when my daughter was in 6th grade, her homework was literally overwhelming (both for her and for her parents!). she was doing 3 – 5 hours of homework each night, and it was killing us. now, in the private school she attends, her homework is more reasonable and meaningful. that said, i found anastasia’s ypulse post about new research on teens and homework to be telling. here’s most of the ypulse post:
From the press release (there’s more, so click through if you’re interested):
Substantial numbers of students and parents raise concerns about the quality of homework.
– Although most students say they have enough time for homework, twenty-six percent of all students say homework is just busywork and unrelated to what they are learning in school. Thirty percent of secondary students identify homework as busywork, down from 74 percent in 2002.
– Forty percent of parents say a great deal or some homework assigned is busywork
– One third (33%) of parents say the quality of homework assigned in their schools is fair or poor.
Most students are not getting enough sleep, which has an impact on their ability to get to school and pay attention in class.
– Nearly half of students (46%) think they do not get enough sleep. While this experience is more common among secondary school students (57%), 29% of elementary school students also report they do not get enough sleep.
– Nearly half of elementary school students (48%) get less than nine hours of sleep on a school night, and 60% of secondary school students say they get less than eight hours of sleep.
– Four in ten students (37%) very often or often have trouble waking up in the morning.
– One-third (34%) frequently feel tired during class, three in ten (29%) daydream in class, and seven percent frequently fall asleep during class.
– Teachers seem to underestimate the extent and impact of lack of sleep. On average, teachers report that only 28% of their students do not get enough sleep.
(it’s all that texting at 2 a.m.)
Doing homework is a solitary task…but with distractions.
– Nine in ten elementary school students (89%) and eight in ten secondary school students (81%) usually do their homework at home.
– While three in ten elementary school students (31%) report that they do nothing else while working on their homework, only one in nine secondary school students (11%) have this habit. In fact, nine in ten (89%) secondary students are doing other activities, or “multi-tasking,” while doing homework, including 70% who listen to music and 51% who watch TV.
– Two in ten students report that they are usually talking on the phone (20%), instant messaging or emailing (20%) or text messaging (17%) while they do their homework.