children, teenagers and homework

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.

5 thoughts on “children, teenagers and homework”

  1. Homework…if you’re gonna send it home – it should be directly related to whatever is being taught in class that day!

    Secondly, if we really think about it – school is a kids “job.” We run around telling mom and dad to leave work at work and spend time with family at home….maybe if we started teaching that lesson to our children, whne they enter the workforce, they will be less likely to “bring work home with them.” In the end, eliminate homework and create a better home life across our nation. I bet the students would be up for trying this one!

  2. We have our small group high school girls Bible study on Monday mornings, before school. We meet at a home of one of my girls and on her table was her recent “math project”. (The math project that had her miss something we were doing that weekend.) This math project was to prove the “if than” theories, or whatever they are called. They had to find advertisments and use this sort of math equation, to bring it to light. The project (which she did “well” on) didn’t make any sense, nor do I think she even knew what she was doing. (Her final hypothesis did not make sense.) I found this project not only busywork, but the final result was her receiving a good grade on something, that in my opinion, was not done well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love this girl and know how hard she worked on it. But, she didn’t even know what she was doing.

    I totally agree wtih the upset in amount of homework. It’s rediculous. I agree w/ Chris about the making time for family, as well.

  3. So loving this. But you know what else really winds me up? If those kids don’t get their schedules filled up with homework, then it’s with ‘activities’, and then it’s ‘parttime jobs’. And then on top of that, when our kids hit highschool, we start to think that this is high impact time for them with winning their friends to faith (ok, icky phrase)…so we add extra bible study, mission trips, youth bands, church service into their programme as well.

    Two years ago one of my favourite teens was working parttime 3 afternoons, had music practice one afternoon, music lessons another, youth group another, sport on saturday and church on sunday where he helped in sunday school and night church.

    1. when did he get to be a kid and really enjoy any of those things?
    2. when did he actually get time to spend with any non christian friends he might have had…
    3. when did he have time for homework??

    Cut back on homework.. sheesh, can we cut back on everything else too? Even.. dare I say.. youth group.

  4. Wow – I agree – the church is almost as guilty as everything else…we get mad at the “activities” (sports, school, band, music, etc…) and when do these kids get to be kids? When I was growing up I had a fair amount of time to just run around the neighborhood and be a kid with my friends.
    So, how do we win this battle for our kids?

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