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(Toronto Star)   This week in overindulgence: School board to vote on proposal for no tests on Mondays, no homework on weekends, holidays, and breaks   (thestar.com) divider line 154
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2476 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jun 2007 at 10:35 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-06-19 05:33:32 PM
I've come down pretty hard on teachers here over the years. Last September, as I sat in my daughters desk for Parent night, my daughters teacher told us parents how she thought it foolish to have grade five students staying up until all hours doing homework... pretty much everything the headline says.

I was stunned.

When I saw the first report card I was anxious due to the awful time my daughter had the previous year.

There were 8 "A's".

This teacher got more out of her students than any teacher I've ever seen. Better comprehension and retention than I had ever thought possible from my kid anyway.

I wholeheartedly agree with those teaching methods and hope they make it the law of the land.
 
2007-06-19 06:02:26 PM
hey, as long as they include "No sex in the champaign room." I'd go for it.

It CAN work, the trouble is teachers are creatures of a beurocracy... betcha that teacher gets fired for some paperwork reason.
 
2007-06-19 06:06:01 PM
I didn't have nearly as much homework in the 80s as kids today do, and I went to a college prep school with a tough curriculum. I really feel sorry for the middle- and high-schoolers I see walking home from the bus ashen-faced from the weight of their huge backpacks.
 
2007-06-19 06:06:42 PM
prjindigo: betcha that teacher gets fired for some paperwork reason.

Naw.... she got great reviews from all of the parents. Letters were sent to the Principal with the tone "We want more of this.", quite clear.
 
2007-06-19 10:05:24 PM
This week in overindulgence: School board to vote on proposal for no tests on Mondays, no homework on weekends, holidays, and breaks

Sorry, but that's not how reality works. The workforce does not operate that way mostly.

On the other hand, giving too much homework is pointless, especially when the students start copying off each other just to get it done. Both work and school have the same time frame: usually 8-9 hours a day focussing on that material. The big plus is that you get paid at work and not school. But if you go to school for 6 hours, then have 6 more hours of homework that night, then something is definately wrong.

This is what pissed me off in alittle in high school and mostly in college (in my field): all the teachers pretty much know each other, but they never compare schedules with each other. So one day you have five exams or three projects due the same day because the teacher doesn't know what the other ones are doing. I'm not saying that they need to compare everything, just the things that mean the most in class (tests and projects). Give an idea to others what you are planning, because how is it helpful to the student to test them after they are burned out from finishing up reports, projects or other exams earlier that day.

/Yes, I did have a lot of assignments that conflicted with each other.
//Especially finals.
///Big ass oral report worth 50% of my grade, then three hours later a final worth 70%
////Not fun.
 
2007-06-19 10:37:44 PM
Oh those poor poor poor overworked little asshats. :(
 
2007-06-19 10:41:16 PM
Tell me why I don't like Mondays ...
 
2007-06-19 10:42:36 PM
Excellent!
 
2007-06-19 10:43:34 PM
Fatslappers.

People have to be challenged to perform at their best. Not everyone is going to be a star of course. But teaching students to slack is not going to help them achieve their goals.
 
2007-06-19 10:44:15 PM
Quoth prjindigo...
> champaign
> beurocracy

You need another hour of homework.
 
2007-06-19 10:44:36 PM
//Hehehe.. I am a Monday and I'm getting a kick out of these... aah screw it
 
2007-06-19 10:45:28 PM
I've been listening to this story develop on CBC. The student trustee made a good point - we complain about childhood obesity and the fact that kids are so inactive. But then, what the hell do we expect when kids are given hours and hours of homework per night? It's completely unrealistic to think that kids are going to be willing to go run around outside for a few hours once they've done their hours of homework. It's a delicate balance, and there's a point at which homework is just unnecessary. Homework is a good way for parents to get involved in their kids' lives, but not when it takes over their lives. When you can't plan shiat as a family because someone thought it would be a great idea to assign 100 math problems for a weekend, there's something screwed up.

Of course, this will all be lost in a chorus of "well, when I went to school, we got our asses kicked with a belt when we did our homework and a mace when we didn't, and we were damn grateful for the opportunity."
 
2007-06-19 10:48:27 PM
No tests on mondays? I do most of my best studying over the weekend. Taking time to study for a test during weeknights when I've got homework for other classes is difficult at best. Having a monday test means that I've gotten over a big hump in classes for that week. Aww fark it, the way things are going. If it goes through, this is just another light going out on the titanic as it sinks.

/No I'm not a workaholic.
//I also do some of my best partying over the weekend as well.
///Holidays can also be used to read ahead and don't get in the way of fun either.
 
2007-06-19 10:51:03 PM
The problem is most teachers assign homework as busywork. Kids shouldn't have more than maybe 60-90 minutes of homework, max.

They're at school for 7-8 hours a day. That should be enough.
 
2007-06-19 10:52:09 PM
At this point... why not? What's the worse that could happen? It's not like the kids will get any stupiderer.
 
2007-06-19 10:54:33 PM
dumbstudent2002 - I think the appropriate phrase would be "I'm on a school board, and I'm really getting a kick out of these responses"

But really... its not so much the test days that cause the problem... more like the homework that takes way to long and doesn't have any actual academic value.

/Student
//High school is easy
///the busywork I could use less of
////slashies
 
2007-06-19 10:55:02 PM
Sorry, but that's not how reality works. The workforce does not operate that way mostly.

I'm sorry, you are not talking about the workforce here, this is about CHILDREN. That means small immature humans that dont have the same sleeping, learning or eating patterns as adults. They are not little adults, they are immature members of the species and cannot have the same expectations or handle the same stress levels as adults. I'm constantly amazed at how people insist on loading up childeren with huge workloads in school, when they are just little kids. I remember having 6 classes a day in high school with each class requiring at least an hour homework each every day. That meant being up untill midnight at least almost every night.

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world because the adults were never allowed to just be children, no time to play, time to do nothing, time to excersize frustrations that are tempered with age and maturity and no time to just live.

Stop expecting them to act like 40 year olds. There is no comparison.
 
2007-06-19 10:55:13 PM
By the time my son finished high school he was surely hallucinating a helpful Sherpa or two between home and the bus stop he had so much homework. Poor kid. Of course now that he's in college all his "homework" fits on a flash drive. My wallet is a lot lighter, too. Related phenomena, perhaps?
 
2007-06-19 10:56:43 PM
It's about time someone did something about this, I remember when some fool gave me a mini math book the last day of school and said it was summer homework.....wtf.
 
2007-06-19 10:58:41 PM
Memoryalpha 2007-06-19 10:48:27 PM

No tests on mondays? I do most of my best studying over the weekend


Engineer? School exists to train Starbucks employees and liberal arts majors, not anyone useful.
 
2007-06-19 10:59:25 PM
Went to private school with no shortage of workload, but we had a policy of no homework due on the day after a long weekend/break. I think it's a great policy. It allows families to go away for breaks and shows the teachers that the school expects them to consider kids' schedules. Also had a policy against more than two tests on the same day. (If a kid had three, they were allowed to take one the next day during lunch, etc.)
 
2007-06-19 10:59:33 PM
Fatslappers.

People have to be challenged to perform at their best. Not everyone is going to be a star of course. But teaching students to slack is not going to help them achieve their goals.


It does not teach students to slack it takes into account that a child's or teenager's life is more than just his or her schooling and homework. It takes into account children cannot learn properly if they have not had enough adequate rest and play.

Homework today: Secondary. Each class gives the students what they think is 20 minutes of homework nightly. This is usually for a straight A student so your average student and average being C it will probably be 40 minutes per subject. Do 5 subjects and that is 40 X 5 = 200 = 3 hours 20 minutes a night.

That is a 9 hour day.

This homework time takes away from play time, social interaction.

Makes the child tired and affects their ability to concentrate the next day.

This proposal does not seek to ban homework it seeks to force a balance.

For example giving the weekend back to students to be children, gives the weekend back to families for family outings and experiences. School can only teach children so much, life and having time to experience it and the energy when you are experiencing it gives the child a lot more. But if school is taking way too much energy and time then it should, then your child will not be as rounded as a child who did less homework but spent more time experiencing life.


That really went on but I hope you get my drift.
 
2007-06-19 10:59:49 PM
This is from Canada, regarding Canadian education standards, just fyi.

Actually I think a fair amount of American schools unofficially adopted this policy years ago, if standardized tests are to be believed.
 
2007-06-19 11:00:58 PM
A couple hours of homework a night should be about the max for students. It's ridiculous to expect more. Quality over quantity.

I don't think I did any homework until high school, and only a couple of hours a night in high school. I did fine in college, and continue to do fine in life.
 
2007-06-19 11:02:45 PM
The pussification of Amer-

Wait. What?

Toronto, Ontario Canada??
 
2007-06-19 11:03:41 PM
Those sound like excellent suggestions.
 
2007-06-19 11:04:15 PM
Gavin

Kids aren't fat because they have a lot of homework.

They're fat because they eat too much processed food and they drink sugar water.
 
2007-06-19 11:05:14 PM
Where's the Hero tag?

/senior in high school
//likes this idea
 
2007-06-19 11:05:22 PM
Actually I think a fair amount of American schools unofficially adopted this policy years ago, if standardized tests are to be believed.Ha ha! Don't we wish they had. No, we load our children down with busywork and then wonder why their retention rate is crap despite our near-exclusive focus on mindless memorization.
 
2007-06-19 11:06:14 PM
I fully support getting rid of homework altogether. If the kid isn't learning the six hours that they already have them, then one to three hours of busy work at home isn't going to help. Don't burn the kids out. The kids need time to play and run around too.

If they want to send home a *bit* of review work once a week to go over with a parent then fine.
 
2007-06-19 11:07:50 PM
It's funny that people think that kids don't have enough today... Students have more homework, younger, than ever before, and it's still increasing. This despite overwhelming evidence that the concept of homework is bogus in terms of increasing grades, especially with younger students. In fact, past a certain point (the studies I've read disagree about where that is) homework is profoundly detrimental to social, mental, and even physical health.

I say bravo to this... I'm sick of seeing my 12 year old brother do more work in a night than I did in most of high school- especially since it doesn't teach him anything.
 
2007-06-19 11:09:07 PM
School is not tough. I was in high school within the last 5 years.

I didn't learn anything from most of my teachers. The ones that were known as tough actually passed on knowledge.

School time was a combination of tutoring other kids, writing tests in 1/5th the time allocated, and doing homework. The freed up time during the day was spent napping or temporarily leaving class to play sports with whatever PE classes on at the time.

I was not permitted to skip any grades (okay a few were allowed, but not the ones that would have allowed early graduation) so I took university classes separately. The reason for this was that if I skipped a grade the school would miss out on allocation of funds per pupil in the future.

There is no incentive to perform above average. They actively discourage it both on the administrative level and on the teacher level where the occasional numb-skull gets offended you teach their class better than they do.

The curricula are too rigid. They need to allow the freedom for kids to study what they want. Allow kids to teach other kids -- its free labour, just provide a scholarship or two at the end, and more effective than what is currently in place. Too many morons take pointless degrees because funding to universities is primarily allocated on a per student and not per unit of useful knowledge. If a kid wants to attend a trade school full time at 13, why not? So much of our education system is about watering down the material and using the system as a daycare. If you only have 5 years worth of knowledge to impart, don't drag it out to 10.
 
2007-06-19 11:10:25 PM
deadsanta: if standardized tests are to be believed.

They aren't.
 
2007-06-19 11:10:33 PM
People did work in high school? I can't remember more than a handful of days throughout high school where I even brought a backpack home... But I was in mostly AP courses... Perhaps the standard/dumb courses give out a lot of busy work?
 
2007-06-19 11:11:38 PM
*insert indignant response on how children have it easy nowadays*

*insert subsequent declaration to remove yourself from the premises*

Eh, let em figure it out. They can't possibly do any worse on this generation, right? And who knows--maybe they're right? ;-)

/tongue in cheek

;-)
 
2007-06-19 11:13:23 PM
h to the 'ojo: Too many morons take pointless degrees because funding to universities is primarily allocated on a per student and not per unit of useful knowledge.

How do we define what "useful knowledge" is, let alone what constitutes a unit of it?
 
2007-06-19 11:14:29 PM
h to the 'ojo: There is no incentive to perform above average. They actively discourage it both on the administrative level and on the teacher level...

As a high school student, I can assure everyone that this does happen, at least to me.
 
2007-06-19 11:16:59 PM
We need to support vouchers. Some kids need hours of homework to understand basic concepts. Some kids just need to hear it once. We are not all the same as much as we would like to be.
 
2007-06-19 11:18:11 PM
ElCid,

7-8 hours in school, and that should be enough? You kidding me???????? Holy shiat. If anything, make school 4 hours long, and have the rest be homework. My public school was just babysitting, not learning. I was lucky if something interesting or educational happened for 15 minutes a week.

//My god.
 
2007-06-19 11:19:57 PM
WxAxGxS
People did work in high school? I can't remember more than a handful of days throughout high school where I even brought a backpack home... But I was in mostly AP courses... Perhaps the standard/dumb courses give out a lot of busy work?

They don't. I didn't take any AP courses in high school, and you just described my entire high school experience.

/was six years ago, if that means anything.
 
2007-06-19 11:21:17 PM
CornFedIowan

I love when I get out to the theatre. My attendance is surely an act of cultural education.

My perspective is that the arts are worthwhile. However the intervention of government should be related to investment and return for the country. I believe the debate is not about what is worthwhile, but where funding begins and ends or a simple matter of price.

I don't think you would dispute there are many government funded courses in universities and colleges that fulfill no purpose other than to train the next generation of professors to teach that course in the future.
 
2007-06-19 11:21:30 PM
This proposal does not seek to ban homework it seeks to force a balance.

Given the dismal (and declining) test scores of US students, I think it's fair to say that "balance" isn't what they need, if it means even less learning. I know that homework does not equal learning, but they do tend to correlate.

If we treat our students like France treats its adult workers, our adult workers will be about as productive as France's...

Our country fetishizes youth and treats it like it should be some sort of magical, responsibility-free period of life. That goes against 99% of history, and it's not helpful to let humans spend the first 18 years of their life on easy mode, because that sets their lifetime expectations. When you hit puberty, it's time to start learning how to be an adult.

/and get off my lawn
 
2007-06-19 11:23:58 PM
Filling out mountains of meaningless paperwork =/= Education.

There is more than enough time in a school day for a competent teacher to teach the material without wasting the kids time at home with mindless grunt work.
 
2007-06-19 11:24:02 PM
I guess I had it easy when I was in high school (class of '04). The teachers assigned little "busy work" type homework and more guided stuff like practice AP stuff related to the topic in class. For the non-AP classes, I had a deal with most of my teachers that as long as my test grades were above 90, I didn't have to do any homework. And the ones that did assign the busy work never collected it because they didn't want to be bothered to grade it, so usually only the C students did it.

/actually had a good public high school education
//at a private college now
 
2007-06-19 11:24:45 PM
What the hell? I graduate and 2 weeks later they decide to start banning all the shiat I hated in school? There is no God...
 
2007-06-19 11:25:03 PM
Something tells me that the kids staying up until 11 either save their homework until like 9 or 10, are in all AP classes, or are in all regular/basic classes but have tons of trouble with their homework. I suppose it's possible that they get assigned way too much homework, but out of the 4 or so schools in two different counties I've gone to there was rarely more than about 2-3 hours of homework; nothing even approaching 7-8 hours of homework except when I waited until the last day to do a report. I think I heard once that "an hour a night per subject is considered appropriate" from some teacher or another but that'd mean up to 8 hours of homework in my case...I think 2-3 or less is a good level to aim for personally.
 
2007-06-19 11:26:04 PM
CornFedIowan
How do we define what "useful knowledge" is, let alone what constitutes a unit of it?

DINGDINGDING! we have a winner!

Yeah, that's about half our problem. We try to homogenize and commoditize a relatively abstract thing like knowledge. There are some concrete things that we all SHOULD know what to do (like read and add perhaps), but once you get outside of those "gotta haves"... well, that's where we kinda go nuts.

/don't have answers
//just observations
///ok, maybe one answer--have an OPTION of a trade-school route in high school.
 
2007-06-19 11:26:18 PM
So, any guesses on the odds of submitter having actually attended school in the age of hours-long homework?
 
2007-06-19 11:26:27 PM
My just finished second grader had homework four nights a week - but they were all either really fun or directly influenced how well he performed during the school day. And they were all short. He was in the after-school program at the school with, gasp, teachers and paras available to encourage him to do his best and rethink wrong answers. A longer school day? Already works for my kids, in part because it's mixed in with a lot of physical and other fun activities.
 
2007-06-19 11:29:06 PM
STUPID. Let teachers teach, biatches.
 
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