Do Students Get Too Much Homework?
A new book says they do, but opinions from the real experts differ
YES In the new book The End of Homework, authors Etta Kralovec and John Buell argue that U.S. schools give too much homework. I agree.
I spend six to seven hours at school and practice dance for three hours, only to come home and find that four more hours of work await my attention. I sacrifice sleep, family time, and personal time for an hour of math, an unimportant essay, and random assignments. It is a universal truth that some assignments are completely worthless when it comes to covering educational ground. However, society has some belief that in order for kids to be educated thoroughly, they must have a lot of homework.
Homework is not effective when it is given in prodigious amounts. And teachers seem to give the most work when it is least needed, such as during Homecoming Week or prom weekend, or before advanced-placement tests or a huge athletic game.
Kralovec and Buell are right in saying that homework damages family life. Kids don’t have enough time to breathe with school, extracurricular activities, and homework. Relationships between parent and child are being weakened. I hardly see my parents during the school week except to be fed and given money.
The daily amount of homework should be reduced, giving relief to maxed-out students. In this way, perhaps society will be educated more thoroughly when it comes to values.
–CARRIE MCGOURTY, 16 Ukiah, Calif.
NO I don’t want to sound like a dork. Obviously there are cases where too much homework is given. But a national effort to reduce homework would be a mistake.
Any athlete can explain the importance of practicing the perfect play continuously before the big game. Homework has the same effect on mastering a concept in school.
The purpose of high school is to prepare us for life. Whether one goes on to college or vocational school, joins the military, or enters the workforce, life is not just between the hours of 8:30 and 3:00.
I believe homework will help prepare me for my future. My ultimate goal is to be the network host of a daily news show. I know, however, that I will have to do my homework as a field reporter and work my way up. I’ll have to put in hours beyond the normal workday. And I’m sure that’s true of many students’ chosen careers.
I have never found homework to be a prohibitive force in my life. It has been just one more ball to juggle in my busy schedule. Homework has never interfered with my family time. In fact, it has often allowed my family to spend more time together. I ask my parents to revise many of my papers, and enjoy listening to their opinions. Homework keeps parents involved in their children’s education. It is a necessary tie from the school to the family.
I challenge critics of homework to create an educational system that better prepares students for life after high school.
–AMANDA WATERS, 17 Brunswick, Ga.
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