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I don't believe in homework.. (may be controversial!)
Old 12-01-2018, 08:57 AM
 
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Does a parent have the right to tell the teacher that they don't believe in homework and they refuse to have their child do it?

Should this affect the child's grades?

Like I said this may be a controversial topic.

--------

My perspective
As a teacher: I don't give homework anyway. I would be okay with this. When I did give homework and a parent asked me about this (it was a unique situation). I said no problem, we will work around it.

As a parent: I'm not a parent yet, so I don't know. I can see the benefit, for example if I get a child that is older to foster and we are working on bonding and working through other issues that may need extra time.


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Old 12-01-2018, 09:06 AM
 
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I believe in homework and think of it as independent practice. The grade is separate on the report card where I work so a grade would be indicated for homework. Parents however do have the right to not have their child do it and both child and parent would then accept both the positive and negative outcomes. I always told my children that to become better at anything you must practice.

Problems with homework in my home only came from poorly designed or excessive amounts of homework.

Last edited by anna; 12-01-2018 at 09:35 AM..
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:08 AM
 
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Parents have contol over what happens at home. I provide lesson practice and enhancements. Parents make choices. I donít sweat it, but I do mark the homework section on the report card with the appropriate grade for lack of homework.

Iíve had parents tell me that their child will not be doing homework. One parent even said, "My child has a life and homework is not part of his life."
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:48 AM
 
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Devilís advocate: Whatís going to happen in middles school, high school and college? Is the parent going to call and excuse the kid then? The teachers wonít buy it and their grades will suffer horribly. I donít have a dog in this fight Iím just saying. I think the parent is setting the kid up for failure down the road.

If the classroom policy is homework (as long as it isnít excessive) then the parent should support it. Homework does serve purposes beyond just extra practice; time management, responsibility, and organization. Skills kids will need later in life.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:33 AM
 
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I don't think homework should be a grade on the report card. Just my opinion. Especially in the earlier grades, when homework is as much about grading the parents as it is the kid. I also don't believe elementary kids, up until 5th or 6th, should have homework at all.



All three of my kids, for some reason, gave me a TON of pushback on homework in first grade. So I didn't make them do it, and told the teacher I was not going to fight it. Both teachers we had were fine with that. And for some reason come 2nd grade all of my kids liked doing homework again. But one disclaimer - all of my kids were above grade level, so did not need the extra practice at home to keep up.


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Old 12-01-2018, 12:43 PM
 
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I think homework should just be reading with parents in k-3.

For older grades, I think a small amount of homework is appropriate.

I don't think younger kids should be graded on homework, as at that age it's more about their parents. JMO
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:50 PM
 
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Quote:
I don't think homework should be a grade on the report card. Just my opinion. Especially in the earlier grades, when homework is as much about grading the parents as it is the kid. I also don't believe elementary kids, up until 5th or 6th, should have homework at all.
Bingo.


Quote:
Whatís going to happen in middles school, high school and college
Eh...what's appropriate in 6th grade isn't appropriate in 1st. I think this is apples and oranges. It's like saying I should teach a 9 year old about completing taxes because he will need to do them one day. Not the best example, but I think you get what I mean. All in good time, I guess.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:04 PM
 
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I don't count homework as a grade, so it wouldn't affect their grade. However, it is extra practice so if their grade starts suffering, I'd probably point that out to the parent that they may need some practice in the evenings.

That being said, I don't think the parent is being a good role model. They're telling their child they don't have to do what the teacher says. Not a good habit to begin. I still wouldn't give the child a hard time about it - it's not their fault.
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As a parent
Old 12-01-2018, 02:08 PM
 
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I liked my children having some homework. It allowed me to see my child's strength and weaknesses. We did homework together as a family and I was able to give extra help as needed. DD2 struggled at times and I wanted to know what challenges she faced on a daily basis. Homework helped me to see this.

I also liked the ever so complicated "home projects". In fifth grade, the kids studied architecture and then made a house. They could choose the style. It was a great family project and was one time that my DH could really get involved with school. Projects like this and others, helped my children to see that we valued education. We taught them the standards we expected. We practiced presentations and made posters together.

As a teacher, I know that not all children have home support. They are not going to be able to build an Italianate house complete with working lights. They won't make a poster that will meet the basic rubric standards. They won't get support with reading or math homework. Our school has done away with the home projects and now just does projects at school, with varied results.
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In My Classroom...
Old 12-01-2018, 02:50 PM
 
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Homework was a responsibility. Recess was a privilege.

No privileges until responsibilities were met.

I had a parent who did not want her child to do homework. I said that was fine. I would supervise the homework, but the child would be doing the homework at school and miss out on free time until it was done. Free time met recess. Child got the message and began doing homework.

I was in charge, not the parent. My principal and district backed me.


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Old 12-01-2018, 04:32 PM
 
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Personally, I think kids need time to be kids. When we get home from work we want to relax and take a break, why should kids do MORE work when they get home?!?

I found that when I did give homework, the kids who didn't need the extra practice always did it, and those who did need the extra work, never did it.

I never graded it - there is no way in telling how much support the kid got from their parents, and it is certainly not fair for kids with less parental support to get a lower grade because their parent didn't help.

I have always hated "home projects" - they just are really homework for parents!

We are not allowed to keep students in for recess if we do give homework and they don't return it. Recess here is not a privilege but an important part of their social development. Plus, they need the break as much as an adult does.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:48 PM
 
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I don't believe in homework before Year 6. It's a waste of everybody's time and effort (teachers, students and parents). We certainly don't grade it.

Myprevious school had a no homework but read as much as you can policy. Current school has homework. I give a bare minimum and don't sweat it. If it comes back, I tick it and note it for the "Always, Usually, Sometimes" thing on the report.

As for the "they need to do it in high school" argument - well, yes, they do. In high school. We don't teach calculus in kindergarten "because they'll need it later" and there is no need for homework in the early years for the same reason - it isn't developmentally appropriate.
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Homework was a responsibility. Recess was a privilege.

No privileges until responsibilities were met.

I had a parent who did not want her child to do homework. I said that was fine. I would supervise the homework, but the child would be doing the homework at school and miss out on free time until it was done. Free time met recess. Child got the message and began doing homework.

I was in charge, not the parent. My principal and district backed me.
I respect your position, but this would cause huge problems with me. My school actually takes a similar position on after school tutoring and again it would be a huge issue with me and I wouldn't send my kids to the school I teach at.

I do respect your position though.

Quote:
Personally, I think kids need time to be kids. When we get home from work we want to relax and take a break, why should kids do MORE work when they get home?!?

I found that when I did give homework, the kids who didn't need the extra practice always did it, and those who did need the extra work, never did it.

I never graded it - there is no way in telling how much support the kid got from their parents, and it is certainly not fair for kids with less parental support to get a lower grade because their parent didn't help.

I have always hated "home projects" - they just are really homework for parents!

We are not allowed to keep students in for recess if we do give homework and they don't return it. Recess here is not a privilege but an important part of their social development. Plus, they need the break as much as an adult does.
My exact thoughts!
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:52 PM
 
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I agree with the statement regarding "needing to do homework eventually in school" and disagree with the statement that homework is not developmentally appropriate. The habits of independent practice and organizing oneself to prepare for the next day is very appropriate and it can be advantageous to a child to build these executive functioning skills over several years.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:43 AM
 
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How many children are learning the skills of independent practice and organising themselves from homework, though? Itís putting pressure on parents who end up doing the work a lot of the time and i5 causes big stresses and arguments in many families. Not worth the grief. And I tell parents that.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:15 AM
 
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When I taught 4th I gave some HW, but it was minimal and it was not graded (wasn't allowed to be). Now I'm at home and have a daughter in K. I am very glad she doesn't have any HW. A book comes home most nights and I have her read it to me. But there is no checking or follow up on that.

She gets home at 3:30. She has a snack and I read out loud to her. Then she plays until 5:30. Often outside and often with friends or her brother. We eat dinner 5:30-6 and then she gets 30 mins of play time while I clean up. If it's shower night, she showers then. Then we get ready for bed and read out loud 6:30-7 and she is lights out at 7 as she gets up at 6:20 to get ready for school.

I'm not sure her school's policy in the higher grades, but it doesn't matter as we are moving end of this school year. I will be definitely looking at homework policies as we pick her next school.
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High school side
Old 12-02-2018, 08:39 AM
 
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I'm going to look at this from the high school teacher perspective. Our middle schools had gone to a "no homework" policy the past few years. We now have high schoolers that don't think they have to do homework. This policy trickled from elementary on with this cohort of students. We are now fighting this and only have a couple of years to help the kids change their mindset, especially those that want to go on to college.

I also see this as a life management issue. If the students don't practice meeting deadlines with positive or negative consequences, how can we readily send them into the work force and expect them to be successful?

I am pro homework, but the right amount for the age such as 10 min a night for 1st graders (mostly just reading) up to 60+ minutes for high schoolers.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:10 AM
 
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Quote:
I had a parent who did not want her child to do homework. I said that was fine. I would supervise the homework, but the child would be doing the homework at school and miss out on free time until it was done. Free time met recess. Child got the message and began doing homework.

I was in charge, not the parent. My principal and district backed me.
That would never fly here. And, as a parent, I would raise a stink.

Quote:
Recess here is not a privilege but an important part of their social development.
Brava, Tiamat!
Quote:
As for the "they need to do it in high school" argument - well, yes, they do. In high school. We don't teach calculus in kindergarten "because they'll need it later" and there is no need for homework in the early years for the same reason - it isn't developmentally appropriate.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:29 AM
 
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As a parent and a teacher, I think homework for the sake of homework is not right. Homework that serves a purpose, unfinished classwork, studying for tests, or resources found at home (thinking some projects) is okay.

I don't as a rule send homework, but when kids aren't getting work done or need extra time or study help, then I do.

And kids who don't do it will end up giving recess time. Recess is important, and I hate using it for this, but the time has to come from somewhere? I can't slow the whole class down for a couple of people.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:51 PM
 
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Anna you are so right! Homework should slowly increase. Even if itís not homework, studying should increase year after year. I guess parents can do what they want with their childís homework, but the kids who work hard will get ahead. Thatís just life. In math I assign odds or evens, and I have a few students this year who ALWAYS do them all. Guess who are thriving in math? Guess who will be in advanced math next year?
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:31 PM
 
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Quote:
In math I assign odds or evens, and I have a few students this year who ALWAYS do them all. Guess who are thriving in math? Guess who will be in advanced math next year?
Do you think those students would do well regardless of whether or not they did both evens and odds? IMO motivation is a huge predictor of success.
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Yes
Old 12-03-2018, 04:59 PM
 
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I do think they would do well either way because they are so motivated. They work hard and want to do extra. Thatís why there are different jobs for different people. Some will be doctors and some would not want to put in the effort. I do wonder if parents have anything to do with a childís motivation or is it all hereditary.
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:32 AM
 
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Interesting discussion... I'm tempted to ask "But if they don't have homework what are they going to carry in those huge backpacks?"

Quote:
Does a parent have the right to tell the teacher that they don't believe in homework and they refuse to have their child do it?
From my perspective, this is the fundamental question. I'm not sure I know the answer but I do know that I see lots of parents who think their "rights" supersede even common sense. We need to be cautious when we start making decisions about school practice and policy if the only thing we are worried about is how a parent may react. (That's not a personal accusation of anyone posting here.)

This seems to be another area where polarity is the norm for many instead of finding the balance. The current general trend seems to be "let's keep the parents happy." So the next Mom decides she doesn't "believe" in grades and testing and wants her child excused from it. I'm aware of a situation where a Dad attempted to get his son's grade changed because "nobody knows my son better than me." He "believed" he was smarter than the teacher where his son is concerned.

Conversely, I've seen situations where religious beliefs are handled maturely and with grace. It is possible but only because the parties don't fall into the "you must be wrong if you don't believe what I believe" trap.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:27 PM
 
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This is controversial for me because I tried abandoning homework for a year and my students skills suffered. So for me now, refusing homework is choosing not to do the work that it takes to succeed

When my students didn't have a requirement and expectation to read and study math facts they made less growth in reading and a 60% didn't have their multiplication facts down at the end of the year (which is also a report card grade on the report card, and one that you likely wont do well on if youre not practicing facts regularly).

Here it is also a report card grade for homework. If a parent said, we wont be doing homework, I would say, thats fine, but your childs grades will reflect that.

I would also find it hard to move forward with RTI or to offer after school help to a student that didn't bother to practice their skills at home. Its hard to determine if a student is struggling more that other students because they just cant do it or just because they dont get as much practice as everyone else.

In middle school homework is worth points and those points go toward their grade, same with high-school and I feel like we have a responsibility to get them ready for that. It would be a rude awakening indeed for kids to just drop down into middle school having never done homework before. Dumping that expectation suddenly on them, on top of the sudden expectation that they will navigate multiple classes and teachers, all while their hormones are raging sounds unfair to the kids.

Last edited by Kinderkr4zy; 12-04-2018 at 08:44 PM..
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:45 PM
 
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You made wonderful points!
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:03 AM
 
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I believe in a reasonable amount of homework. Notice I said reasonable. I always used the 10 minutes per grade in school guideline. That meant practically nothing in kindergarten and very little in first. In first and second grade, practicing reading, and reviewing sight words and math facts should be about it.

I taught fifth grade. I expected my students to spend about 30 minutes on actual homework- math, vocabulary, and spelling review and 20 minutes reading every night. I told them the 20 minutes reading should be a life habit. I spent a lot of time showing them research about the importance of this and encouraging them.


Parents shouldn't get to decide whether their child does homework. That's what homeschooling is for.
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The problem with education
Old 12-05-2018, 07:08 PM
 
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What does the research say about homework in elementary? In middle school? This mentality of I believe, I think, I feel...is not appropriate. There is solid research regarding homework. Please read it and do your best to apply it in your context. Thomas Guskey is a good place to start with homework and grading practices.

https://www.lifehack.org/385878/rese...are-surprising
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:48 AM
 
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One of the problems in education is that research is not very well done and not scientifically solid. Teachers are too quick to cry "research says..." and hop onto bandwagons.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:35 PM
 
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I teach primary and give minimal homework. Reading sentences or small books for fluency, and 1 math page just to keep up the skill. I always tell the parents that if their child is struggling to do it, just write me a note. I also tell them not to fight their child to do it. Let the child take the consequence. In my room, it's not being allowed to play Homworkopoly. I believe that homework gives them a responsibility. Something everyone should learn at a young age.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:21 PM
 
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r9miles-I read "The Case Against Homework" and I believed the research which showed that it doesnt improve student learning. I ditched homework.

Then student learning suffered.

I felt very compelled to bring it back this year and I once again see students making more growth. For me, even if its only anecdotal, the proof is in the pudding for nightly reading(15 minutes) and studying math facts (a 1 minute fact drill page and I send home flashcards and suggest 10 minutes nightly) so that is what I feel compelled to keep giving.
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My opinion is..
Old 12-11-2018, 09:40 AM
 
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A parent has the right to tell me, as her child's teacher, that they don't believe in homework and that her child will refuse to do it with their permission.
I have the right to explain why our school and I give homework and that the homework will reflect in her child's grade as well as her child's progress in learning.


I do not see how this is in any way controversial. The school has regulations and has certain standards. Our school has policies that are followed as to how grades are given as well as what and how much homework is assigned. Everyone has the right to refuse any policy they do not want to follow. They are also choosing the consequence when they choose the action.
We give homework because our students need the extra practice in reading, spelling, math etc. We also want every one of our students to see that learning does not end at the school door. We also are teaching our students that they need to be responsible and that in real life one does not pick and choose what they will or will not do at random without consequences.
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Homework
Old 12-12-2018, 07:38 AM
 
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Saw a blog post today that reminded me of this thread:

https://letgrow.org/for-25-years-i-w...ework-teacher/

I think a little, quality homework is good practice, but in general, I do think kids have too much.
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more thoughts on homework
Old 12-12-2018, 07:48 AM
 
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I'm also wondering if homework has a far different impact on different kids?

Take kid #1 - economically advantaged, educated parents who talk to them about books and things on TV, can afford trips to museums, etc. Time spent busy with homework is time taken away from things just as enriching (if not even more so, because they are geared specifically to the child's interest and aptitude.)

Kid #2 - family in a tough spot financially, comes home to an empty house, and without homework, would just play video games for hours on end. Homework might be what keeps that kid out of trouble, or sparks his or her interest in something they would otherwise never have heard of.

It really is a balancing act.
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