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Wednesday, October 01, 2003
More on public education:
Yesterday, I wrote about my decision to homeschool my son, and the reasons why. I anticipate that, from now on, I will be blogging a lot more on educational issues.
Today, I read that two new studies have debunked the previous wisdom that the homework burden on kids is far too excessive. It's about time a study came to the forefront that cited the obvious.
Take a look at today's kids. Do you honestly think they have too much homework? When I was in high school, each class was given a minimum of one hour of homework per class. Lower grades were less, but esily exceeded two hours per day.
What about today's kids?
When asked how much homework they were assigned the day before, most students age 9, 13 and 17 all reported less than an hour, according to a federal long-term survey in 1999. The share of students assigned more than an hour of homework has dropped for all three age groups since 1984.
To this, I reply with... "Duh!" Do you know any kids, at least in the public education system who do more than one hour per night of homework? It's likely that you don't. If you do, it's likely that they are not working intensively for one solid hour.
Let's hear from two of the anti-homework apologists:
“We’re trying to relieve some of the pressure on them, to teach them to be a real person, and to put some balance in their lives,” said Mike White, principal of Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California, of his 1,700 students. “It’s not all about homework.”
"Many of our families have two people working, and the kids go home to empty homes or to day care, so there’s just not a lot of support for homework," says June Shoemaker, fourth-grade teacher in Twin Lakes, Wis.
Are these people serious? I agree that kids should be encouraged to be kids, but not at the expense of learning. They need reinforcement in everything. Studies are no exception. Does anyone wonder why kids are ill-equipped for college these days? I would speculate that bad study habits, and poor allocation of personal time are two fundamental issues that contribute to poor performance, and hindered learning at a post-secondary level. If we continue to discourage kids from doing extracurricular studying, that's the price that we, and our children, will pay. Sadly, many in today's generation already have.
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