An increasing push from the national PTA to adopt "homework guidelines" has been in the works. I think this article from Vicki Abeles at the Huffington Post is a balanced one, however, we need to realize that when a country or school or anyone is at the top - it is because they earn it. If the United States wants to be at the top of education in the world, our society will need to work for it. Parents, schools, students, will need to work together to create a supportive environment for learning. I don't see that happening. Also, I wonder on any studies with homework how many of them are measuring homework assigned and how many of the kids are actually doing homework. That is much harder to measure because sometimes kids don't do it, many of them copy and help each other on Facebook, and of course, there are parents who do it for their children. Homework is not as easily studied as one might think.
The National PTA is supporting "healthy homework" which I'm not sure what this means at all. Life is full of stress. My fourth grader's test scores went through the roof this year and it is largely because I limited my travel schedule and spent 1-2 hours a night with him making sure he understands the concepts. So, we want to improve education but we want kids to have stress free lives. The only people not stressed in this modern age are those in the cemetery. I teach technology courses and don't give homework, however, if a student misses my class, they miss 50 minutes of work and are going to have to get it done sometime. My own children do spend several hours a night and I know as a parent that their time spent studying is directly correlated with their success on their report card. I agree that nonsensical homework is a waste, but the fact is, good students bring work home and review and study. I'm just thinking that many educational initiatives are in conflict with one another. There is also a difference between studying and homework. My child may not have "homework" but he reads every night for 30 minutes, works on his Barnell Loft, and we play educational games on my ipad to review what he is learning in school. It takes more than a good teacher to help kids learn - it takes a partnership between home and school.
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