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Love for our children

  1. Feb 3, 2005 #1


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    With regard to our 'hot-house' system of education in the UK, I would like to see homework made optional, so that children can socialise more and be under less pressure. We are only young once and not everyone is suited to the academic scene. Much of what we learn in school is in any case soon lost to memory, especially for those who are content to work in shops, stores or factories or as lorry-drivers or dustmen etc etc, without whom we would not survive. Furthermore, many children find homework difficult and extremely stressful, especially if there is conflict in the home, which is surely why 50,000 children skip school every day in the UK.

    It is natural to have a thirst for knowledge and we all need to feel a sense of achievement, but I submit that many children must feel they are 'failures' under the present system, especially when they are faced with the cruel blackmail that they have only 'one chance' to 'succeed' and what we call 'a good job' is deemed to depend on academic 'success'. Perhaps that is why every day ten in their twenties take their own lives in the UK and one in four children suffer some form of mental complaint in later life. Success for me is to be happy and fulfilled and education is just a beginning and not an end in itself. Much more important is that I matter to somebody else and that they matter deeply to me.
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  3. Feb 3, 2005 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    You know, if a person determines by the time they get to high school that they really aren't suited for abstract education and would prefer training for a trade, I think that's fine, but don't cancel homework for grade-schoolers. You have to at least given them a shot at succeeding within the academic environment before you or they can determine it isn't for them. I know we're only young once, but jeez, homework doesn't take up that much time. How many people honestly feel robbed of their childhoods because of homework? At least from my experience with my little sisters, if they weren't doing homework, they were watching TV. I'd like to know how this is a more worthwhile activity that prevents the robbing of their childhoods.
  4. Feb 3, 2005 #3


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    When I was a child in school I usually did my homework in my spare time in class before school was over and rarely had any left to do at home. But I was weird. :redface:

    Here there are schools (in the public school system) that have no homework. The schools are alternate learning environments and have both geniuses and slackers attending (mostly slacker geniuses :wink: ). These schools are tremendously succesful. There is very little structure, no bells calling them to class, there are at most only 12 students to a class and no pressure. They have a billiard room and chefs that cook their meals to order for them. :rolleyes: They create an environment conducive to learning. They don't start class until around 9:30am so the kids can sleep late. I would have LOVED to attend a school like this when I was younger. :cry:
  5. Feb 3, 2005 #4
    That's not relevant Evo. Absence of homework for creative intellectual reasons is slightly different from absence of homework because the student will become a taxi driver.

    Personally, I think that telling students they may attend school and not do the homework sends the wrong message--that they can sort of muddle along and not try but still stay with their classmates. If a student is going to drop out of school, he should drop out, not take silly half-measures like not doing homework (even if it's allowed). The seriousness of his choice must be made known to him, without lack of emphasis that it is his own choice (and in many cases it isn't, parents can force their children to be in school, and I think that this is wrong).

    Children need to know about their freedom of choice and they need to know more about where it may lead them, with accurate statistics and without any slant one way or the other.
  6. Feb 3, 2005 #5


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    I agree. Here it is also illegal for a child under the age of 18 to quit school, the parents can be jailed if their child is truant.

    I don't think that the amount of homework given is more than a child can handle under normal circumstances.

    I was just raising the question that since these "alternate" schools with no homework are so successful, should we look more closely at the need for homework? Maybe schoolwork should be confined to "school"?

    If a child is struggling with their subjects, is giving them assignments to do at home with no teacher available to answer questions the right thing to do? We assume every home has a parent willing and able to help their child, in real life, that's not always true.

    I am actually in the camp that believes homework is not bad for kids. But I have to admit family life has changed over the past few decades and maybe so should our school systems.

    Why do children need to be given school assignments to do outside of the classroom anyway? What is the reasoning behind it? Is it truly beneficial to the child or just a way to "keep them busy"?

    Instead of sending kids home at 2:30pm, and giving them homework, maybe keep them until 4:30pm and get the assignments done in school where they can ask questions?

    I read recently about why schools are set up the way they are and it goes back to the industrial revolution, it was quite interesting.
  7. Feb 4, 2005 #6


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    Not so weird. I did the same thing. But, I would also go to the library and read/study material on science (Chem and physics), religion, history, or political science. And if the high school did not have enough, I would visit the local university library during evenings or on weekends.

    I still read books to my son. My daughter has outgrown that, and she actually writes her own fanstasy fiction with some friends.

    My son likes to build robots, so we buy him kits with which to build them.

    Parents must take an active role in their childrens' education (academics) as well as training them to do domestic labor (cooking, cleaning, gardening, repairing things).
  8. Feb 4, 2005 #7
    Bottom line is, students will learn if they are interested and they will not learn if they are not interested. If the student doesn't want to do the homework, he shouldn't drop the homework, he should drop the course, and he should be enabled to do that. If the student likes the course then he will do the homework because he likes it. If students have realistic worldviews and study only what they want to study, they will learn a lot more and there will be no problems over doing homework.

    Homework requires a valuable life skill: how to self-motivate.
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