatory homework yet. What we do is work together on reviewing the subject matter that he is currently learning, and then rip up the papers and do some real learning. I work with him so that he can truly understand the mathematical concepts that are beyond his grasp. If he didn’t have parents, or his parents were absent or abusive, he would only have some tear-outs would be all he would have. And that is sad.

flo's avatar

Without homework, university would be that much more difficult to adjust to like someone/ people have pointed out above.

Sunny2's avatar

Homework is useful for review and practice. It can also be enrichment for those students who have demonstrated that they are already proficient. A class system set up so that those who need the extra practice or review get it. Those who have received excellent grades already, would get the enrichment lessons.

gailcalled's avatar

I found homework in math, science and foreign languages essential. I don’t remember inane assignments in history or English.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@rosehips True, but that is in an ideal situation. Think about the dynamics of how that is carried out. Classroom time is already limited. Teachers, at least in public schools, are restricted to an assigned curriculum. Adding a daily assessment, unless already built in, is virtually impossible. Requiring homework for some and as an option for others requires additional time for grading the assessments and providing feedback. Then there is the whole deal of handling who gets the homework assigned and who gets it as an option. This is not to say that there isn’t a way to make it happen, just that it isn’t feasible in today’s format.

@mangeons That might work for you. Seriously though, how many of your classmates do you think would take up the teacher’s offer of additional assignments, particularly if they hate the subject and/or are not doing well in it? Surely there is some benefit of required homework for a handful.

One of my sisters was a high school English teacher who also taught AP classes. I can guarantee you that the majority loathed having to write papers as homework assignments. What is fascinating is that several of them were in touch with me after her death saying that they now appreciate the assignments given back then. It helped prep them for college life. A few even said that the writing skills and information learned in her classroom are still in use post college. There was only one who voiced resentment.

tom_g's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer – Regarding the potential benefits of homework – how much school work (class time + commuting + homework) per day seems appropriate for kids? And whatever that number happens to be (it might be different for different ages, etc), why this magic number? Why can’t “school learning” happen during school hours?

Certainly, if we extended the school day so that kids were in school from 8:00am to 5:00pm, this would be better than current hours, right? It would certainly prepare them better for college. So, 8am – 5pm, with how many hours of homework?

When do kids get to be kids, rather than future-somethings? Third graders need to spend their waking hours studying to prepare themselves for middle school. Middle school students are preparing for high school. High school students are preparing for college. College students are preparing for….........this? Wow, that’s depressing on so many levels.

If sitting in a classroom all day and then demanding that young kids spend their youth doing more school work is the best system humans have devised, I think we need some fresh blood in the mix here. Maybe a system designed to churn out workers isn’t the best one to generate creative thinkers who might be able to redesign an educational system.

mangeons's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Honestly, the people who won’t do homework when they need it probably aren’t doing it even when it’s mandatory. So why bother making it mandatory if the kids who need it aren’t doing it and the kids who don’t need it are just doing it to keep their grades up? I feel like if a student wants to take initiative and better their understanding of the material when they need it, then they should have the chance, but I don’t think it’s fair to require kids who don’t need the extra help to do the busywork just so they get a good grade in the class. Again, that’s a quick way to get even the brightest students to hate going to school.

I think that writing papers for homework is slightly different, because I see a paper as more of a project, and I think that longer term projects are actually somewhat beneficial to everyone. They not only reinforce the skills taught in the class, they also teach useful life skills, such as time management and (sometimes) public speaking skills. Also, projects tend to actually be meaningful, teach something, and require real thought, rather than just being pointless repetitive busywork, like regular homework often is.

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Nullo's avatar

I always did my homework to avoid the GPA consequences, but did most of my learning in class. I did not always do the reading – some of my college textbooks went entirely unopened, which made the purchase all the more bitter.

JLeslie's avatar

Homework did not help me in classes I had trouble in, it helped me in classes I did well in. I am not a reader, I am an auditory visual learner, and I was a math science girl. I did my math homework no problem, it reinforced what I had learned and doing the work and checking it in class, I discovered where I screwed up, and helped me do well on the tests. History I sucked at, and reading history was like reading a foreign language. I guess if I had spent hours and hours doing extra work I would have done better in history, but I didn’t. I would have done better in history with more interesting lectures and maybe a few more documentary movies. But, really who cares much about whether I did well in history, how much does it affect my life that I didn’t do well in history? Not much. I think hours and hours of work are better spent on subjects that we have a lot of interest in and excell at. At one point I was having trouble in math, so I spent time after school learning what I was struggling with. It was not homework, it was extra work. Extra work I wanted to do to learn the coursework. How does homework help when you can’t do it on your own? Unless you get a tutor.

I agree with @mangeons that writing a paper is different.

@Nullo I had many books I never opened in high school and college.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@tom_g The most depressing part is the first day of college when you’re told, “Ok forget everything you were taught in middle/high school, this is actually how it works.”

@mangeons totally agree with you regarding papers, they’re totally different than normal homework IMO

JLeslie's avatar

@uberbatman That did not happen to me. I had a lot of friends who really struggled their Freshmen year in college. I don’t know exactly why. What exactly were you supposed to forget, and what was so different in college? The only difference to me was the everything was sped up a little. A year of Spanish class was on semester in college. Same with Accounting 101. A lot of my knowledge regarding science is from High School, and even Jr. High, I did not take any science in college.

Adagio's avatar

I’m a strong believer that early school-age children, say aged 5–11, would benefit far more from good old-fashioned play than doing homework.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tom_g You lost me on the first part of the response. There is no magic number of hours. And I agree…I would prefer to see scholastic education be conducted in the school, unless it was an activity that was available as an optional addition.

As for the school hours, I don’t know what the answer is. But if children are assigned with, say, two hours of homework, why not extend school hours to that amount and have the classroom time extended to cover the topics and practice? Or, if this isn’t practical, why not shorten the summer vacation (US related).

If this is the solution to eliminating homework and providing a more customized education for individual students, it should be considered.

@mangeons As a student who needed the homework assignments, albeit loathed, I can say that it helped in knowing that it needed to be turned in for a grade. In the bigger picture, it allowed me to work at my own pace armed with the information previously shared by the teacher.

What would you suggest as a solution? If the goal is to educate those that are in school, what is the best way to approach it?

Here is an idea, and maybe it already exists. What if class content was pre-tested in order to place you in the right group? Scrap the age factor; just be put in the same educational level group.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@JLeslie The whole format for me was really different. From how classes were taught to the proper way of writing a paper. All the rules were completely different. I really don’t feel like my elementary-high school experience prepared me for college at all

@Pied_Pfeffer I would love if you could have been placed in classes based one educational level. No child left behind really screwed me over in high school and how much I was able to learn

DominicX's avatar

@Nullo I had a class last quarter for which I purchased a fat 200-page reader. I never read a single page of it and got an A in the class. I’m just bitter about the wasted money…

OT: I’m not a fan of giving homework to young children, I’m not a fan of giving too much homework, and I’m not a fan of pointless busywork. And yes, I got some of that in my time as a K-12 student. But I was never one of those people who hated homework and had it ruin school for me. I didn’t love homework, but I did like some assignments and I did feel that it helped me understand the material better, particularly in Latin and in math classes, because those classes required repetition to get the material.

My favorite homework systems are what I have in my phonology class. We have only 5 assignments the entire quarter, but we have a week to do each, they’re turned in online, you can collaborate with other people on them, and they’re fairly lengthy and involved, but they really cover the material well. Unfortunately, I never really had anything like that in K-12 school.

@JLeslie I also didn’t find college to be that different, for the record. As you said, more taught in a smaller time period, some longer classes, but more flexible hours and more time for studying just caused me to think college was easier than high school (the format, at least).

JLeslie's avatar

@uberbatman Where did you go to school k-12, what city, state (assuming it was America) and was it public or private?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@JLeslie Public school Hammonton in NJ—(Which was considered a better school in the area) For high school I went to tech schools both of which were also considered above par in the state.

jonsblond's avatar

I agree with @Adagio. Giving young children an hour or more of homework each weeknight is too much imo. My daughter (3rd grade) had two sheets of math homework, an additional timed math page and a reading assignment this evening. She brings home at least two pages of work each night, including work for the weekend. She’s smart and enjoys school and reading, but spending time throwing a football with mom and dad in the afternoon is better for her overall health. She’s had nightly homework assignments since 1st grade. That’s just too much, I think.

JLeslie's avatar

@uberbatman Surprising to me you felt so ill prepared. My college English, actually writing, classes I did learn a lot above and beyond what I learned in High school, but my secondary education gave me a good starting place for college level courses. I did read recently colleges have had to put in more and more classes to catch students up, because they are not at college level when they first arrive at school.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond I think it is too much too. But, most teachers I talk to say the parents demand homework. I wonder if that is actually true?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@uberbatman Talk to my sister about the “no child left behind” decision. She’s a 5th grade teacher and hates it. Even with the addition of an aid to help the child/children, it still slows down the rest of the class.

@jonsblond Would you rather have your child in school for an extra hours or home earlier and doing the homework at a different time? Or, do you see the homework assignments the daughter is given as unnecessary?

JLeslie's avatar

@uberbatman In k-12 you didn’t have opportunity to be in more advanced classes? I don’t mean on an honors track, I just mean if you did well in math you could take maybe Geometry in 10th grade with the 11th graders, that sort of thing. Or, select more advanced science classes that were not required. Or, AP classes. Even in elementary school I had opportunity to be in the more advanced math group, science, reading, etc. I was not in all the advanced groups, but they were available. As I look back I think my 6th grade teacher did not place me correctly. I had to fight to get into the highest math group, and now I think I should have done the same in other subjects.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@JLeslie In my high school you were required to take 3 math classes to graduate. I took 7 (and taught one of my trig classes for 2 weeks when the teacher was in the hospital and couldn’t get a sub). I took mostly AP/Honors classes throughout school but I still feel it did a poor job at preparing me for college. I was often very bored at school and generally felt it to be a waste of time. Honestly I feel the same way about college though too. I’m also very good at learning independently when its subjects that interest me. My passion is marine biology, and honestly without sounding too egocentric I know more about the topic than students graduating with a degree right now yet here I am taking irrelevant classes (and paying a ton of money for them) to get a piece of paper to say that I actually know what I’ve known for years now.

JLeslie's avatar

@uberbatman So, the only real problem was how to write a paper? Otherwise, you are kind of way ahead and bored.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@JLeslie No it was also the way classes were taught I think, some science stuff was completely different as well (though again I suppose more related to writing papers) . I also honestly have absolutely no idea how to study because I’ve never had to do it before.

LostInParadise's avatar

The whole way of teaching needs to be overhauled. Time spent by the teacher lecturing in front of the class should be limited. This not a particularly effective way of learning. Students should spend more class time solving problems and less time doing homework. One big advantage of having the students do work in class is that the teacher can provide assistance to those who are having trouble. This provides a more supportive environment for students. Practice solving problems should be distinguished from test taking. The purpose of the practice is to help the student learn, while the purpose of the tests is for student evaluation.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I think it also depends upon the subject. If you are learning different math techniques during the day while practicing and applying them to problems as homework the lesson is reinforced. It helps you handle real world problems later on. For my AP Chem and Physics the homework was a major part of the class.

For all the complaining about homework there are an awful lot of kids spending many hours on FB, playing games, watching Hulu and youtube, or hanging out at the mall every day.
(I guess it’s possible they are all taking the Texas and Kansas approved creationism course.}

flo's avatar

What is being taught to prepare students for assembly line?

There is nothing wrong working at an assembly line unless you are making involved in making harmful products. And, it is not the assembly line workers who brought down the economy.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with @LuckyGuy. Some subjects need practice.

@flo I am not sure exactly what you are talking about? Even assembly line workers want to be able to read, think logically, have hobbies and side interests, benefit from understand how compounding interest works, and from understanding how government works, how to figure a 30% discount, basics of science, especially understanding our own bodies, and on and on. My school had electives in automechanics, woodworking, leatherworking, home ec, all sorts of things that could help someone with skills that might appy to factory jobs.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@flo One could argue that homework is training for assembly line.work. It teaches you to do what needs to be done: correctly and on time. You learn to plan and pace yourself You learn that (unless you are born into the Hilton family) you have responsibilities and cannot play all the time. All of the above are independent of the content.
If I were looking to hire someone for assembly line work (I’m not) I would prefer to have people who demonstrated their willingness to work and do well while in school. It might be the only data point I have.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@LostInParadise I agree. When I took over an adult training class for hotel managers, it was painful to sit through two weeks’ worth of lectures. After working with a team of subject matter experts, we were able to shift the lesson content from lecture format to more hands-on training and group exercises that supported the objectives. Part of that included building pre-topic assessments in order to place students in the right study group based upon existing knowledge.

Even then, we gave the students evening assignments. Some were based upon additional need tor practice that didn’t require classroom time and some were pre-work for the next day’s lesson. None of it was busy work; it was tied to achieving lesson objectives and being able to go back to their hotel armed with skills through practice.

@LuckyGuy My partner’s niece posted a status on FB yesterday that read, “Interview tomoz after skew.” One today says, “English assesment done !” I’ll be interested in hearing about the results.

@flo I’m not sure where you are going with the assembly line prep either. My partner works on one, and the company trains new hires as well as existing ones when they switch assignments. Even in the service industry, there is on-the-job training, because every location is different.

Like @JLeslie, the high skew school that I attended offered technical training through outside companies.

flo's avatar

Just here to answer the “assembly line” part in my last post, (I will return in case there are other things to reply to)

I was just asking everyone what this assembly line friendly education is re. @tom_g permalink”...dumbing down their kids and preparing them for an assembly line making iPhones“_
the “dumbing down” part….

flo's avatar

@LuckyGuy thank you for that. “It teaches you to do what needs to be done: correctly and on time. You learn to plan and pace yourself You learn that (unless you are born into the Hilton family) you have responsibilities and cannot play all the time” “It” being homework. Okay I understand it is good for assembly line work, but it is good training for absolutely anything else, no? Creative, innovative people need dicipline too I am thinking.
I just got the feeling that @tom_g meant that assembly line workers are not worthy or something like that.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@flo Thank you for the clarification. I now see the point, or rather the question.

tom_g's avatar

@flo: “I just got the feeling that @tom_g meant that assembly line workers are not worthy or something like that.”

Are you seriously going down that path? I’m not sure I want to jump back in, if that’s the case.

But to somewhat qualify my thoughts on whether I believe our school system is designed primarily to pump out obedient workers or critical, creative thinkers – I’m going with the former.

flo's avatar

@tom_g But you’re not backing up your assertion “our school system is designed primarily to pump out obedient workers”.

@LuckyGuy mentioned:
-”... it teaches you what needs to be done correctly and on time.”
”-..You learn to plan and pace yourself”
”-...You learn that (unless you are born into the Hilton family)..you have responsibilities and cannot play all the time.”
and I added…so do most of us. You can respond to that if you want.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@flo There are plenty of other methods to learn all that you listed above. Homework does not teach any of that, it implements practice. Practice of something one already knows can lead quickly to boredom & frustration.

“Correctly & on time…responsibilities” This can be learned through many other methods, including but not limited to : Testing, taking care of plants & pets, jobs, chores

“You learn to pace yourself” Self discipline can be learned through sports, volunteerism, commitments…

flo's avatar

People generally don’t find exercising, eating healthy enjoyable at all. at least when they start late in life. But does that mean they are not valuable? Too many people are too focused on not having liked homework.

flo's avatar

@SpatzieLover what you mentioned there, sports, volunteerism, commitments etc., not mutually exclusive with homework.

SpatzieLover's avatar

It is for a homeschooling family.

flo's avatar

Okay but we’re talking about school where teachers don’t have the luxury of tending to each student.

tom_g's avatar

@flo: ”@tom_g But you’re not backing up your assertion “our school system is designed primarily to pump out obedient workers”.”

You’re right. I can, and am willing to (somewhat) because I have many problems with almost everything about how we educate children. But this seems that it will derail the current thread. And, to be honest, this thread is making me a bit sad.

So, I will retract my statements about the school system as a whole for pragmatic reasons – including my statements about “obedience vs. critical thinking”.

Sorry for potentially derailing. Carry on…

SpatzieLover's avatar

Plenty of public & private schooling families do what homeschoolers refer to as after-schooling. After-schooling includes tutors, lessons, sports, etc. Homework, especially for elementary aged students tends to be busy work.

mangeons's avatar

@flo It’s not about not liking homework. It’s about it being an unnecessary time waster for many students.

flo's avatar

Homework is preparing/studying for exams. You can’t be against students and teachers who find it a godsend.
So, the students who can ace all the exams without it don’t need to do it. For every person who doesn’t need it there are many who do, and who don’t find it busy work/time waster. And again the exercise example.

@tom_g derail away.

mangeons's avatar

@flo Exactly, there are some who do, but there are also many who don’t. But even the people who don’t need to do it are being forced to so that they can keep a good grade in the class because it’s mandatory. Why require kids who don’t need it to do it instead of simply offering it to the kids who do?

flo's avatar

If it is graded, then that could be a problem. If it is an excessive amount, then that is a problem. These are things that can be looked into.

flo's avatar

@mangeons “Why require kids who don’t need it to do it instead of simply offering it to the kids who do?” I haven’t been for requiring those who don’t need it just against depriving those who do.

tom_g's avatar

@flo: “I haven’t been for requiring those who don’t need it just against depriving those who do.”

We’re done here, folks. I think we’re all in agreement.

amujinx's avatar

Why couldn’t teachers just assign optional homework that can help bolster the grades of those who need the help and aren’t good test takers so the students who obviously don’t need the extra practice don’t have to waste time doing it?

mangeons's avatar

@flo I’m pretty sure no one here was suggesting that we deprive kids that need homework from having it available, so I’m not really sure why you feel the need to keep arguing that point…

JLeslie's avatar

I think there needs to be some required homework, or self work, because sometimes that is how people learn that maybe they have not mastered the material perfectly when they thought they had. We are talking about children here. They are not always the best judge of how well they know something, and they are not always motivated to learn for learnings sake. By self work I mean it can be during class time. But, I do agree the idea of forcing teachers to always give homework is stupid. Homework should be given when it makes some sense, not because the teachers and parents think kids simply need homework every day and are giving busy work to make it look like everyone is doing their job.

Schools teach the masses, and how we teach now, the teacher can’t tailor a different level of lesson for each child, The requirements for the class need to sometimes force a kid to do better in spite of himself by having him go through the rigmarole of homework. So, some kids aren’t getting enough practice work in each class and some not enough. Again, that is why this newer idea of children studying at their own pace and then getting help in class on a more individual bases is very interesting. But, I have to say, for myself, I learn best in lecture in person. Even if I have to go through some wasted time in class, I prefer it.

LostInParadise's avatar

This slightly off topic, but here is a video showing how to combine math lecturing with student participation. There is a good case to be made for pushing open ended problem solving. In the video, the problems are focused just on math, but it should be possible to create projects that cut across disciplines. If done right, the need for homework could be cut down considerabley. In the optimum case, students might even be motivated to carry on their own out of class work without being assigned homework.

flo's avatar

What are the parents of Toddlers and Tiara teaching thier kids?
Never mind the homework prepare let’s prepare you for….what?

flo's avatar

To answer your question @mangeons why is there the notion of banning it, in France (I posted the link above).

tom_g's avatar

^^ @flo – Read the article you linked to.

tom_g's avatar

^^ Yet you asked @mangeons “why is there the notion of banning it, in France”. The article specifically outlines why there is the notion of banning it in France.

flo's avatar

@tom_g By the way we are not _“in agreement“_clearly.

I wasn’t asking “why is there the notion of banning it, in France”.literally” , as if I didn’t have the answer. I brought up the reason for the OP because there is such a notion, whether it is in France or elsewhere.

“Socialist Hollande worries that privileged children benefit from parental assistance on take-home assignments and that disadvantaged children do not.” There is an element of truth to that but it is not as clear cut as it sounds. The whole notion if banning it is preposterous since even with the additional class time there will still be students who need it.

tom_g's avatar

@flo – I’m not even sure why you’re harping on this, unless you really are curious to hear what others think about the topic. You’re not just pulling our leg, are you?

@flo: “The whole notion if banning it is preposterous since even with the additional class time there will still be students who need it.”

Did you read the article? Why am I in the position of making the case for some French guy? It’s pretty clear what his position is – even from a crappy little news article. But if you brush his argument off completely or just don’t sympathize with it, that’s fine. But saying that the notion of banning mandatory homework in a country where students are in school from 8:30am to 4:30pm (WTF?) seems to be intentionally missing the point completely. I mean, here in the states, kids are in school from what, 8:30am to 2:30am? So, the French kids are already doing 2 hours more work per day. If French schools can’t find time in that criminally-long school day to do the work they had planned for homework, then the system is broken.

Can we just get to the point here? How many hours per day should a child be in class or doing homework? 7? 8? 9? What about commuting to and from class, eating, brushing their teeth, possibly engaging in an afterschool activity (soccer, flute lessons, etc)? What about being a kid? What about that all-important free-play?

What I’m hearing from you (and correct me if I’m wrong) is that the current school day in the U.S. is too short, so kids must be forced to do more when they get home. But even in the case of France, which is 2 hours per day longer, it’s still too short, so they should also be doing more when they get home. Am I following you?

flo's avatar

@tom_g If there were no homework, we would have the time we need have our children get caught up about snookie, and to practice how to become a stripper, (Toddlers and Tiara) and be a cyber-bully…

tom_g's avatar

^^ Ok, now I know you’re not serious. Thanks for wasting my time.

JLeslie's avatar

@flo Are you serious? I don’t get your line of thought. I have the impression a lot of those Toddler in Tiara moms spend a ton of time with their children. Plus, 4 year olds don’t have homework.

mangeons's avatar

@flo You’re not making any sense at all anymore. You’re just going over your same points time and time again and making nonsensical remarks. I’m unfollowing this question now.

flo's avatar

The point is, we need to be helpful to paedophiles, whether we spend a ton of time with our children or not, whether they are too young for homework or not.

JLeslie's avatar

Huh? What does homework have to do with pedophiles? You obsess about that topic for some reason. All I can guess is something happen to you in childhood or someone close to you…I am not trying to pry, and I am not automatically assuming…but you veer off to children being sexually abused often. It doesn’t make sense for this discussion.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie You notice you didn’t metion my “cyber bullyng”, the “Snookie”. As to the other part of the post, I will let it speak for itself.

LostInParadise's avatar

We may see a grand experiment on the effectiveness of homework. French president Hollande wants to ban homework I think it is a secret plot by the government to get students to do homework. The thinking would be that by banning it, students will be encouraged to defy authority and gather together to do homework.,

flo's avatar

@LostInParadise Interesting article. Imagine homework being “barbarous”. I would like to know the credibility/bias of the people whose study comes up against homework.

-I’m thinking some kids love to have homework just so they can get away from their dysfunctional parents, who are at each other’s throats.

-How often have I heard adults come up with statements like “You must be happy that there is no school/no homework today huh?” So, there is the suggestion from culture in general you’re not supposed to be good at school otherwise it makes you “geeky”.

@JLeslie If I were you I would have suggested I put my questions in “social” instead of “general” if it was only about the “off topic”-ness of it.

You could have simply asked how they are related.
I would have posted: “Education/homework is a way out of having to be dependent/ at the mercy of on what kind of people?” For one, so called parents who are effectively against the security/well being of their kids, who use them as a money machine. What they get their kids do on stage is pleasing to paedophiles et al.
Add the physical abuse, i.e eyebrow waxing!
Homework gets in the way. They would rather teach them that all they should be concerned about their looks.

JLeslie's avatar

@flo I still don’t see the relationship honestly. Some of those tiara kids are from the bible belt of America, very Christian families, who somehow are able to merge together faith, and sexy clothing and makeup, on 5 year olds. Homework does not stop a kid from going on the internet and being sucked in by a preditor. These things are not mustually exclusive, everything can happen at once.

If you mean free time can mean children have more time to get into mischeif, I guess that is true to some extent, but I would not say load on more homework, I would say have activities for children they enjoy.

And, you do often turn conversations into children being abused, I have to assume your intent with your original question was that you think homework avoids men looking at and molesting young children. Why not ask that in the beginning? Ask if homeworks keeps kids safer and out of bad situations after school. Or, were you really interested in knowing the arguments for and against homework regarding a students academic abilities and the relationship homework has to future success in higher education and careers? Because, I’ll go out on a limb and speak for everyone else on this Q, we thought this was a discussion about the academics and homework’s relationship to learning, not about a kid being targeted as a sex object.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie It is against your interest to see it. “I still don’t see the relationship honestly.”

JLeslie's avatar

All I can say is 6 Great Answers so far for me.

I am not sure why it is against my interest. I do care about society at large, and children especially, but I am not a child, nor a mother, and haven’t had homeowrk from school in a long time.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie GAs really? That is the last thing to look at to guage how right or wrong you are about anything. How often have people posted that GAs are only about popularity?

jonsblond's avatar

Um, hi there! I answered way up above and I’m still following. I’d just like to say that I gave @JLeslie a GA because I agreed with her and not because she’s the prettiest jelly in Flutherland. just sayin’.

mangeons's avatar

What @jonsblond said. ^

JLeslie's avatar

Popularity? I never GA for popularity. But, I am flattered you think I am popular.

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