Menu
Jump to content
ATTENTION: Forums search will not work until re-indexing is completed. Please follow these instructions for search

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Heather in Neverland

I HATE HATE HATE homework!! It should be banned.

Recommended Posts

And other reasons why I already miss homeschooling...

 

My life is a paradox. On the one hand, I love my job. It is challenging and interesting and fun. My dh loves his job here for the same reasons. My kids like the school...they like their friends, and recess and art and sports, etc.

 

BUT WE HATE HOMEWORK.

 

Why does an 11yo boy have to sit in school for 7 hours and then come home and do 2-3 more hours of homework? By the time we leave the campus it is 5pm (Kyle has class until 4pm but I have to stay until 5pm), eat dinner, do homework, practice piano, shower, get stuff ready for the next day...it is bedtime.

 

We have NO time together as a family to do anything except a little on the weekends. It has only been 3 weeks and we are already suffering the effects. We are snapping at each other, the kids are crabby, etc.

 

I was researching best practices in private Christian schools and one website I found listed the ideas that particular school believed in and I couldn't agree more (because it sort of sounds like homeschooling):

 

 

We believe that families are too busy and that schools waste lots of time on busy work and homework and justify it in the name of academic rigor.

 

We believe that schools should be efficient enough to teach your kids in the 35 hours per week of class time.

 

We believe that late afternoons in childhood are meant for riding bikes, playing ball, and hanging out with close friends.

 

We believe that evenings are for families and reading and rest.

 

We believe that “why do we have to learn this stuff?†is a very good question.

 

We believe that parents are responsible for their children and have the right to control their educational experience and goals.

 

We think parents (and students) have the right to know what is going to be taught before it’s taught.

 

We believe that on nice days it might be better to have class outside.

 

We believe money follows excellence, excellence follows vision, and visionaries must follow God.

 

Pretty cool, huh?

 

So has homeschooling just ruined me? How can I love working somewhere when I don't agree with the philosophy? Am I a traitor? Will I seem too uppity if I pull my ds out because I want something different for him? I feel like I have a split personality...loving something and hating it at the same time. AHHHHH!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. I like that bolded stuff. Maybe I should homeschool :D

 

I have nothing useful to contribute, but wanted to say that someone is hearing your frustration.

 

:)

Rosie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you read Alfie Kohn's book The Homework Myth: Why Our children Get Too Much of a Bad Thing? It's very enlightening! When I taught Spanish in a charter school a couple of years ago, I read it and then I stopped giving my students homework.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This year I enrolled my dd in an enrichment program for one full day (9-2:30). It's for art, music, PE, public speaking, and spanish. Ya know, a day to play and dabble in some fun subjects, but mostly it was to give her a little break from me and her little brother since I knew she was missing that aspect of "school". Today was day 1, and she came home with ... HOMEWORK! :001_huh:

 

One of my best friends has her dd enrolled in the local private school. She does 7+ hours of pretty rigorous school, then comes home by 3:30 to have to do 3 more hours of homework. The kid collapses in bed by 7:30. I don't get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Homework honestly is probably the #1 contributing factor to why we still homeschool our kids. I LOVE having our evenings free to "do whatever." DH and I were just talking about this tonight, actually. I think I'd be an entirely different person (and therefore, our family dynamic would be dramatically impacted) if I had to come home from work every day, get dinner on the table, do various extra-curriculars with the kids AND squeeze in hours of homework into our already busy schedule! Not to mention how zonked my kids would be! LOL

 

It's the #1 gripe from my friends who have kids in the school system for sure. It's hard for them to squeeze in family/fun time between all the homework time.

 

Not to mention the weekend homework. As I remember, the teachers heaped even more on us over the weekend, since we had "so much free time." :001_huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I suggest that you take a step back and consider that most of what your feeling is the result of culture shock and not necessarily all the result of homework?

 

How much orientation did you get about culture shock, long distance moving and living in a different country?

You are only three weeks into your move. I'd bet you're still very tired, even though you may not feel it, and I'll bet that deep down you expect things to go more smoothly by now and perhaps they are not. Each and every family member is experiencing the same thing. Expect culture shock, which makes people tired, cranky, and sad, to peak somewhere between 6 weeks and 3 months.

 

Now as far as school is concerned. Your kid's day ends at 4. That hour before you have to leave...does the school have a playground where the kids can burn off that energy? or can they settle down and do some of that homework to alleviate the evening burden?

 

Not having time for family....you have to make an effort to schedule specific events. Homeschoolers are blessed by having lots of flexible time, brick and mortars don't have that much flexibility. Make dinner table conversation about something else besides homework and what did you do today. Look at that school calendar and schedule family days for those long weekends or school holidays. Look and plan now, every family with school kids is doing the same thing. You'll need to reserve tickets, hotels ect...along with the rest of the crowd. We use Friday evening as a no homework evening....time for a movie, or a picnic or just a nature walk.

 

Hope this helps....it is still very early in your move....if you google up family stressers...the only things more stressful to a family than moving are death of a spouse or death of a child. You wouldn't expect your family to be functioning normally after these events and you should expect disfunction now. Not only have you moved, you've gone from homeschool to brick and mortar, mom-at-home to mom-at-work, and a new and different country....that adds up to stress, lots of stress...no wonder everyone is cranky. Treat the entire family as if you've had a death, which in fact you've all had. The death of one way of life and rebirth to anther season in your family's journey. Rest, eat, relax and know that for now that is enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

When I taught full time at a K-8 Charter School -- I tried not to give tons of homework to my students. Just the basic finish Saxon math assignment (I always gave 30 min in class for kids to work on it... so I could be available for questions. Most of the students had 1/2 to 3/4 of the assignment done in class which parents loved. I simply asked for parent to review the HW assignment and initial it at the top.) at home and study the spelling list for Friday's test. Most kids as a result had 20-30 minutes of homework. Gifted kids usually finished the dreaded Saxon in class. (I only had one parent complain I didn't give enough homework -- I told her she was welcome to create HW for her child on her own. LOL)

 

I felt kids worked so darn hard at our classical curriculum school (we had no time for art, PE, band, etc...)... that homework needed to be toned down. But the bad part was seeing kids burn out from such rigorous work. Once a quarter, there would be a big assignment like a book report or poetry recitation or Science Fair. But not weekly or monthly. I used to hold incentives like a "Go for the Gold" Day where we dressed up as CA Gold Rush Pioneers (our State History Unit) and reenacted the rush to the Gold. Or an Egg Drop contest in the Spring (very fun). Stuff that taught but was hands-on learning. BTW, I always communicated with the parents in a long weekly newsletter detailing my lesson plan (M-F) so they knew what to expect -- I also did this so I could avoid parents who had sick kids -- they could just look up in the newsletter what I taught the day they missed. BINGO.

 

Of course, my fellow colleagues did not feel the same way. They gave what I deemed "busy work" that should have been taught in the classroom. And they were the ones who did not stop to explore the snow or went outside to read on a lovely spring day. They kept the kid's nose in the textbook, drilled, and by golly -- got to the end of the textbook in June. But at what cost? My class held the highest score for District Writing Test, equaled my grade level colleagues with above grade level (75-80% percentile) standardized test scores... quite an accomplishment for a poor desert public/charter school in CA.

 

So sorry to hear what you are going thru... I'm with ya. I hate homework! I remember the rule of thumb back when I taught to have 30 min per grade level as homework. Never made sense to me. Always made home time stressful with sports, shopping, dinner, bath, and bedtime. Who HAD time to be a family? I don't miss the "grind" of school. :-(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm. I like that bolded stuff. Maybe I should homeschool :D

 

:)

Rosie

 

:lol::lol::lol: I agree with you Heather. Homework stinks! When my dd went to charter school our lives were very much just like how you are describing. After 2 months, my dh who was never on board with homeschooling and always though it "fringe" said to me, "You are homeschooling her again next year!" I feel your pain dearie. You are not a traitor, you are right. If you can send your dc to that school with the bolded philosophy (or one like it) then do it! You are a mommy, it's natural that you want what is best for your children. That's why we homeschool isn't it? :grouphug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And other reasons why I already miss homeschooling...

 

My life is a paradox. On the one hand, I love my job. It is challenging and interesting and fun. My dh loves his job here for the same reasons. My kids like the school...they like their friends, and recess and art and sports, etc.

 

BUT WE HATE HOMEWORK.

 

Why does an 11yo boy have to sit in school for 7 hours and then come home and do 2-3 more hours of homework? By the time we leave the campus it is 5pm (Kyle has class until 4pm but I have to stay until 5pm), eat dinner, do homework, practice piano, shower, get stuff ready for the next day...it is bedtime.

 

We have NO time together as a family to do anything except a little on the weekends. It has only been 3 weeks and we are already suffering the effects. We are snapping at each other, the kids are crabby, etc.

 

I was researching best practices in private Christian schools and one website I found listed the ideas that particular school believed in and I couldn't agree more (because it sort of sounds like homeschooling):

 

 

We believe that families are too busy and that schools waste lots of time on busy work and homework and justify it in the name of academic rigor.

 

We believe that schools should be efficient enough to teach your kids in the 35 hours per week of class time.

 

We believe that late afternoons in childhood are meant for riding bikes, playing ball, and hanging out with close friends.

 

We believe that evenings are for families and reading and rest.

 

We believe that “why do we have to learn this stuff?†is a very good question.

 

We believe that parents are responsible for their children and have the right to control their educational experience and goals.

 

We think parents (and students) have the right to know what is going to be taught before it’s taught.

 

We believe that on nice days it might be better to have class outside.

 

We believe money follows excellence, excellence follows vision, and visionaries must follow God.

 

Pretty cool, huh?

 

So has homeschooling just ruined me? How can I love working somewhere when I don't agree with the philosophy? Am I a traitor? Will I seem too uppity if I pull my ds out because I want something different for him? I feel like I have a split personality...loving something and hating it at the same time. AHHHHH!

 

I have no idea what pull you have, but since you are the principal, does that mean you would have some authority to change the policy on homework? There is a lot of research out there supporting less/no homework. The manifesto you posted could also be used as support since it's what some other christian school is doing. I'll bet if you dug hard enough, you could find more examples.

 

Instead of complaining about the system.... if you might be in a position to CHANGE the system, then do it. Then all the families could benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One last note...in many countries, homework is seen as an indicator of the quality of the education being given. The amount and rigor of the homework is directly proportional to the quality of the school. The idea of family time is a very, very new and western idea. Schooling, in order to better yourself is the child's job and it is a fulltime occupation for many, many youngsters. If this is the cultural expectation then a private school relying on tuition for expenditures might not be long for the world with a "no or little" homework policy. It might be a very difficult balance to lessen the homework load without losing your educational "reputation".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We believe that families are too busy and that schools waste lots of time on busy work and homework and justify it in the name of academic rigor.

 

We believe that schools should be efficient enough to teach your kids in the 35 hours per week of class time.

 

We believe that late afternoons in childhood are meant for riding bikes, playing ball, and hanging out with close friends.

 

We believe that evenings are for families and reading and rest.

 

We believe that “why do we have to learn this stuff?” is a very good question.

 

We believe that parents are responsible for their children and have the right to control their educational experience and goals.

 

We think parents (and students) have the right to know what is going to be taught before it’s taught.

 

We believe that on nice days it might be better to have class outside.

 

We believe money follows excellence, excellence follows vision, and visionaries must follow God.

 

Pretty cool, huh?

I actually just popped to the website of the school my boys were at in New Zealand (which we LOVED) because the policy sounded identical. They don't have it posted on their website so I guess that's not where you got it. When they stopped homework it certainly caused a stir among the parents, but I think people got used to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One last note...in many countries, homework is seen as an indicator of the quality of the education being given. The amount and rigor of the homework is directly proportional to the quality of the school. The idea of family time is a very, very new and western idea. Schooling, in order to better yourself is the child's job and it is a fulltime occupation for many, many youngsters. If this is the cultural expectation then a private school relying on tuition for expenditures might not be long for the world with a "no or little" homework policy. It might be a very difficult balance to lessen the homework load without losing your educational "reputation".

 

This is a BIG part of the problem. About half of the parents here want LOTS of homework and even sign their kids up for extra classes and tutoring outside of the school day. The other half of parents have more of a western mindset and complain that there is too much. And we ARE relying on tuition. So I am not sure what I will do. i can work in the system but I don't necessarily want it for my own kids (if that makes sense).

 

As of right now the policy for middle school is 15 minutes per academic subject so for Kyle that would be one hour and 15 minutes for homework. I am going to make sure he does one hour and 15 minutes of diligent, focused homework and then he is DONE even if he isn't "done". This is what I told his principal this morning and what I am going to tell his teacher as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heather the school the boys were at here in Australia had the same cultural clash happening. It was in an area with a high Chinese population and no matter how much homework the school gave the parents still did a bunch of extra activities and tutoring with the kids. They went to an optional homework system where the homework was an extension of/related to the work in school but children didn't have to complete it and it didn't count in marks. I thought it was kind of odd but the Chinese parents seemed happy enough with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heather the school the boys were at here in Australia had the same cultural clash happening. It was in an area with a high Chinese population and no matter how much homework the school gave the parents still did a bunch of extra activities and tutoring with the kids. They went to an optional homework system where the homework was an extension of/related to the work in school but children didn't have to complete it and it didn't count in marks. I thought it was kind of odd but the Chinese parents seemed happy enough with it.

 

 

That may be the "happy medium"? I would suspect in Malaysia the cultural mindset is driven to excel in all things academic to bring honor to the family name. So, classes outside of school are normal and piling on the homework would also be considered normal. (However, our mindset in the states is the opposite. This could also be the reason the US in lagging way behind in math and science... but alas, that is another sticky subject. LOL)

 

Heather, my only concern is that you are the new kid in town... I'd hate to see your job in jeopardy and school board members upset. And tuition lost. Pray about it. What do you feel God is telling you to do? Do you feel peace with the answer? Be careful when acting quickly in the flesh. BTW... I'd feel the same thing if I were in your shoes. Hang in there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can I suggest that you take a step back and consider that most of what your feeling is the result of culture shock and not necessarily all the result of homework?

 

How much orientation did you get about culture shock, long distance moving and living in a different country?

You are only three weeks into your move. I'd bet you're still very tired, even though you may not feel it, and I'll bet that deep down you expect things to go more smoothly by now and perhaps they are not. Each and every family member is experiencing the same thing. Expect culture shock, which makes people tired, cranky, and sad, to peak somewhere between 6 weeks and 3 months.

 

 

I first experienced culture shock when I was twenty-one and responsible for no-one but myself. You are going through it with massive responsibilities on your shoulders; your children are experiencing it when they don't have a full understanding of changes in life and the healing effects of time. I'm sure that the homework is a contributing factor, but it's a difficult time for all of you; six months from now, it might not loom so large.

 

Best wishes, and feel free to PM me: my family have done two major international moves in the last six years.

 

Laura

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One last note...in many countries, homework is seen as an indicator of the quality of the education being given. The amount and rigor of the homework is directly proportional to the quality of the school.

Yes. Dh's cousins who live here have their kids in Indian schools and the intensity level -- both within school and in homework/extra tutoring -- is far higher than anything I've ever experienced.

 

Are these local children or expats? If they are kids who will be going to their home countries for highschool and/or college, that's going to be another consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My best friend does foster care and she has been complaining to me for the last two weeks about how much home work the children have been bringing home. Even the Ker has had at least an hour a night. She feels like the bond she has with the children is being severed by the school system. The children come home at night, do homework, eat dinner, do their chores and hopefully get to bed on time. Some times they don't get to bed ontime because they have too much homework.

 

She's been complaining to me that there is no time for play or family time just homework.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all...:grouphug: and lots of them. I am in the same boat this year w/ 3 back in ps. I HATE IT! And today is only day 3. Back to school night at ds11's school last night was painful at best. His Soc. Stud./Math/homeroom teacher (whom I already do not like) said she gives hw on Fridays and to that I laughed and said, "Oh no...that will not work for us" (I think I said it out loud...ooops). She looked rather dumbfounded and I explained that 5 days a week, 30 hours a week + hw 4 days each week was quite enough and that weekends were our FAMILY time. If she couldn't teach them what they needed to know in that amount of time then perhaps she needed to be more efficient. Silence. Not the best start to our relationship, but the woman had already irked me by making some rather condescending remarks about homeschooling. Grrrr...... So...I hear you. I'm already regretting my decision to put them back in ps and wish I could go back. Dh doesn't even want to listen to me complain so I have nowhere else to vent except here. So, I feel you...:grouphug: for us both!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember the rule of thumb back when I taught to have 30 min per grade level as homework. Never made sense to me. Always made home time stressful with sports, shopping, dinner, bath, and bedtime. Who HAD time to be a family? I don't miss the "grind" of school. :-(

 

30 min per grade? Yikes!

 

The standard at my kids' school is 10 minutes per grade, four days a week. Most days my kids don't even have that much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First of all...:grouphug: and lots of them. I am in the same boat this year w/ 3 back in ps. I HATE IT! And today is only day 3. Back to school night at ds11's school last night was painful at best. His Soc. Stud./Math/homeroom teacher (whom I already do not like) said she gives hw on Fridays and to that I laughed and said, "Oh no...that will not work for us" (I think I said it out loud...ooops). She looked rather dumbfounded and I explained that 5 days a week, 30 hours a week + hw 4 days each week was quite enough and that weekends were our FAMILY time. If she couldn't teach them what they needed to know in that amount of time then perhaps she needed to be more efficient. Silence. Not the best start to our relationship, but the woman had already irked me by making some rather condescending remarks about homeschooling. Grrrr...... So...I hear you. I'm already regretting my decision to put them back in ps and wish I could go back. Dh doesn't even want to listen to me complain so I have nowhere else to vent except here. So, I feel you...:grouphug: for us both!

 

Well kudos to you for speaking out!

 

I think my other problem is the type of homework they are giving... worksheets and more worksheets. If his teacher said "I want you all to go home and read X number of pages out of (insert classic novel)" I would be jumping for joy. But all we get are piles of worksheets, pointless projects and math problems (I can live with the math problems but there are just too many).

 

I am not going to buck the system for all students but I will for my own.

 

And yes, culture shock is definitely setting in... but not in ways I had imagined. :confused: It's not even the "culture" as it is the massive change in our family schedule and family dynamics. Oh yeah, and the driving. I still hate the driving. But wow, it is so beautiful here. How did I ever live without staring at the ocean while I drink coffee? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally understand. My youngest is now in 5th grade at a charter school. The only homework they have is stuff they fail to finish in school, and special projects. Probably 10 minutes per night average, usually math. She is in pre-algebra this year, so I think doing 10 minutes of math at home each night is probably a good thing. No homework over weekends.

 

There is another charter school in my town where they have 10 minutes per grade level. 1st graders have 10 minutes, etc. That would leave 6th graders with an hour per night, but in practice I understand they have a lot more than that. I'm so glad I picked the right charter!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And yes, culture shock is definitely setting in... but not in ways I had imagined. :confused: It's not even the "culture" as it is the massive change in our family schedule and family dynamics.

 

That's why it's a shock. Everything is new and unexpected, and you just have to live through it and you will eventually adapt.

 

You might even come to not mind those squatty potties! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knowing about the homework is one of the huge motivators that keeps me homeschooling even on the darkest of days in the deeps of February!:)

 

I was talking to a friend whose daughter is in kindergarten. She has 2 hours of homework a night...most of it busy work. Kindergarten. Two hours. Per night.

 

When I struggle with my kids over getting their assignments done (and I do) I realize that sending them to school will only reschedule the same struggle. Instead of struggling in a leisurely manner at 9 a.m....I will be fighting desperately at 4 p.m to get everything done in a compressed amount of time.

And I won't get a say in the assignment I am fighting over. At least when I assign the work, I get to decide whether to carry it over for another day, ditch it, or require them to keep their noses to the grindstone through the weary hours.

 

Susu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knowing about the homework is one of the huge motivators that keeps me homeschooling even on the darkest of days in the deeps of February!:)

 

I was talking to a friend whose daughter is in kindergarten. She has 2 hours of homework a night...most of it busy work. Kindergarten. Two hours. Per night.

 

When I struggle with my kids over getting their assignments done (and I do) I realize that sending them to school will only reschedule the same struggle. Instead of struggling in a leisurely manner at 9 a.m....I will be fighting desperately at 4 p.m to get everything done in a compressed amount of time.

And I won't get a say in the assignment I am fighting over. At least when I assign the work, I get to decide whether to carry it over for another day, ditch it, or require them to keep their noses to the grindstone through the weary hours.

 

Susu

 

One of my friends always told people with their dc in school: "We both homeschool. I just do it in the morning and you do it when they get home from school."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Knowing about the homework is one of the huge motivators that keeps me homeschooling even on the darkest of days in the deeps of February!:)

 

I was talking to a friend whose daughter is in kindergarten. She has 2 hours of homework a night...most of it busy work. Kindergarten. Two hours. Per night.

 

When I struggle with my kids over getting their assignments done (and I do) I realize that sending them to school will only reschedule the same struggle. Instead of struggling in a leisurely manner at 9 a.m....I will be fighting desperately at 4 p.m to get everything done in a compressed amount of time.

And I won't get a say in the assignment I am fighting over. At least when I assign the work, I get to decide whether to carry it over for another day, ditch it, or require them to keep their noses to the grindstone through the weary hours.

 

Susu

 

YES...exactly. It's not that I am not willing to have my kids put their nose to the grindstone. It's just that I want it to be worth it. And, of course, I also don't think homework is the only way kids learn outside of school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's why it's a shock. Everything is new and unexpected, and you just have to live through it and you will eventually adapt.

 

You might even come to not mind those squatty potties! :D

 

:lol::lol::lol:

 

I am far too prissy for that. :tongue_smilie: I would need a lobotomy! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you read Alfie Kohn's book The Homework Myth: Why Our children Get Too Much of a Bad Thing? It's very enlightening! When I taught Spanish in a charter school a couple of years ago, I read it and then I stopped giving my students homework.

 

 

I just read this book a couple of weeks ago - it is eye-opening to say the least.

Heather, I would recommend you read this book if you can, and maybe you can use it to make some changes at your school. Homework is an evil invention :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just read this book a couple of weeks ago - it is eye-opening to say the least.

Heather, I would recommend you read this book if you can, and maybe you can use it to make some changes at your school. Homework is an evil invention :D

 

:lol:

 

Just put it in my Kindle!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×