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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Does homework affect your work?

I love the newest Love & Money column by Jeff Opdyke on extreme homework. Jeff says the huge piles of homework his fifth-grade son brings home takes a toll on the entire family. He writes, "The volume of homework and tests that fill his docket is, in a word, ridiculous. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point U.S. schools decided that if you can't teach 'em, test 'em...or pile on more homework."

Come on parents, you must be able to relate! Just last week I muttered something similar to what Jeff writes: "My son's life -- and by extension our family life -- is a constant, stress-laden stream of homework and tests and projects. It overshadows everything we do, always hanging over our head. It affects our weekends, our meals, our vacations, our work time, our playtime, our pocketbooks."

My co-worker, Donna, is convinced teachers actually want parents to do their kids' work. "When my son was in second grade we had a project returned to us saying it wasn't up to standards. The teacher showed us other projects that had been turned in and it was obvious the parents had done them. So my husband did our son's project. He got an A."

Jeff argues in his column that this issue of extreme homework actually affects our jobs. "At some point, the ability of Mom and Dad to keep the family clothed, sheltered and fed is relatively high on the Things To Do Today list. When I'm cutting interviews short to make a practice quiz, or Amy's going to work late -- or rising at 4 a.m. -- to help him prepare for a test, something's rotten with the system."

Here's the link to the full article. What's your take on extreme homework? Does it affect your family and work lives?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read Jeff's column in the Sun-Sentinel last Sunday, and I agree that it's high time parents put their foot down on teacher manufactured busy work. As for projects that parents must do to achieve "standards," that also must stop. I'd rather have a child earn a C on something he/she did on their own than snag an A on something I orchestrated. Ditto for grades overall. When parents refuse to turn their evening home life into one long study-hall, maybe teachers will start teaching during the day.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My English teacher gives us a packet each week, and a project that goes along with it. It's easy if you spend your time wisely and do the work, the whole project earning a C and the one parents did is bull. I say, if they actually spent TIME on the project they get full credit.

10:06 PM  

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