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General Chat Thread, Should homework be axed? in General; Schools urged to axe homework because it 'pollutes' family life, says leading children's author - Opinion - TES Connect < ...
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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Should homework be axed?


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    Sarconia's Avatar
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    Fairly amusing although I generally have to agree with it.

    I never did any homework when I was in school and I was given lots of detentions (which I never turned up to) for it. Most of the tasks were a pointless load of drivel which had no relevance to anything taught in the lessons. I also never told my parents about any homework I had been given. To be honest though, I didn't like school, my time was much better spent playing my Playstation/Reading Books/Drawing than sitting in a lesson full of disruptive morons whose only purpose in life seemed to be to chuck books across the class at one another. Had it have been a better school and relevant homework handed out occasionally... I might have done it.

    One of my siblings though, never learnt to not tell my parents that they'd not been given any homework, I used to sit in my room and hear my dad yell at the top of his lungs at them, every time they got something wrong, failed to do a sum correctly, the house shook with all of the shouting. It put a strain on my mum as she didn't like to hear the shouting either and if she said anything about it then it was *congratulations, a full blown argument between both parents ensues*.

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    I think they should have more homework! Mwhahaha!

    On a serious note though, I always did all my homework from school, often my parents would help me with it, and I almost always helped my younger brother with his as well (or at least, I thought I helped! ).

    So looking back, having the homework to be done meant I spent more time with my family than I would have if I didn't have homework and just playing my SNES all night, so it certainly didn't 'pollute' my home life!

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    My daughter is up a certain smelly creek, without a wooden implement due to her secondary school asking for little, and demanding less, homework. She's now in the final few weeks before A levels, and doesn't have the work ethic to actually knuckle down and revise at home. She has REALLY struggled at 6th Form; they do expect homework, and she's done her best to avoid it.

    She isn't ready for university, where (with a lot of luck) she will be in six months.

    You do need to learn to work on your own, homework is the way you do it.

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    There is one advantage to homework within the modern education system....

    Where, shall we say the teaching standards and methods are 'lacking' within the classroom, the homework provides a way for parents to engage with their children, and 'suppliment' their education in a good way.

    Unfortunately, a lot of homework now seems to be "For the sake of giving kids work to do at home" rather than actually teaching them anything.

    How many times over the years was the maths homework a sheet full of calculations, which you'd studied for however many hours that day/week at school already?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    and doesn't have the work ethic to actually knuckle down and revise at homet.
    Good point. I certainly didnt have any motivation to do any homework at GCSE or A-Level. But saying that ive regulaly done 20+ hour days at work, or came home and done night after night of work or learning. So i couldnt say it totally influences your life from then on.

    I think it depends on situation in alot of aspects. Our school day effectively ran from 8am when we went for the bus, until 4:30pm when we got home, thats after i had got up at 6am to do a paperround. Thats more than alot of teachers do now! And thats before you had your after school activities; after football it could be going on 7pm before i got home. We dont live out in the sticks or anything btw. I dont think it was fair that we were expected to do another 2-3hours of homework on top of that (not that i did it anyway)

    On the parents helping you out aspect; i think its wrong tbh. Most parents will either not know, or will teach their children the way they were taught. In either case its putting the kids at a disadvantage to teh kids with parents who are teachers for example, and that isnt what comprihensive schools are about.

    Personally i think being a child is about having a childhood. Not endless homeswork, revision and stress of exams (how many kids have commmited suicide in recent years?). Life is much faster paced then it was even when i was a kid (10 years ago), never mind when my parents were kids...
    Developing social skills, especially now in the inpersonal facebook generation is very important imo. Peices of paper may look good on a CV, but interpersonal skills actually get you the job and open doors. Its not what you know and all that...
    Last edited by j17sparky; 11th May 2010 at 06:52 PM.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    . Peices of paper may look good on a CV, but interpersonal skills actually get you the job and open doors. Its not what you know and all that...
    Unless what you need is 210 UCAS points. Interpersonal skills matter not a damn when the universities are so oversubscribed.

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    I think it should be scrapped completely. It is absolutely valueless.
    The kids at the bottom simply don’t do it, the kids in the middle mindlessly rush or churn through it just because it “has to be done” and the kids at the top waste their own time sweating over work that more often than not doesn’t get much more than an “acknowledgment tick”.
    It’s also a tool to penalize/punish both the slow (“finish that for homework”) and the fast (“do the extra questions x to y for homework”).

    Its nothing more than an archaic way of teacher letting parents know that work is being done, and in this day and age there are dozen’s of better ways to do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kipling View Post
    I think it should be scrapped completely. It is absolutely valueless.
    The kids at the bottom simply don’t do it, the kids in the middle mindlessly rush or churn through it just because it “has to be done” and the kids at the top waste their own time sweating over work that more often than not doesn’t get much more than an “acknowledgment tick”.
    As an ex-kid-at-the-top, I can assure you that some of us never wasted our time on homework. I much preferred doing my own reading around subjects. Homework didn't teach me my work ethic, that came from somewhere else.

    I also never got a detention for missed homework, as I learned very effective interpersonal skills in negotiation early on.

    It’s also a tool to penalize/punish both the slow (“finish that for homework”) and the fast (“do the extra questions x to y for homework”).
    Couldn't agree more.

    Maybe making the work more relevant and engaging would be useful, but throwing out sheets of questions at random is pretty pointless.

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    witch's Avatar
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    I would be very interested to hear what qualifications those of you who never did your homework ended up with?
    There is simply not enough time in lessons to teach all the things that children need to know , neither is there time to go over what has been taught to see if the children have really 'got' it. (Extending the school day might help.()
    This is where properly chosen homework comes in - in something like maths, it can be used to do more examples of the most recent things the children have learned, possibly written in a slightly different way, to see if they really do understand.
    In something like history, it enables the children to read around the subject and, in the case of an essay, really think about the issue and express themselves.
    At least in a perfect world.
    If homework was scrapped, education would be even more superficial than it is now (and I find that many subjects are wider but MUCH shallower than when I was at school).
    At A level, homework is crucial - not least because it teaches the ability to work on your own, to deadlines, and to really think independently about the subject. At University, the student will have to work alone, and there are lots of studies that show that students are failing because they have not been taught to 'do their own thing' and get the work done. This applies to all subjects, including Maths and Engineering - my son is doing a degree in Engineering Geology and Geotechnics and he has a huge amount of coursework and independent study to get on with, mainly because every minute of every day is taken up with lab time and the theory side.
    So no, I don't think they should scrap homework - just be a lot more careful about what and when they assign it
    * I have rarely helped my children with their homework, but when they were younger, they sat at the kitchen table doing it whilst I was cooking or whatever, so it actually helped us spend time together

  11. Thanks to witch from:

    cookie_monster (14th May 2010)

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    ...but throwing out sheets of questions at random is pretty pointless.
    Exactly, and because of the micromanaged curriculum thatís pretty much what gets passed of as homework.


    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    At A level, homework is crucial - not least because it teaches the ability to work on your own, to deadlines, and to really think independently about the subject.
    I think thatís the crux of it. At ĎAí level home work can be use because the teaching and learning style changes (slightly) from spoon fed procedural information instillation to a less prescriptive / more open learning style where the concept of learning a subject rather than learning packets of information starts to come to the forefront.
    Below 6th form, until the school curriculum becomes less rigid and teachers are allowed to teach with more flexibility, homework canít really offer much more than more-of-the-same and that doesnít really have too much value.

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    YES!

    KS1 sprogettes homework is really hacking me off for all the reasons in the original TES article - it certainly does "blight" family life.

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    Sarconia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I would be very interested to hear what qualifications those of you who never did your homework ended up with?
    In high school (where I never did any homework) I ended up with C's in absolutely everything, even French and I'm sure I bunked off most of those lessons.

    In College (I did some homework - but only if it was coursework) I ended up with a C in all of my A levels

    At University (I did tons of coursework in my room as there were virtually no lectures or lessons.... 5-10hrs of those a week) and once again ended up with the equivalent of a C.

    So nothing outstanding but nothing epic-fail worthy either.

    To be honest though, looking back on everything now, I probably wouldn't have done anything different. I was doing perfectly fine and had really good grades up until I got into high school and the whole school virtually decided that I was their enemy and that they were going to try and punch my lights out at every possible opportunity. I really didn't go to a good school and I feel that myself and everyone else with half a brain were let down by the whole system there, only 20% of the Year 11 I was in got 5 A-C grades and most of them aren't doing anything with their lives now. Yeah, I probably could've got better results but when the school enters everyone into the foundation paper where the highest possible grade was a C... it's not going to happen.

    College went a bit better although I only really attended because a) there aren't many decent jobs available to you when you're 16 and only have GCSE's and b) EMA

    University... well, I really did pick the wrong course there but it was very difficult picking a course when you've got the same grade in virtually everything... how do you choose? Especially if, like me, you're happy doing anything as long as you've got something to do (sitting around twiddling my thumbs does my head in, I have to be doing something at virtually all moments of the day). I ended up loathing most of the students on my course because they all seemed like snobby little unwashed wastes of space - they kept dropping out of one course one year and then onto the next. I had to get a part time job whilst I was there and I just about managed to scrape by, I bought my own car... yes, I owned it and it was mine, it was a heap (so old it had manual choke) and people used to walk by laughing at me trying to start the car in the Uni car park... but when their electronics or something went wrong on their modern car... which heap did they want a lift in? I finished the course and then got a job, first one which was offered to me - I've never had any problems doing the work, speaking to colleagues or socialising with them and it's so much better actually earning money, I hoped I'd said good riddance to Education once I'd finished mine but then I ended up working in it... lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I would be very interested to hear what qualifications those of you who never did your homework ended up with?
    A's, B', and C's, which isnt bad considering i didnt do any coursework either, and went to school for maybe 10% of 5th year

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    witch's Avatar
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    that's very interesting but i reckon that you both must be pretty clever to get those sorts of grades in those circumstances. For me, without homework I certainly wouldnt have done very well at A level, although i would probably be OK with GSCEs the way they are now

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