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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:16 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
We pretty much don't give homework because it's assumed kids will be unable to complete it and/or parents would complain.

WHAT!


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:18 pm 
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erynne936 wrote:
Yes. File me under anxious depressed perfectionist child with fear of authority figures.

Me too! I was a Rule Follower and it never occured to me to do otherwise, though I don't think I had any classes with ungraded homework, what is that?

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Kids don't have to pay for AP tests now, but I couldn't afford them when I was in school. I'm glad cost is not a barrier now (I don't know if this is everywhere, but I attended 2 years in same district I teach in).

They don't pay for SATs now either. I took them, but I had to help pay for them myself with my part time job. They were expensive!

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
I actually wish that I had done even better in high school (and this is coming from someone who graduated early/went to college while in high school) because it's really difficult to get into a really, really good college when you don't have all of this extra over the top stuff. I was the first to go to college and my family doesn't really care too much about college or education so whatever I did was out of purely intrinsic motivation but then there's all of this extra stuff I didn't realize I needed, and with my home life, I couldn't do it (extra curricular activities especially). I really wish that I had parents that could have driven me in the right direction but instead I found things out after the fact and/or by trial and error. What also limited me from a number of colleges was the fact that I had never taken the SAT's. I couldn't afford to take them and my mother didn't see any point in spending money for a test for me. My school also required that we buy extra books and supplies and again, my mother didn't see a point in spending money on education.


See, my mom would make me do things to get into college but there was no actual help or encouragement. Like, I am really bad at math. She made me keep taking algebra courses because I 'needed them for college'. I failed three different algebra classes during high school (and only made up one at summer school, where I slept my way to a C). I also had some Bad Things happen that resulted in my junior year being full of drugs and skipping school, which meant I got to repeat it (after transferring schools, where I did do a little better). I was yelled at for failing, but did I get help with my homework? Did my mom go to any parent teacher conferences? No. I knew there were no real consequences and I hated school, until...

...I finally finished up at an adult education center, where you could get a diploma or a GED and I only needed like, two classes so I went with an actual diploma. It was great, you could leave whenever you wanted during the day as long as you checked out at the office, but once you left for the day you couldn't come back without a doctor's note (like if you had an appointment at noon). You went to class, the teacher would give you your work and would answer any questions you had, but you were finished with the class whenever you were finished with (and passed) all of the assignments and any tests. It was very motivating. There was a girl who I knew from my second high school who went there, she told me that she transferred as soon as she was able (you had to be 16 to attend the adult school) and she was going to graduate a full year early because she was able to take more classes. She was really smart and was getting A's before, she just didn't like the regular school system.

ETA: I also never took the SATs, because I knew I wasn't going to college. My mom bitched about it but like I said, no actual encouragement.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:29 pm 
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vijita wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
We pretty much don't give homework because it's assumed kids will be unable to complete it and/or parents would complain.

WHAT!


We have a lot of students with crappy/unstable home lives so it's mostly considered an unfair burden to assign homework that some may be unable to complete. At any rate, most kids do not/will not do homework or study and the classes have to reflect that.

Some departments like math or English can probably get away with it, but mostly there is a pretty strong "no homework" push. I'm ok with that for the most part since a lot of homework is busy work anyway, but the problem is kids usually won't study or do any reading outside of class either or makeup anything missed when absent. It is frustrating.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:40 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Kids don't have to pay for AP tests now, but I couldn't afford them when I was in school. I'm glad cost is not a barrier now (I don't know if this is everywhere, but I attended 2 years in same district I teach in).

They don't pay for SATs now either. I took them, but I had to help pay for them myself with my part time job. They were expensive!


This depends on the area/the school. I definitely had to pay for my AP tests and the SAT. If you were on any sort of assistance with the school (reduced lunch, ect.), then they'd pay for all but like $15 of the AP test and there were scholarships available for the SAT, but if you didn't qualify for those you had to pay yourself.

I always did my homework all through school. With the classes I realized I could put in the bare minimum amount of effort and still get an A, I'd do that. But if it was a class I liked or cared about, I'd actually try. I was still a pretty bad procrastinator (and still am at times...), but I always did all my work and cared about about my grades.

My junior year English teacher told us the first day of class that every assignment was optional. You'd fail if you didn't do them, but if you didn't want to, he wasn't going to make you.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:17 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
vijita wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
We pretty much don't give homework because it's assumed kids will be unable to complete it and/or parents would complain.

WHAT!


We have a lot of students with crappy/unstable home lives so it's mostly considered an unfair burden to assign homework that some may be unable to complete. At any rate, most kids do not/will not do homework or study and the classes have to reflect that.

Some departments like math or English can probably get away with it, but mostly there is a pretty strong "no homework" push. I'm ok with that for the most part since a lot of homework is busy work anyway, but the problem is kids usually won't study or do any reading outside of class either or makeup anything missed when absent. It is frustrating.


wow. I'd like to say I'm shocked but I am actually a bit sad that I'm not.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:44 pm 
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I was a Rule Follower so I did all my homework without question or complaint through 10th grade. It would not have occurred to me not to. My junior and senior year I slacked off some... like I did my homework, but I procrastinated a lot and did the bare minimum most of the time. I rededicated my first two years in college, but once I transferred to university and got admitted into my department, I slacked again (I was working way too many hours for a full time student.)

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:08 pm 
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When you guys say that homework was graded, do you mean that all of your homework was essays or take-home tests or project-type stuff? We had those (maybe one a month or one every other month per class, especially for maths and French), but we had ungraded homework every night, of the "do all exercises on page xyz of your book and memorize this paragraph" type. The next lesson would be based on what you were told to prepare, and if you didn't you'd be kind of screwed (plus your parents would be notified and after a number of notifications there would be disciplinary measures, like detention - which you could use to do your homework).

I think I forgot once to do my homework, for a Spanish class. The teacher announced that those who had slacked on their homework would get lines, then called out random students to read what they had prepared. Of course she picked me and I burst into tears (this was high school...) She felt so bad she let the punishment go, but I thought there had been enough anarchy for one day and I'm pretty sure I did the lines anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:14 pm 
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I did it when it was required and didn't do it when it wasn't required (by required I mean you'd have to hand it in and it'd be graded). My husband nearly flunked out of high school because he didn't do homework, even though he got As on tests. He considered homework to be for the purpose of review/studying, and if he already knew the material, why bother? Two degrees and fifteen years later he still has nightmares that he didn't really graduate high school.

ETA: I did all my homework for AP classes because I didn't see how I would learn the material any other way - that homework was mostly ungraded "study this, answer these questions for practice" kind of stuff. I earned 41 college credits through AP (which actually got me nowhere), so I'm glad I mustered the energy to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:23 pm 
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I did all of my homework and was terrified of not doing it, even though my parents didn't seem to care at all. My husband and I care a whole lot and our upcoming 9th grader basically ignores all schoolwork & homework for weeks at a time, then sees his low grades, blasts through all the work and then charms his way into mostly all A's. It's pretty annoying.

He took SAT's in 7th grade and we paid for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:39 pm 
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I did all of my homework. An average night took five or six hours, which is ridiculous from my present perspective.

However, I got "in trouble" for not doing my homework in math class. The way they graded it was a notebook test, which meant that once a month or so you had to transfer the answer to problem #whatever from day whatever. And I always did badly on these tests because I have a hard time doing that kind of task. I have the same problem filling out the bubbles on a bubble sheet and reading a work schedule.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Always. But my main goal in high school was to maintain an 100% in all classes.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:44 pm 
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mollyjade wrote:
I did all of my homework. An average night took five or six hours, which is ridiculous from my present perspective.


Totally ridiculous. That long would've been an extraordinary night for me, but that kind of workload is becoming more and more normal and earlier and earlier in school. It is my number one reason for thinking about alternative schooling arrangements for my kids.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:13 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
mollyjade wrote:
I did all of my homework. An average night took five or six hours, which is ridiculous from my present perspective.


Totally ridiculous. That long would've been an extraordinary night for me, but that kind of workload is becoming more and more normal and earlier and earlier in school. It is my number one reason for thinking about alternative schooling arrangements for my kids.


I think this is part of why there is a big backlash against homework and why parents will complain in high school if their kid gets a 20 minute math assignment.

When I was in elementary school in gifted programs, I would come home from school and work until 8-10pm at night with no breaks. And I have always been a fast worker! We were expected to do gifted extensions PLUS all the school work missed during the day for gifted program PLUS regular homework. Once, my parents said "fork it" and took me out for a family movie/pizza night and wrote a letter to the teacher. I was still counted as "unprepared" and was ineligible for the end of year prizes for perfect homework.

Most current research that I've read seems to indicate that homework is not necessarily a good use of time. I tend to agree with that. We have kids for 90 minutes 2-3 times a week. If we use the class time well, we can get a lot done and only need to assign minimal homework. Ideally, I would leave this up to the kids: if you need the work, do it, if not, great, go play outside or something. But, the kids who need it are the least likely to do it.

I don't know what a good solution is: if I give study guides and say "10 points added to test if you do this" only the A students do it. If I make everybody do it for a grade, all test scores go up, but the kids who didn't need to do it are doing busy work. If I set a benchmark like its required if you have a C- or lower for the unit, then I'm punishing kids (and parents will complain). If I make doing it a condition of possible test retakes (we have to allow retakes which is why nobody studies for tests), kids don't do it and then also don't retake the test and/or parents complain their kid can't retake the test.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:22 pm 
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I do not think homework should be assigned at all, in any grades. The idea that we would expect children to work longer hours than adults do at regular jobs is completely demented. If teachers can't teach the material in the time allotted during school, there is something wrong with the system - the curriculum, the teachers, the length of the school year, the organization of the school day, something.

P.S. the kids who need to do that extra work are probably the same kids who need to be spending more time playing outside. We don't solve the problem of kids moving too little and therefore inhibiting their ability to learn by assigning them more work to be done while sitting.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:28 pm 
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It's pretty interesting to me, to read the stories from those of you who who... while being children(!), were motivated to want to do homework! Wow. I often wish I had been like that. I have felt so much apathy all my life... and now as an adult I still feel that same apathy, but I wish I didn't! But I guess that's just who I am. It's who I was then, and it's who I am now, and I guess I just have to learn ways to work with it!

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Kiddo wrote:
erynne936 wrote:
Yes. File me under anxious depressed perfectionist child with fear of authority figures.

Me too! I was a Rule Follower and it never occured to me to do otherwise, though I don't think I had any classes with ungraded homework, what is that?


Some of my teachers would just walk around and spot check to see if you had it written in your notebook but if the answers were wrong you still got the points.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:06 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
I do not think homework should be assigned at all, in any grades. The idea that we would expect children to work longer hours than adults do at regular jobs is completely demented. If teachers can't teach the material in the time allotted during school, there is something wrong with the system - the curriculum, the teachers, the length of the school year, the organization of the school day, something.

P.S. the kids who need to do that extra work are probably the same kids who need to be spending more time playing outside. We don't solve the problem of kids moving too little and therefore inhibiting their ability to learn by assigning them more work to be done while sitting.


I don't think it is really possible to learn subjects like physics, for example, without some practice doing problems independently outside of school. Other that than, I completely agree with you. Teachers need to respect kids' time and kids need time to be kids.

However, some kids need more time for some things and there isn't any way around that. Kid A might pick up stoichiometry in chem class instantly, but Kid B might need to struggle and work for a while first. Kid B is going to have to suck it up and work at home, come in after school, or some other time. With classes of 32 kids, we have to move at a set pace. During class we can help and scaffold as much as possible, but if 90% of the class has the concept, we need to move on and make other arrangements to help the 2-3 kids who are still struggling. My school has a daily 45 minute study hall that can be used for this, which is great.

Same with my GED students: 6 hours a week isn't enough for math to stick, especially when they have me there as a safety net. They have to do homework or they will not progress very far. I insist that they do 5 minutes of some math each night, no matter how tired they are, even if its between commercials on tv or something. It makes an enormous difference even though it's a tiny amount of time, but it is the difference between remembering on Monday what we did in class on Wednesday and having to waste 45 minutes doing it all over again. (and for busy adults who need to move through the program, that is a waste of time)

I guess I'm not really a "no homework" proponent so much as a "limited homework when actually necessary" proponent." The subject I teach doesn't really require homework, or at least I don't see the benefit, so me assigning any is super rare.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:10 pm 
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in regards to learning sitting down: that isn't good educational practice anyway. I always do things to have kids moving around the classroom, even if its something dumb like having to go to random stations to read various maps. I *could* have them do the same thing at their seats, but that's the whole point.

Kids can learn to incorporate kinesthetic learning activities into their studying. Most teachers I know, myself included, encourage and facilitate that. Kids can wander around the room to learn how the moon rotates and revolves or crash into each other (while holding big balloons) to learn plate boundaries. They can do that stuff at home too.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:19 pm 
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I took AP physics (and chem and bio). I don't think any of them absolutely required homework. In the physics class we were never assigned more than ten problems a night and weren't given homework every night. I don't think anyone got less than a 4 on the ap exam from that class. It just wasn't that necessary. There aren't actually that many concepts to learn and we had 45 minutes everyday to work on the stuff in class, plus extra time for labs. When I went into the next level of physics in college I was better prepared for it than kids who had taken the first class at university. Of course, college is structured differently, and I did way more than the supposed 3 hours of outside work for every hour of lecture time you're supposed to budget.

Homework makes way more sense to me in classes where you are doing a lot of reading or memorizing (there is almost no memorizing in physics, I could write the essential, not easily derivable formulas on an index card). Biology required much more homework and that was mostly memorizing time. English and history classes had reading time required outside of class. I would extend the school day by an hour and give kids a comfy place to read instead of sending them home with that stuff. And requiring more than an hour of independent reading a day is unreasonable.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:27 pm 
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We have alternate day 90 minute classes. Kid can forget a LOT in the meantime. It's great for labs, but I think kids often learn better in the shorter classes. OR, with 90 minute classes every day for a semester and then switch off to new classes. 90 minute alternating blocks seems the standard most places these days, at least in this state.

Extending the school day by an hour sounds like hell.

Kids in the AP classes tend to be the brighter/most motivated students anyway. General required physics and chemistry is really hard for a lot of kids, especially since we do a generally lousy job of preparing kids to think or problem solve.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:36 pm 
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I only know private schools who do the 90 block here. It seems super confusing.

About general physics classes, the texts I have see for conceptual physics also seem to do a terrible job explaining things, like giving half the information you would need to understand it. When going over some of them with kids I have struggled to try to understand for myself what they were talking about or trying to express so I could say it with the actual details required.

If kids are supposed to go home and do homework, why not just do it in school where there are teachers around to answer questions? Better yet, build in an afternoon snack break so we have another opportunity to provide nutrition to kids getting free lunch. There are tons of schools around here that go till 5 (private). Makes much more sense for parents, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:46 pm 
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That's a lot of the rationale for flipping the classroom strategies where kids go home and watch lecture videos or do reading, then do the "homework" in class.

Conceptual physics isn't the same as general physics. General physics is algebra based. Conceptual physics is usually only taught in self-contained special education classes to act as a science requirement in modified diplomas. At least in this state it isn't considered a valid science course otherwise although some districts may offer it as an elective (but I don't think very many do these days).

The schools that run until 5 hopefully do not start at 7am.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you do your homework?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:47 pm 
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I like homework and prefer to have it. I think, however, there's a difference between helpful homework and homework that is useless or takes up a ridiculous amount of time.

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