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article imageReport Says Kids Have Too Much Homework

By Tea Lulic     Mar 31, 2008 in World
This week, the Toronto District School Board Program and School Services Committee will vote on staff recommendation on how homework should be assigned and defined. They say children are receiving too much homework right now.
In the past, many have heard the "There's too much homework" complaints from a student or "I did not have enough time to finish my assignment" and now, staff and parents are backing this up. According to the new proposal, children should receive less homework on a daily basis.
But, how much is too much? I remember going to school and having to do tons of homework but not because I was forced to do it. I did it for my own benefit. Furthermore, since I was eager to gain new knowledge, even when I did not have any homework, I tried to find something to read. However, it seems that many students today do not have the same train of thought as me.
Recently, CTV news website posted a question "Do students get too much homework?" and many seemed to agree.
"I am a high school student in grade twelve, and on average each night I spent 3 hours, if not more on homework. I hardly get to spend any time with my family and I find I have to stay up into the early hours of the morning because of the amount of activities, community service, sports and other school commitments that schools expect you to participate in, as well as completing the assigned homework at night," said Sarah.
In another comment, a concerned parent by the name of Wendy states:"Yes sometimes they do. My daughter is in grade 5 and she may get anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. On top of that there is a required 20 min of reading."
The Board Program and School Services Committee's recommendations are based on three key suggestions:
1. Marks should not be deducted if student does not complete an assignment or hands in an assignment too late.
2. Homework should not be assigned on scheduled holidays or on days of significance.
3. How much homework should students be assigned?
Kindergarten - no homework
Grades 1-6 = Focus on reading assignments
Grades 7 and 8 - one hour or less of homework
Grades 9-12 = two hours or less
The Board also recommends that parents of children in early grades should spend time reading with their children or to them.
First off, I would like to say that I have successfully finished my high school degree with an outstanding average. I was also involved in numerous extracurricular activities and have also managed to have 3 part-time jobs in my last year of high school.
In my opinion, it is rather inappropriate to make such changes to the curriculum. This is not because I do not want to see children succeed. On the opposite note, I would want them to succeed and that is why I am strongly against reducing the amount of homework. There is a strong correlation between hours of homework done and the grades you receive. What many do not understand today is that our society has changed, maybe not for the better, but today youth is expected to have a far greater knowledge once they hit universities. Year after year, this bar is raised even higher and students entering their first year of university are expected to know much more than the basics.
Many students drop out of their first year of university because they find it overwhelming. There is three times more homework and even if you study on a daily basis, sometimes you need to pull off an all nighter. But, the more you study, the better GPA you obtain. There is a strong correlation when it comes to the amount of time students put into their work and their GPA. However, homework is not only there to memorize paragraphs from different books but to develop learning habits and time management skills.
I strongly believe that an appropriate solution would be to have an increasing amount of homework from year to year. If we do not do this, we will fail our children miserably. They will be unprepared for university or college, will receive an initial shock of low grades because they were taught earlier that studying less is good and they will find themselves lost and confused.
Furthermore, if we really want to help our children, I suggest assigning research assignments, where students will be free to develop their own ideas, because university is all about the ability to recognize new ideas and integrate them into one synchronized thought.
So, do your kids a favour and help them learn and develop new skills for which they will thank you later on in life. They might not be appreciative right now, but trust me, the day will come when they are going to thank you for forcing them to do their homework.
As for the proposal, the board will vote for it on Wednesday and if it passes, it will go to the Board level of Approval. If this is approved, it will be implemented as early as next school year.
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