Does Your Child Have Too Much Homework? Parents of kids of all ages are growing increasing concerned with the amount of homework doled out by their teachers on a typical school day. There’s a growing movement from parents (and teachers) to scale back the homework load so we’re not raising a nation of “stressed-out”, “sleep-deprived” kids.
When I first read this column from TIME, I initially brushed it off as possible click-bait. I mean, surely this is the kind of argument strictly for helicopter parents to debate, right? If our global education scores in math and science are so pitiful in comparison to the rest of the planet, how is eliminating homework going to help our children compete globally? It turns out, according to many educators, the education “system” is failing our children by trying TOO hard to compete with Taiwan and Japan by piling on the homework. I’m not talking about 11th grade AP students, but kids from Kindergarten THROUGH their senior year in high school.
The author of the column, Vicki Abeles, is an advocate for rethinking education in the school system. She has produced The Race to Nowhere and Beyond Measure – 2 documentaries which spotlight the problems of frantic academic regimens being placed on children. Her goal is to redirect the focus away from excessive homework and a punishing weekly work schedule children endure and open the minds of children to more creativity and independent thinking.
The too much homework critics argue that the long school day provides enough opportunity for learning and that excessive homework raises levels of anxiety to a point where the stress crushes opportunities to learn in other ways – play, reading, and exercise.
You don’t have to harken back to your days in 3rd, 7th, or 10th grade to wonder if your own child is possibly to stressed from daily worksheets and class projects. It seems every month there’s a new study that is released saying adults work too much through their family vacations, or that more vacations and rest equal better worker output and production. The anti-homework crusade is using the same principles.
My now 11th grade son was once thrown into an AP Algebra situation that almost buried him. He’s a smart cookie in math, but clearly not gifted enough to breeze through AP. He gutted out his AP Math class all last school year but it came at quite a cost. Stress began affecting his other subjects as he tried valiantly to keep up with the workload. The class also took away from his guitar playing and his baseball, but he made it through the whole year. The following year we moved him to regular Algebra and he is much happier.
Does your child have too much homework? As Americans, it’s hard to find that right balance that works with our society. When we compare our adult work weeks with European countries, we seem overworked. When we compare our work weeks with the Asian nations, we seem like hopeless slackers. Does the same approach of comparing adult work weeks for different countries compare to children doing homework? American students has a long way to go in math and science to compete with Asian countries, it’s hard to imagine how eliminating homework will help with our educational deficit but there has to be a better way.