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Monday, November 12, 2012

Homework

We've all had those moments when we just don't want to do homework! You do it anyway, right? It's life - people always have and always will have homework to stress over. But... what if it's not?

I'm not saying I want to abolish homework - it's completely fine! But having long homework assignments is not right in my opinion. I understand that class isn't long enough. The standard routine in my math class, at least, goes a bit like this.

  1. Warm-ups while people arrive.
  2. Correcting warm-ups and homework
  3. A lecture of some description - learning a new concept of some sort.
  4. Given a homework assignment to practice the concept.
Yeah, that works for me. I can do math homework on weekdays - it's not that difficult, and even if it is, I'm in no rush. But that's my unique situation - I don't do any after-school activities. Sports, clubs, nope. There's more to read after the break. Clicky-link to go on!
I like being social when I can, but everyone else has their own group, and so I'm kind of alone, and don't feel a motivation to join any of those.
Also, I don't get a huge amount of homework - I read on the internet about these people who have just tons and tons of work to do, and they literally can't handle it - they're stressed out and sometimes suicidal. I'm fortunate as that doesn't happen too often. Only a few times a month.
And besides, that's only math homework. We're assigned homework in other classes, we have to study for tests, and we want to just relax after a day of work. I have another question - why do we have more homework on the weekends? I'm fine with weekend homework - I've had it for years. But having more over the weekend is something I hate a lot - we're given this break to recover, yet it's being exploited.
"In closing, I just want to say that I had more free time at Harvard Law School than my son has in middle school, and that is not in the best interests of our children." source
This is my proposition. It's unlikely to be heard, but hopefully it will spread. First of all, a study hall at the end of the day. Give us five minutes or whatever to go to our lockers, and then we'd go to another class for half an hour of homework time. It would probably help many students because they can focus - they're still in a school environment, and not tormented by distractions at home. Some schools have study hall, I know, but we don't.
My second idea is for classes to have a standard of some description. Gym doesn't need homework - if we don't get the workout we need in gym, they need to manage their time better. Math classes should have homework to try the new concepts - teachers would explain a bit, then the students would figure out the rest through doing. Social Studies or History should assign (a reasonable amount of) reading at home, and then you'd go over it in class and do the necessary classwork. Instead of wasting time reading in-class, you could save time by sending it home. English could have homework depending on the class, but not a lot, to avoid overload. Perhaps vocabulary or a worksheet given on Friday, and due a week later on either Thursday or Friday depending on time constraints. Science doesn't need homework other than finishing worksheets and occasional studying - we shouldn't have to use chemicals at home. And last but not least - the music programs should have students practicing at home - perhaps 90ish minutes every week? It's not too much, but it's not too little, and the teacher would grade through students turning in practice journal. Yes, they can be exploited, but then again, there will always be students who cut corners in every class.
If you're a teacher, I'd appreciate you considering this approach. If you're a parent, you could propose it to your child's teacher. If you're a student, you could either propose it to teachers yourself or have your parents read it and inquire themselves. They're the adults, after all, and they don't take children seriously. Thank you. //ghostmancer

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