I Hate Homework

  1. Jennifer Osborn says:

    You are so not alone in the homework trenches. In fact, I remember that ridiculous window and door counting exercise from my son’s kindergarten year. Do they want the kids to develop OCD?

    My boy is in 5th grade now and I’m googling his math homework many nights. He doesn’t get it. We don’t get it. Combine that with the nightly reading and writing about what was read and the spelling busy work and the research projects and it’s just too, too much.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      My stepdaughter had a teacher in middle school who made her read for 30 minutes per night, in addition to the 1 1/2-2 hours of homework per night she already had, as well as daily soccer practice. She was an avid reader, but after a year of being FORCED to read every single night and getting stressed out about it, she completely stopped reading for pleasure for several years. I was SO ANGRY.

      • Ijustdidn'tgetit says:

        I am so sorry suburbanturmoil – this teacher could have been me years ago before I had kids. I just didn’t get it. I really didn’t mean to destroy evenings and weekends! I no longer teach middle school, but if I had to do it all over again, my homework policy would be drastically different! I’ve actually posted an open apology to all my former students on my FB page and have asked them to pass it on to their parents. I humbly bow my head and apologize for all the well meaning teachers who just don’t understand that they are actually terrorizing famiies.

  2. Heidi Rozow says:

    AMEN!!!

  3. Andrea says:

    I am SO 100% with you on this. My homework days with my daughter are behind me, but I remember them well. Specifically, I remember one Thursday when she brought hours of homework home. In exasperation I asked her what in the world they had done all day to have brought home so much work. She replied that the teacher was tired so they had watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit after lunch.

    Furious does not begin to describe how I felt.

  4. Totally agree! I told my husband, just the other day, she’s only in 1st grade and I’m already annoyed having to do homework with her. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like the next 10 years, with all of them.

  5. Claudia T says:

    I’m totally with you. My husband and I are both in the army and we get that hour and a half block of time to get dinner ready and eaten, do homework and showers and bedtime. It’s even crazier during sports seasons. We constantly feel like SOMETHING is slipping or not getting done and it worries me when I really think about it. Nevertheless, we do our best to help our kids get through this. We have THREE. 8th grade, 6th grade and 3rd grade…it’s enough to make me wishfully look at our budget to sort out enough money for a live in maid!

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I feel for you, Claudia!! My husband often doesn’t get home until 6:45 or 7:00 and with the kids in bed by 8:15, it kills him to have so few hours with them. Hang in there.

  6. Kimberly says:

    So this is what I have to look forward to next year? Blech 😛

  7. Angela Cleveland Jacks says:

    YOU ARE MOST DEFINITELY NOT ALONE!!!!! I have 5 kids from 18 down to 5. Although my oldest is off at college I still have to keep track of his grades, make sure he has purchased the books he needs, make a list of supplies he needs, etc. My girls, however, are homework angels! They are 13 and 14 (8th and 9th grade) and do it ALL ON THEIR OWN!!! and WITHOUT me having to tell them. Now my 1st grader is a totally different story!!!! Just getting him to sit down for 20 minutes each day is a task after he has been in school all day. I feel like an ogre!!!!

  8. siotha says:

    You should have heard us laugh when we were told our 3 yr old has homework. She’s 4 now, they still send the packets home, we still don’t return them. Worse – is I pay for the insanity. When she hits kindergarten, i expect to be on the “i had to google my kids homework list”… as by 1st grade, our eldest had, some of the data sheets weren’t in my vocabulary till high school, much less… now! I find myself thinking maybe there is logic to the unschooling movement, right? oh.. and while you’re campaigning for better homework rules… ask em how am I supposed to parent if I only get 2 days a week and an hour daily in the school week? They don’t parent the kids at school, we don’t have time with these rules.. so who’s actually parenting them? anyone had success with sleep recordings for their kids to be better?

  9. Carla says:

    Not alone!!! 100% agree. My oldest son started 1st grade this year and my youngest one K and that’s exactly how I feel about it!

  10. Leah says:

    You are not alone. We get approximately 3 hours as a family from the time I get home til the time she goes to bed. She is exhausted after school and one extra curricular activity twice a week. She goes to a wonderful charter school and is in 6th grade so that is helpful. She needs help with all of her homework so if there is to much (every night includes thirty minutes of reading and then writing a brief summary of what they read in addition to the packet) or she is needing downtime we let her do what she can then the rest can wait til tomorrow. It is ridiculous that they are in school for almost 8 full hours and can’t get everything done. And some of it we have to skip because we have no clue what it is asking her to do. I have googled several times as well. I won’t do the homework battle anymore.

  11. CelebrityFist says:

    HEAR HEAR, SISTER! 🙂

  12. Phylis Huerta says:

    Well said!! (From a veteran teacher!!) Time with family and friends is so much more important . . . alas, if all parents would keep kids busy with active things instead of letting them park in front of the game system or tv most evenings!!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Preach it, sister.

    Incidentally, I don’t do Study Island.That is, I never have my son do it at home. I’m very up front about it: I tell my son’s teacher that I am not going to make him do online test-prep at home. Ever. Every once in awhile, he wants to do a little of it himself, and that’s fine. But I am not going to make him do it. So far, none of his teachers have argued with me about it at all, but I’m sure the day is coming. I do make him do all his regular homework–the worksheets, the reports, and the spelling words. But no Study Island. I’d rather my child do things that actually facilitate learning–maybe even, gasp! with his dear old mom!–rather than sit in front of a computer and answer test questions. He can read a book, or he can paint a picture, or we can make banana bread, or he can look up interesting-sounding places on the big world map we have, or we can take a hike in the nearby park.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I never made my kids do Study Island either- but this year there are field trip incentives. 🙁 So now my kids get to sit in class while everyone else goes to Nachos if they don’t do it.

      • Jennifer says:

        Oh no, really? That is really disheartening. And they spend big bucks on that stupid program, too, yet they can’t offer any enrichment activities during fall break?

    • rockstarmom says:

      I hate to say it, but Study Island and the Discover probes actually mirror TCAP questions almost exactly. I hated the time requirement when mine had to do it, but if anything is actually directly preparing them for the mechanics of taking all of those stupid tests, it’s the computer work. Test scores also tend to be somewhat higher in schools that use Study Island. Of course, this opens up the whole miserable discussion of the weight placed on standardized tests.

      • suburbanturmoil says:

        And this makes me crazy. I don’t care about TCAP. I care about my daughter becoming passionate about learning because she has teachers who make it creative and engaging and fun. Ugh.

  14. Brenda W. says:

    I don’t have kids, but I agree with you! The standard homework load nowadays is ridiculous.

  15. "Vue says:

    “Study Island” was optional when my kids were there back in the day. Is it required now? Sheesh.

    • 'Vue says:

      And don’t get me started on the spelling word sorting. What a waste of time.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      There are new field trip incentives for Study Island. And of course, no child wants to be left behind on a field trip. So it might as well be mandatory.

  16. Kelsi Wright says:

    My kids are not in school yet and I already hate the idea of not spending time with them when they get home due to school. My sisters kids spend an hour to an hour and a half on schoolwork and play sports. It is too much…. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Shelley says:

    You are not alone. What you wrote here (along with the state-mandated tests) is what sent me over the edge and enrolled both of my boys (3rd and 5th grade this year) in a university-model school this year. They spend 2 days on campus (8:30a to 3p,) and the other 3 days, they are at home working on their assignments. We are finished with school by 3p every day. I have been shouting from the rooftops that I have my life back.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Love it.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      And now- a year later- my daughter is enrolled in the very same kind of school! And you’re right! We have our lives back! We just did some school work, went on a long bike ride, and came home to do a little more school work. No pressure! No big deal! 🙂

  18. Christy Laverty says:

    you are not alone! Luckily we don’t have the much homework in our house but I agree with you. I never understand why this work can’t get done in the hours that the kids are actually in school

  19. Coreen Havron says:

    I completely agree with you… but even 10 minutes maximum per grade would mean that an 11 y.o. sixth grader gets an hour a night, which is still too much (IMO).

  20. Emily says:

    I agree totally, and I am a fourth grade teacher! My daughter is also nine, and her teacher has a different idea of homework than I do. I understand assigning a few problems to let parents know what is going on in the classroom or studying for tests, but it feels overwhelming. Plus, after teaching all day, I end up teaching all evening, too. 🙂 I will say this, there is so much more pressure on teachers to teach SO MUCH MORE than ever before with SO MUCH LESS time or resources. It honestly feels like total panic mode from the first day. I think the mega homework is a product of that.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I feel the teachers’ panic at home, and I feel bad for them because our teachers really are wonderful. I’m sure the students feel it as well- I hear about a LOT of tears at standardized testing time…

  21. pittardm says:

    I hate homework, too. Thought I had left all that behind when I left college. Very wrong. I have fifth grade triplets, two of whom are mildly ADHD. So that means chasing them and their homework down all night long. I can’t just say, “Sweetie, it’s time to do your homework,” and go about the business of doing dinner, etc. As soon as I turn my back, they are doing something else. Our school district has a decent homework policy that states a maximum of homework time and a minimum of reading time. But I have discovered the teachers sometimes have a hard time figuring out how long an assignment ACTUALLY takes to do. And some teachers just flat out ignore the policy. One thing I learned in third grade is to not challenge the teacher based on the policy, i.e., “Mrs. So-and-so, you aren’t following the school district homework policy!” Oh, they get pissed and defensive. So you just have to say, “Mrs. So-and-so, we are not going to do this, this, and this,” because it’s taking too long to do at night. We need family time. And that’s that. As a friend who is a high school teacher once told me, “None of it matters until high school anyway, so don’t sweat it!” Oh, and I always get a kick out of people who say they home school their kids. I can honestly say that I do, too! (I don’t tell them that they also go to school during the day.)

  22. Kelly N says:

    Thankfully, my son is grown now and graduated college last year. But I can remember him bringing home pages and pages of math problems to do every day when he was in elementary and middle school. I raised him as a single mom and let me tell you, it was tough working all day, then having to come home and spend every evening helping him with homework. I remember many times sitting up with him until 11 p.m. or later trying to finish that stupid homework! We had very little time together to do fun things and it upsets me to this day because they grow up so fast and I feel we both missed out on a lot because of the excessive homework.

    Honestly, I don’t think there should even be homework. I think when they’re in school, that’s their time to learn their school lessons. When they’re home, that should be family time. Period. I compare this to my working in an office all day. What if my boss assigned me extra work to do every night after I got home? To me there’s no difference. We’re raising a generation of stressed out kids because of all the homework, extra curricular activities and pressure from grown ups to be “the best”. They need down time just like we do.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      “We had very little time together to do fun things and it upsets me to
      this day because they grow up so fast and I feel we both missed out on a
      lot because of the excessive homework.” BINGO. 🙁

  23. evin says:

    You are SO not alone. My second grader has, between regular homework and music practice, 2 hours of homework. Granted the “regular” homework only takes her 10 minutes, but there’s also spelling assignments, 25 minutes of reading and a weekly or bi-weekly project that ends up stretching the time to 1.5 hours, easily. Then it’s violin, dinner and bed. In second grade. Seriously?

  24. VanessaT says:

    You are definitely not alone. I have a 2nd and a 4th grader. I work FT outside the home except one day a week when I get to work from home. Then on top of all the homework there is ballet practice for my daughter and soccer practice for my son, and then my exercise classes. Trying to juggle all of that and all the homework drives me crazy. My crockpot is definitely my friend because I can use that and have more time to let them do homework and then just hangout without having to spend a ton of time in the kitchen after we get home.

  25. Rachel Holmen says:

    I think my nephew’s homework all through grade school and junior high simply REDUCED the amount of actual learning he could do. His family couldn’t enrich his out-of-school time with intelligent discussions about books and movies and music, couldn’t take him to museums and parks and beaches and lakes, couldn’t work side by side with him on creative projects. Why? Because we were helping him with his homework, which seemed nothing more than busywork.

  26. Anne says:

    Singing to the choir. Personally, I think there should be no homework before 3rd grade, when kids might have to do multiplication practice or the like at home. Oh, and add all these national history-science-cultural-botanical-bonsai day projects to the time suck list.

  27. Amy Kovach says:

    Was the tally chart part of her actual homework, or a mistake? It seemed so out of character with the rest of the questions (esp for a kindergartner). Also – study island? Never heard of it – had to google. LOL The whole things sounds incredibly stressful. Do you see a big difference from when the older girls were that age? Would be curious about that – if so, it means things are progressing in the wrong direction!

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      It was part of the actual assignment- I will NEVER forget the tally chart question- I was so embarrassed!
      I dearly love our school administrators, but I hate Study Island. There’s nothing kid friendly about it- It looks like software they would have used back when I was on the school computer in the 80s, with a robotic voice reading questions and horrible graphics.

      I would much rather the kids be on educational sites they love, like Hoodamath or Brainpop, if they’re going to be on the computer.
      I don’t remember the older girls having as much homework (I KNOW they didn’t have as much 4th grade homework as they’re giving now), but in middle school, the homework load got insane. It was awful!

  28. Keryn says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one!

    My fourth grader is required to read for forty uninterrupted minutes a night. Now, he loves to read, so no big deal, right? Wrong. Uninterrupted time is impossible, with four younger siblings. He has exactly TWO extracurricular activities: ballroom (2x week) and scouts (1x week). Add to that the homework (only takes him about twenty minutes, but still…), chores, dinner, showers…he sometimes reads until ten at night. I hate it. My third grader and first grader are in similar boats, but without ballroom.

    This year, we’ve decided that homework is extra. Bonus, if you will. If it gets done, great. If not, too bad. I’ve (gently) communicated this with their teachers. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m in charge of my children’s best interests.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      FORTY minutes? Wow. I’ve actually started reading a chapter or two from a longer book each night to my kids- 20-30 minutes- and it’s great because not only are they loving it (and I’m getting to introduce them to some old favorites, like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and The House with the Clock in Its Walls), it satisfies the reading requirement for my daughter. She loves to read, too, but this takes the pressure off on days when she has a lot going on.

  29. Rebel says:

    My son had a fourth grade teacher who used tickets to motivate the kids to finish their homework. Each day, if they had every piece of homework completed (four or five separate sheets) they would earn a ticket to put in the box. At the end of the week, the teacher pulled one ticket and that person got a prize. I told her at conference, my son is not ready for this–he will never get a ticket ever. I refused to hold my tired, disorganized 9 year old boy to their standards. Today he is a straight A student in 11th grade. I told him not to worry about the tickets or the prizes and just do his best. Enjoy learning and enjoy being home. Homework serves neither. Boo.

  30. katieheather says:

    If my kid doesn’t know how to do the homework (and I certainly don’t, the fun thing I’ve never heard of before this year for my third grader is “arrays” and I swear my 6th grader didn’t have them…they change how they learn things every friggin year ) and forget about fractions, I barely understood them 30 years ago… so if they don’t know how to do something (and the way I learned is never helpful to them) then I write on the homework “She doesn’t know how to do this. Please go over it with her.” I won’t help my kids with homework because if they don’t know how to do it then the teacher needs to know she’s not getting through to my kid. Hardest part though was convincing my kids that this was true, but now they’re on board and there’s less screaming at homework time…and they can get on with the more important tasks of watching other kids play minecraft and other video games on You Tube…

  31. Hunter says:

    Unfortunately it just gets worse! I have 3 kids- 8th, 7th & 5th grades. The homework is ridiculous! They have testing everyday. They are in honors classes so they have projects due continuously in addition to the other work. Now, in 8th grade, they use an online system to teach math! The teacher helps them during class if they didn’t understand what they learned AT HOME on the computer. Luckily I am self-employed & work out of the house most of the time.

  32. Gabby says:

    You are not alone.

  33. Sav's Mom says:

    I agree completely! I am a single, working mom so there is no one to share the workload with regarding dinner, dishes, daily cleaning etc. Luckily I’m blessed with a very smart 3rd grader who is capable of doing most of her homework alone but on nights I need to help her it puts me very behind. Being able to spend time actually enjoying each other requires putting off something that is supposed to be done or allowing her to stay up late. Neither of which is a good plan, certainly not for more than a day here and there. It makes it even more frustrating that she is doing an hour or more of homework every night for subjects that she has an A+ average in (literally between 97-100). I wish there was some balance. Good luck to you!

  34. Bart Barber says:

    Yup. One big reason why we homeschool.

  35. I’m student teaching at a high school, and I didn’t think I’d have anything to do with elementary schools anymore—at least, not for many years. Now I’m tutoring a fifth grader, though, and it pains me to see that he’s buried under an agonizing amount of homework: There seem to be math and spelling assignments—plus reading expectations—every single night. And, all this comes after he’s spent all day sitting in school with gym class just once a week and recess sometimes denied him if he fails some reading test. I don’t think I ever had those constant pressures when I was in fifth grade, and that was only twelve years ago. Why can’t school just leave children alone some of the time so they won’t grow up viewing learning as a bunch of boring obligations?

  36. em dee says:

    you are NOT alone! i feel like could have written this myself!

  37. VicteryParty says:

    Oh, my God, you are SO not alone! I have 3 sons in *high school* and it takes me, on average, an hour a day just to figure out what they’re supposed to be working on, for homework; and what grades they’re getting, from the two separate web sites their school uses, to report that info. Sure, the kids should do this themselves. And generally they do. But the whole reason the school gives parents log-in info. for their web sites is because we’re expected to double-check that the kids aren’t forgetting or blowing off any assignments and whether they’re having problems in a certain class. And I don’t need Google, to know that 3 kids x 7 classes each = 21 classes for me to keep track of. Like you say, each individual teacher is terrific. But each of them shares information in a somewhat different way and looking it all up every day is a pain in the…

    Not to mention the fact that, if my kids want to play sports – or have ANYthing in their lives besides school work – they get home in time to eat dinner, do homework and rush to bed, 8 hours before they need to get up for the next day of school. That’s IT. Arguably, that’s reasonable in high school. (I’m not making that argument. But someone could.) However, their lives have been like that since at least 4th grade. One of them had a “super” teacher for first grade and HIS life was like that, as a 6-year-old! She would say, “The homework should only be taking him 20 minutes a night.” Well, #1 – It took ME longer than 20 minutes, to do it. #2 – She wasn’t offering to reduce it, when I told her it took 2 hours or more, rather than 20 minutes.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      🙁 I hate hearing about your struggles. It’s stressful, isn’t it? Check and see whether the grading websites have text alerts- Ours does. You can set it to text you any time a grade is posted that’s below a number you determine. That makes things a LOT easier.

  38. Mary M. says:

    Our response to this was to homeschool. I never hear a story that makes me regret our decision. Never.

  39. Robert says:

    I’m unsure as to why you’re not homeschooling.

  40. teagan says:

    This is an excerpt from the letter entitled “Homework the Kidnapper” I wrote to my stepdaughter’s school her 9th grade year – she left for college this summer – I hardly saw her after she started 9th grade…

    All
    this EXCESS, UNNECESSARY work outside the classroom has made it so that the
    primary relationship we have to our daughter is as TASKMASTERS to stay on her
    constantly to keep WORK, WORK, WORKING every waking moment she is with us. It
    has made it so that when she begins to talk to me about her day I have to cut
    her off to remind her about how many minutes she as left on the time for that
    assignment, because we feel strongly that SLEEP IS IMPORTANT TOO. Unless you think we should let her stay
    up to 11pm so she can do more homework.

    Preparing
    for College?

    Don’t
    hand me that line about this is what they need to be doing to get ready for
    college. In college you spend 2-5
    hours a day in class and the rest of your time is yours to read, write papers,
    and work on projects. You are
    asking these 14-18 year-olds to spend 1 hour (at least) commuting to school,
    6.5 hours concentrating and studying, 1 hour commuting back, and then 3-5 hours
    each night doing homework.
    That’s a 12 hour workday.
    Is it fair to ask them to dedicate that much of their daily lives to
    school and work and stay focused that long? If these kids were office workers they’d have the right to strike!

    Request
    for Some Changes

    ALL
    THE EXCESSIVE HOMEWORK YOU ASSIGN IS TAKING ALL THE FUN AND JOY OUT OF BEING A PARENT. PLEASE DESIST AT ONCE!

    I ask, I beg you, give us our daughters and sons back. These kids are not going to be in our lives and living with us on a daily basis after a few more years –
    please stop stealing this precious time away from us. We would like to have some hand in developing her interests and who she is becoming but that time is being stolen away, every day, by endless homework assignments.

    KEEP SCHOOL IN SCHOOL – and only assign homework when absolutely necessary to reinforce
    a concept and keep the assignment short.
    Homework should not be a given in every subject, every night of the
    week.

    Unlike at some schools, I don’t think homework needs to be given to “keep kids busy and out of trouble” – I believe (school name) students are more committed to their studies than that. I’m just sick and tired of the endless homework hamster wheel.

    Aren’t you good enough teachers that you can give them the information and tools and skills they need
    to learn during the course of the school day and keep your hands off our personal family time?! Some of
    these assignments (i.e. map-making) I would challenge you to do yourself to see
    just how long it takes. (On a side
    note, how dare you dangle an opportunity for extra credit over spring break by offering a list of books and saying that a 2 PAGES OF NOTES MINIMUM be written on EACH CHAPTER when they books have 30 or more chapters in them? Did you look at the books
    yourself? When was the last time
    you wrote 60 pages of notes on something?
    Don’t give these kids a discouraging goal when they try to be higher
    achievers!) Administrators – if multiple parents have expressed concern about the workload given by certain
    teachers please approach these teachers to examine the amount and the reason why so many hours are being assigned.

    My friend was just asked by her 8-year-olds classroom teacher to postpone her daughter’s 9 birthday party on Sunday because their class had a big test on Monday. My friend had reserved a
    community center, caterers, a karoke machine, and invited all of her friends and family for her daughter’s birthday – I told her not to do it but under pressure from the school teachers she did. We’ll see if it actually gets rescheduled. I don’t know what you may think, but
    this mother and teacher thinks that birthday parties are, and always will be more important than standardized tests.
    That is the stuff of real life.
    Excess homework and schools taking themselves too seriously is lowering the quality of our lives.

    My homework assignment:

    If I don’t see some discernible change in the work load over the next month I will seek to bring this up at the next PTA meeting and contact every parent of a (school name) student to sign a petition requiring that:

    Teachers coordinate their homework assignments with each other each week so that students do not have MORE THAN 1.5-2 HOURS of work per night. Exceptions can be made for
    special projects that are a large part of the grade and obviously given far in advance.

    I am really good at getting homework done on time – believe me, I do it every single night.

  41. Danette says:

    Reason #397 that we homeschool, but I know that’s not for everyone. I did not want to lose all of my time with the kiddos to school AND homework. Its good to hear there are some districts that get it and have put in limits.

  42. Trish Wise says:

    I feel like my kids must be out of the loop from everyone else’s comments. My 3rd grader gets homework in her folder on Monday and turns it in on Friday. They don’t have daily homework or required reading (thankfully mine loves to read all on her own). Her school is a Blue Ribbon school and always does above state and national test score averages. I consider myself lucky because when I look at her math homework I just about break into hives. My husband and I are fearful for middle school math. I certainly hope her teachers can hold a class for us to learn the stuff because I know we’ll need it.

  43. Marie says:

    AMEN and AMEN!!!!!!!

  44. Joe Thomas says:

    Okay but don’t you think that is why the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the world in knowledge. We want our teachers to teach our children more; but when they do we complain about the work we have to put into help. You can spend time with your child by doing homework with them. Bonding is Bonding. Now their is a limit on what should be sent home though. I would sit in the class & see if the Class time is being optimized & used to teach/learn & not for play time. See their are good & bad teachers & every teacher has a different method. Point is is that we need to increase our children’s knowledge & get them to want to learn as much as possible. Knowledge is the most powerful tool/weapon you can have.

    • CandaceApril says:

      That is a misunderstanding of how HW and learning work. Take a look at the Scadanavian system and you will see that more academic work, earlier in life, is not the answer. Studies have show zero benefit to HW before Grade 4. At that point the effects are minimal and are primarily seen in math. HW should be assigned as necessary–not just for the sake of assigning work. Repetition helps with memorization, for example…but not with conceptual understanding. Projects that connect children to their families or communities might also need to be done at home. Theoretically assigning reading at home makes sense–if enough of the class actually completes it.

    • CandaceApril says:

      To another point..play is HOW young children learn.

    • RLRatMomsMagic says:

      I really don’t think that having children sit and complete homework while I work nearby in the kitchen (because our school requests that parents let children complete homework independently) is bonding. Neither is reminding my children to stay focused on their homework after they have been at school for 6.5 hours and had 45+ minutes worth of commute. 20-30 minutes of reading at bedtime? Great! It’s a wonderful way to wind down

      at the end of the day. An hour plus of homework when we could be pursuing activities not offered in school or simply playing outside and getting exercise? No, thank you. There’s way more learning going on during playtime and extracurriculars than folks want to admit, including social skills and simply being able to move instead of sit at a desk or table, all of which are beneficial inside of the classroom as well. As for folks who cannot afford extracurricular activities? I’ve watched my kids fill up playtime with trees and sticks. Imagination is yet another gift we can develop when homework doesn’t get in the way.

  45. practigal says:

    The implementation of Common Core Standards in our schools only adds to this problem.

    A lot of the crazy stuff they’re having kids do now is coming down from the standards, which 45 states signed up for before they were even available for review, to qualify for Race to the Top grants. Look at corestandards.org to see grade by grade standards that were NOT developed by K-12 teachers.

    Most states have a Stop Common Core page — here’s TN’s:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Common-Core-in-Tennessee

    This is “full implementation” year in NY, and it is going horribly. I don’t know if it’s in the national news, but parent & teacher groups are calling for our state ed commissioner’s resignation.

    Coming to a state near you, soon!

    • Nancy Grant says:

      http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards: “Teachers, parents and community leaders have all weighed in to help create the Common Core State Standards.” I was one of those K-12 teachers who worked on a state committee to review and edit the Common Core standards, before they were adopted by most states. I saw how our editing process made the standards less complex and more geared to what children can do – with parental support and effective teacher training. Unfortunately, the federal and state monies for education and teacher training have been cut deeply. I suggest that you get involved with helping your schools and teachers, instead of complaining. Involved parents make the greatest impact on having better schools and better educated students.

  46. Ange says:

    I am sooo glad to read this!! I have always felt I was alone on this issue 🙂 I am right there with ya 🙂 I hate how much homework my kids have. This is MY time with them, the school already has them for 8 hrs a day 🙁

  47. mamakatslosinit says:

    SAME story over here!! My daughter also started 4th grade this year and we went from a pretty loose 3rd grade curriculum to giant packets of homework due every Friday on top of 30-35 minutes of daily reading. My daughter complains that school is too hard for her, she’s too shy to raise her hand for help in class and she’s absolutely floundering. It’s so frustrating. I feel like the schools need to revamp a lot of the old content as well as revisit the necessity of all this homework. For my sake and also for my daughter’s sake. It’s ridiculous.

  48. The Mommy says:

    I feel the same way. BUT. I like knowing exactly what they’re learning (or NOT learning) so that I can reinforce it at home sometimes. I have 3 kids with homework (our youngest is Pre-K so none…yet) and when you add in sports it’s just A LOT. We manage to make it happen but it seems our whole life is about homework. And I keep saying, “Why didn’t anyone TELL me that homework was more for me than them?!?!” I even had a 2nd grade book report come home addressed to parents and what WE had to do. Um, no. I graduated 2nd grade – it’s THEIR responsibility – not mine. SIGH.

  49. Leah M says:

    a must see documentary that talks about the homework issue among other things. http://www.racetonowhere.com/

  50. Kathy M. Newman says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I’ve been hating homework, too, with kids the same age, and I’ve joined a bunch of local and national groups of parents who are fighting back. First, research shows that homework does not help or improve learning. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/26/homework-an-unnecessary-evil-surprising-findings-from-new-research/. Second, if standardized testing is at the root of homework that is hurting family time think about starting an opt out movement in your community. Check out http://unitedoptout.com/ and http://www.fairtest.org/. Finally, thinking about initiating a parent/teacher reading group around these ideas, or just boycott homework all together. My dad died of leukemia when he was 40 and I was 17. These years are fleeting, and our kids need time with us, but also time to explore, to play, to be bored, and to DO NOTHING if that’s what they want to do. Children are suffering without the proper time to play. http://www.aeonmagazine.com/being-human/children-today-are-suffering-a-severe-deficit-of-play/. Homework is part of a Gordian knot of the increased use of standardized testing, increased emphasis on grades, increased emphasis on achievement, tiger parenting, corporate education reforms, No Child Left Behind, and other political and economic forces. Parents must lead the way against homework (and testing), because teachers are overworked and under attack. Whew. Sorry for my rant! Thank you Lindsay for this post!

  51. J. J. Gregor says:

    This was really timely. Erin and I have been bombarded with questions about how we’re going to handle educating our kids – they’re 23 months and 9 months! I’m seriously dreading formal education. Hope you don’t mind I shared this post on my blog in my Share The Health segment.

  52. Aimee C says:

    People say homeschooling is time consuming and difficult work, until they try it. I had one go through the school system and the other two I homeschooled. Homeschooling was less time consuming, less frustrating, and more productive than dealing with institutional schooling. Every. Single. Year.

  53. Stresed says:

    As a junior in high school, I can say that we don’t like the homework any more than the parents do. I get up at 5 am to go to scripture class, get back at 6:30, leave for school at 7:15, get home at 3:30, and do homework until 10 or 11. Somewhere in there I find time to eat dinner and earn money. The stress that comes with that homework makes me think that homework really isn’t worth it as much as the teachers think it is. Sometimes, I skip the shorter homework and do it during study hall or lunch so that I can get 8 hours of sleep. I also end up having to help my 3 siblings with their work because my parents don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing.

  54. indywriter says:

    I know I’m late to this party, but I totally agree. When my oldest daughter was in first grade she brought home a math worksheet that had one addition problem requiring her to carry the one forward… But they had never done this in class before. I tried to explain it every way I could think of, but I’m sure the soundtrack to her nightmares for the next year or so involved me yelling “Carry the one! Carry the one!” I now take both my girls out of district to a school in a neighboring community. Homework in the elementary is not much and almost exclusively math. It’s a small school system, so they don’t have as many options for AP and such later on, but I’m okay with that.

    I work for a state university advising Honors students. So many are coming in with loads of AP credit, but it doesn’t mean they’ll finish earlier. Most of it ends up as electives. And many of those students are so focused on getting out early, that they pass up opportunities to really enjoy college and study abroad. My oldest is in 7th grade now and some of her friends have been sent to “more competitive” schools this year. I just don’t feel it. When do they get to be kids?

  55. Julie Presley says:

    Because of the standardized testing, and the fact that we moved districts in the middle of the year (and our old district had a completely different teaching method), my son has tutoring at school 3 mornings a week before the bell rings, and then again one day a week after school and then has homework on top of it. Oh and he’s in school for those 7 hours too. This is BS. Homework didn’t start for me until the 6th grade, and my parents never EVER had to help me with it. Also, there were plenty of kinder homework questions that I had to call other parents on in order to understand what we were supposed to be doing. It’s getting seriously ridiculous.

  56. a person says:

    i hate homework!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i wish i was homeschooled
    i cant sleep anymore
    i literally want cry, thats how stressed out i am!
    i am having arguments each night about…….HOMEWORK.
    its not possible, how do they expect us to be happy and healthy while slaving away each night.
    the last time i felt properly relaxed and free was…..THREE YEARS AGO. that was my last year of no homework.
    my little sister is always asking me to hang out with her but i cant, i have so mush homework.
    she is wild and free, it will be awful next year when the homework flood comes and sweeps away here freedom.
    heeeeeeelp!!!!!!!!!!!
    S.O.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. Lets Meet in the Middle says:

    There is a free app that cuts homework time in half, only for iPhone though https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/huddleup/id690324192?mt=8

  58. Mom of three says:

    You’re not alone. I have 6th grade triplets. Two have ADD so are even worse at organizing than most. Our nights since 1st grade have not been our own. Just a constant, “Have you done your homework?” I’ve tried all starts of organizational systems, motivational systems, etc. But the truth is, they’ve been in school all day. They want to play and relax, like we do after work. Homework is to kids what bringing home work from the office would be to adults. It sucks. Our school district has a really reasonable homework policy, but most teachers don’t bother to follow it. And I suppose my biggest question is, “Are really learning or reinforcing what they’ve learned at school by doing homework?” I don’t see any evidence of it. And most studies I’ve read say no, too. So why all the homework? Most teachers or administrators I’ve posed that question to say, “Because parents want it.” Really? “Yes,” they say. We’ve got to track these parents down and set them straight!

  59. Pam B says:

    I completely agree….your story could easily have been written by me! I had to google my 2nd grade daughter’s homework assignment just the other day! She is my 4th child so I have been going through this same thing for years (my oldest is now 20). I work full time and have a long commute – which I do because my job pays well, is not stressful, and has great benefits, namely health benefits. Anyway, I get home between 6:30 and 7:00 pm, my husband’s a chef and usually working until after the kids go to bed. I have 2 hours after I get home to get dinner, clean up, and everything else that needs to get done. And a large part of that time is spent with homework. I’m exhausted by then, so am not much help anyway. I get so frustrated and angry with the schools that this is how I have to spend my evenings. I’m perfectly happy for my daughter to go to school without having her homework finished, but she gets upset because she wins “tickets” by bringing in the completed homework. I remember once when one of my kids was in 2nd or 3rd grade and the math program they were using was “Everyday Math”, which involved a lot of homework which involved parent participation. One time, my daughter was asked to measure the height the doorways in our house! I absolutely refused to comply by dragging out our ladder from the garage….this was an assignment for me, not my child! They actually expect a 7 yr old to get up on a ladder and measure the doorways! I had to write a note to the teacher telling her how I felt….it was ridiculous!

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