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Elementary School dumps homework!

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posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 07:46 AM
I'll have to say, I'm all for this. If there's one thing my kids hate most about school its the homework they are required to do every night. It has become a constant battle with my kids to get them to do even the simplist homework assignment.

They have the opinion that they spend their whole day at school; why should they then be forced to do even more schoolwork after they get home? I tend to agree with them. It would be like my boss asking me to do extra work for no pay after I got home from work at night.

Gaithersburg Elementary School abolishes homework

Gaithersburg Elementary School has abolished homework. Instead, students are being asked to read a book for about 30 minutes a night.

When Stephanie Brant came aboard as principal two years ago, she and her staff conducted a review of homework assignments.

"We really started evaluating the work that we sent students home with," explained Principal Brant. "We started looking, and really, it was a lot of worksheets. And the worksheets didn't match what we were doing instructionally in the classroom. It was just: we were giving students something because we felt we had to give them something."

Principal Brant knows this "reading only" homework policy runs a risk, but so far, the standardized test scores remain solid. In the most recent round of Maryland proficiency exams (2010-2011), fifth graders at Gaithersburg Elementary School scored about 72 percent proficiency in math and about 81 percent proficiency in reading.

Fox DC

Sure, standardized tests don't really tell much about what kids are learning but, if it gives the kids a more positive attitude towards learning, I'm all for it.

Its good to see that at least one school district has the balls to perform this experiment. I hope other schools around the country pay attention.

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:04 AM
I agree, the amount of homework my 3rd and 1st grader bring home is mind boggling.

And it's really hard on my 1st grader. He's a kid who just wants to use his imagination when he gets home. Instead he's doing homework until dinner, then bath and bed. So he fights every step of the way.

The kicker is, the homework isn't even graded. It's for "practice". I'm not a teacher, and so i cannot pretend i know how to do thier job. But i think writing spelling words everyday, and a worksheet of math or somthing is plenty.

Poor kids don't have time to come home, relax thier brains, and absorb what they learned that day.

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:05 AM
I have to disagree. No kid has ever wanted to do homework and getting them to do it is part of a parent's responsibility to educate their kids. What about kids that struggle in certain subjects, math for example? The only way they are going to learn it is by practice and they just won't get enough during regular school hours.

Just look at what kids are posting online these days - including some posts here on ATS. The level of spelling and grammar is terrible. So if they are not busy doing school work to improve their skills, they'll be online where stupid acronyms and misspelled words are commonplace and proper grammar is pretty much absent.

Kids are simply taught to be consumers these days, every bit of education they can get will help free them from a life of working a miserable job living pay check to pay check. The entire education system should be overhauled anyway. Start teaching kids things like finance (and how credit will make you a slave) and how to grow a vegetable or two. Aren't we supposed to be raising our children to be self sufficient instead of dependent on the system?

Don't get me wrong, I think there should be a limit of the amount of homework especially at early ages, but scrapping it altogether doesn't sounds like a good idea.
edit on 7-9-2012 by fenceSitter because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:16 AM
The problem is addressed in your source.

"We really started evaluating the work that we sent students home with," explained Principal Brant. "We started looking, and really, it was a lot of worksheets. And the worksheets didn't match what we were doing instructionally in the classroom. It was just: we were giving students something because we felt we had to give them something."

If this is the case, then the issue is simply poor educators.

School is a place to learn, and depending on the amount and scope of the topic, the day can be taken up with instruction. That is the reason homework exists, so children can apply the skills and lessons they have been taught, and then teachers use that to evaluate their teaching as well as the students grasp of the material.

In the USA, the typical day consists of multiple subjects and is crammed into relatively short days. There is little time in the school day schedule to accomodate both the lesson and the application and evaluation.

You realize that the teachers have homework too. They have to grade tests, review homework, make lesson plans and presentations etc.

Yes, kids should not be overwhelmed with homework, and it should be used as a tool for teaching, not simply as busy work given 'just because.'

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:16 AM
reply to post by fenceSitter

I agree with you even though i agree with the op. I do think they should have some type of homework.

maybe if that homework was geared towards the subjects they are struggling in, overall grades would improve.

For example, spelling and reading are my son's struggling subjects, he excels at math, science and such. If he could just focus on spelling and reading at home, i could get those grades up and he'd be passing all subjects.

I just hate wasting precious time on stuff he knows, instead of focusing on how best to help him in what he don't.

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:20 AM
reply to post by FortAnthem

Hi Fort

My children's school here in Perth, Western Australia is likewise considering this move and there is healthy debate amongst the teachers and parents at the meetings held to discuss same.

I must say mate, I am a little concerned about this move (my daughter reads very evening anyway) because, in my opinion, our kids are not as focused on the elementary aspects of learning these days. Not only my kids but many students at their school show an indifference towards subjects like Maths, Science, Social studies and English and homework, where once was assisted by encyclopaedias and "their life experiences" is now done by google.

After reading LUXUS's thought-provoking thread yesterday about dumbing down reality, I'm just a little concerned that our kids are going to be ever so reliant on technology and not their own brains.

You and I had to go through the fire and I'd like to think we turned out OK but we were lucky to escape the "google-fest" that currently permeates the thinking of this generation we speak of. For me, homework is a way of ensuring I, as a parent, get to weigh-in on my child's education and when I am home from sea I WEIGH IN heavily - and on many occasions taking the teachers to task the following morning.

Just my 2c.

S&F so I can discuss this at the next parent/teacher night in a few weeks
edit on 7-9-2012 by Sublimecraft because: split first paragraph

edit on 7-9-2012 by Sublimecraft because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:49 AM

"We really started evaluating the work that we sent students home with," explained Principal Brant. "We started looking, and really, it was a lot of worksheets. And the worksheets didn't match what we were doing instructionally in the classroom. It was just: we were giving students something because we felt we had to give them something."

This is exactly what's going on in my children's' school. I have to help them pretty much completely with their homework (they are in 3rd grade) because they simply don't understand the subject matter. When I ask them if they did anything like it in school that day or week, the answer is always no. If they do get homework that matches the instructed material that day, they rarely ask for my help.

1st and 2nd grades were bad with this. They are in a new school this year and only at the end of their 2nd week, so nothing so far has been an issue and homework has been pretty easy for them. The very first time one of them comes home with a sheet or assignment they don't understand because it was not taught or introduced to them, a meeting with the teacher will be had, and if needed, the principal too. I don't mind helping my children with their homework--that's my job as a parent. But there's something wrong with just sending them home with whatever they grab that day just because they feel like they have to.

Seriously. If I'm in my math class learning how to add 2 digit numbers, why would my teacher send me home with other math problems or word problems that don't involve adding 2 digit numbers together? If I am learning to use and recognize words with certain letter teams, (TH, QU, etc), why would I come home with a sheet requiring me to give synonyms and antonyms for different words? This is what was happening through the year in 2nd grade, nearly every night with both teachers.

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:51 AM

The school system has your kids for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. If they aren't able to teach you what you need to know in 40 hours a week for 12+ years, then why the hell do we have an education system?

Children need just as much time to sit around and relax as adults do.

Kudos to this school.


posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 10:19 AM
I think one of the biggest problems is that schools spend too much time indoctrinating our children and not enough time teaching them the basic skills they need.

If there was less time spent on environmentalist indoctrination, teaching everybody to have high self esteem regardless of what they have or have not accopmlished, trying to push on them secular non-morality and reliance on the gubment for all their needs, there would be plenty of time left over to teach them all the skills they really need.

I'm not saying that all schools should go this route but, I think it is a worthwhile experiment to see how much it affects learning and the kid's attitude to school and learning.

Right now, I think most parents would agree that schools pile on WAY too much homework, even for Kindergarteners. Maybe eliminating it for the youngest classes and slowly working into it as they move toward middle and high school would be the best approach.

Dumping tons of homework on them just to keep up appearances isn't working and its making my kids absolutely HATE school and learning at an age when they are most able to absorb information.

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 10:21 AM
Studies have shown there is little benefit until they are older anyway.

I say hats off to this school administration.

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 10:36 AM
When my daughter was in fourth grade, the only homework she took home was work that was supposed to be finished in class, but wasn't. Many days she brought no homework. This made sense to me as part of the real world. When I was working, if I had a report due on a certain day and I hadn't finished it, I would often take it home to work on it, or at least spend some after-hours time on it in the office. That's real life.

I do agree, however, that if a child is having problems with a particular subject, they should probably be taking extra work home to improve their understanding. My daughter's best friend was having a lot of problems with math, so she had a tutor come to their house after school, with work for the girl to complete. She went from a failing grade to making a B in math that year. It worked.

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 10:41 AM
Homework was silly easy in my schools, and we were one of the best. It was either do it just before class, else at the end when it was assigned.

The problem isn't the homework, it's the curriculum and the way the teaching is transmitted. There is no one size fits all for students. People not only have different learning styles, but different aptitudes.

I think the process should be streamlined and tailored to each type of thinker, and each level of ability based on experience and aptitude. I see no reason we should have grades which usually have the same age group. It's limiting.

edit on 7-9-2012 by moniesisfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 11:15 AM
I agree that homework isn't effective. Senseless time consuming work sheets and busy work. Children need time, just as adults need time to let things settle in. There are studies out there that actually prove that in primary school they have the opposite desired effect. Don't believe me, do your own homework and find it. That statement is frustrating and maybe demeaning. Now maybe you understand. It makes school a horrible chore.

The argument: I did it so they have to: is flawed logic. Why? Look it up.

Review is something else. Going through spelling words or definition is fast easy and can be fun. So can going through anything else.

I agree they have our children from 7-8 hours a day. If they didn't get it in that time frame, then there is something wrong with the system.

Yes, teachers do have homework. They have home work in exchange for 3 months off a year.

posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 11:45 AM
I've been told a rule of thumb for homework is the grade level times 10. So, a first grader should spend about 10 minutes at home during work....a 5th grader 50 minutes... and so on.

The problem here is meaningless worksheets. Go home and do this word search puzzle that mentions the words we are talking about in science. I hate when teachers give homework like that. What point does it serve?

Homework can have great value. It brings the ideas learned in school to a new setting, and it also allows parents to get a feel for what their child is learning. Extra practice is wonderful as long as it is worthwhile. I think reading for homework is great, as long as they are really reading.

My niece had to read for 30 minutes every night, on top of her other mass of homework, when she was in 4th grade. I watched her do it. Her father would set a timer and she would start to read. After about 2-3 minutes she was just staring around the room, turning a page every now and then, until the timer went off. What good did that do her?

In my opinion, students should have SOME homework during the week but it should be relevant and real to what they are learning. A simple example would be to write a paragraph summarizing what was learned in social studies today. Or complete 10 math problems like the ones they did that day ( not 50 like when I was in school). Simple, brief practice at home can have benefits.

posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 10:17 PM
I teach high school math and on a part time basis I teach at a local community college. I assign a small amount of questions (usually 5 per section we manage to cover) and grade the assignments for participation and not quality of work. I understand not everyone grasps each concept on the first day, but I'm able to use the homework to see which of my students need the most help. I never used to do this, but I found that some students are just too shy to ask a question in front of their peers. Using their homework and giving them full credit for making an effort it makes my job easier to assess which portions of the previous day's lecture I need to touch on more. Using this method, I've found that the overall test scores of my classes have improved. Homework is useful, but it needs to be within reason and geared less as a large portion of the class grade. The work assigned should be used as a practice tool for students as well as a tool for a teacher to assess areas of study that need more attention.

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 06:04 PM

Originally posted by tothetenthpower

The school system has your kids for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. If they aren't able to teach you what you need to know in 40 hours a week for 12+ years, then why the hell do we have an education system?

Children need just as much time to sit around and relax as adults do.

Kudos to this school.


So true, and if they schooled us for 60 hours a week till we were 40 years old we would still have no idea how critical thought, politics and economics really work, would we?

Harris Cooper is one of the most well known homework researchers. Check out the attached image where he recommends giving homework to elementary school children for reasons which he himself admits there is no evidence for on the previous page! Also in many cases the opposite occurs, homework fosters bad attitudes toward school, bad attitudes based on good reasons (the work is often or usually boring and useless). Also, at a more important level, instead of giving the idea that learning takes place outside of the School, it gives the impression that you need their help to learn outside of the school, which is not good.

sorry about the image, but it is from an old power-point slide long ago converted to an image, well is is a bit funny

edit on 14-8-2013 by sorenmad because: img? pic?

edit on 14-8-2013 by sorenmad because: tags

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