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Letter: Enough with the homework already

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  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    April 14, 2014 5:57 a.m.

    In most industrialized countries, students enter school at 8 and don't leave until 12 hours later.

    And their schedules aren't filled with fluff, like home ec, auto, or foods. Sports? That's a club thing that you do outside of school.

    Enlightening, isn't it?

    As for your griping about homework and missing just 1 day hurts, good! That's the way it should be! Welcome to the real world! If I miss 1 day of work, it's awfully difficult to make up.

    Don't want to be over burdened during the school year? Then don't miss class eating out with friends or going on a 2 week cruise in the middle of the semester. Also, it wouldn't hurt if you didn't play video games until 4am.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 14, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    But you just got back from a week long vacation, Spring Break.

    Before that, you had a 2 week long vacation, Christmas Break.

    Before that, you had a week long vacation for Thanksgiving.

    And now, in 1.5 months, you'll have a 3 month long vacation.

    Welcome to the real world!

    No where else are students given 4 months off from studying.

    Stop complaining. Less video games and sports and more studying. It's time for American students to join the rest of the industrialized world and to actually become prepared for the real world.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 14, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    Annie,
    In college... be prepared for at least 2 hours of home work for each hour in class. That was the expectation when I was in college.

    Maybe they're trying to get you prepared for this...

    ====

    I served a mission in Japan. For Jr High and High School students school was only the start of their day. When they got out of school... they would go directly to study groups, academic/cultural clubs, extra classes, meetings with tutors, etc... till late in the evening.

    I don't think that's a good thing, but people keep saying we're falling behind other countries that DO expect this... so maybe we need to adjust OUR expectations.

    ===

    I feel for you thought. I think there is more to life than work and school.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    April 14, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    Oh, poor baby.

    Here is some perspective:

    My Korean Spouse, when she was in school, had to first find the money for her uniforms and books then began her school day with a one hour walk (there were no school buses and public transportation was too expensive).

    Classes were heated with Charcoal and the students were responsible for keeping the fire stoked.

    Class lasted 8 hours and at the end of the school day the students then spent an hour or so cleaning the classrooms and the bathrooms.

    Homework was not done at home--kids stayed and did it in the school.

    For those that had the money, there was private tutoring to ensure the students passed the tests needed to move to the next grade--forget about college entrance exams.

    Spring break? Ha. They did get time twice a year to help plant the rice crops and then again at the harvest. They also got the occasional national holiday but those days were spent in study because to take time to catch a movie or go out dancing led to expulsion from school.

    Suck it up.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 14, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    Yeah, I didn't think you'd get much sympathy for that one. Wait till you see what reports the boss wants you to do. In my case, quite often from a crowded room in a man camp, or a truck seat, or a quiet table in a bar somewhere if you can find internet. Or from home, on a day off.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 14, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    I honestly do not believe the claims about amount of homework. Mostly because there's no way a teacher, let alone 8, would want to grade that much. Probably half of these assignments are "read 4-6 pages in _____ textbook" before each class (history, science, English).

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    April 14, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    @Schnee,

    My youngest is a high school junior taking three AP course plus pre-calc. On an easy night he's in bed by 11:00 PM and this is pretty much the norm for Sunday through Thursday.He has little TV time and we allow no video game time at all during the school week. Saturday is the one day we have set aside as homework free for family outings and such. My oldest experienced the same when he was in high school but the middle kid hardly ever had that much homework. Different teachers, different standards I guess.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    April 14, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    Gee, I yearn for the days I only had to worry about homework. Thanks to teachers who prepared me for the monotony of day to day life with homework assignments. If only I could go back and do it again.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    April 14, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    No one over 30 or who has lived in a foreign country feels sorry for you. Hard work is good for you, and later you'll be glad you had the opportunity.

  • crmeatball South Jordan, UT
    April 14, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    There definitely needs to be a strenuous exercise to allow for intellectual growth, but I tend to agree with the letter writer. The amount of homework assigned to students these days is staggering, preventing time for other wholesome and needed activities. As I have spent the past 5+ years working closely with high schoolers, I have often thought the schools were overburdening them. There are lazy ones, who don't really buckle down, but those that do end up spending ALL their time doing schoolwork. I have a masters degree in Elec. Eng. I know how much work it is to learn. But having the kids to simply complete assignments is not helping them learn. Teaching them does. It does not take 2 hours out of class for every hour in class to teach high school curriculum (it averaged 3 hrs for me). 15-20 hrs of work outside of class would be more appropriate, allowing the students to learn to balance their lives and participate in other activities, such as church, youth groups, athletics and so forth. Giving them endless amounts of "busywork" is only going to cause increased anxiety and depression, something I am seeing at epidemic levels.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    April 14, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    I agree with the letter writer. It's amusing that responders bring up Asian cultures because historically they have been the least creative (and productive) innovators. It pains me to see some of the schools in our country following that example. My sons attended top-ranked high schools in Pennsylvania and California and had nowhere near the kind of homework the writer is complaining about. They all spent significant time computer gaming and engaging and other creative activities. They all got great college educations (the youngest is now a junior in electrical and computer engineering at UC Berkeley) and the older ones are gainfully productive adults (in engineering and IT). The letter writer has a good point; high schools run the risk of drumming out all creativity when they occupy 100% of their students' free time with busywork.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 14, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    If your teachers were paid better... you probably wouldn't have as much home-work. They just aren't getting paid enough to teach it all in class.

    Just kidding... it just seems like the answer to every education issue is... more money, More Money, MORE MONEY...

    ===

    I think it's good you get to bring some work home. Shows your parents you are working hard on your education.

    I would take a student who works harder over a smart lazy one any day of the week. So keep working hard. Hard work can make up for any disadvantage you may have. Same goes in life after school.

    I'm glad you have an after school job too... that teaches you why you are going to school (so you don't have to do THAT job the rest of your life). The worse the job the better... the more it motivates you to really study so you never have to do that job again. And you get used to working hard (which is what you will be doing the rest of your life). Just hopefully doing something you like better than what you are doing now.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 14, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    And we wonder why Americans are falling behind globally.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 14, 2014 6:00 p.m.

    If you go to collage, you'll see the same stuff all over again. Don't worry be happy.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 14, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    What Annie is finding out is that most of the older adults have no empathy and are miserable in their own lives. Don't expect anything better Annie, this is as good as it gets...

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 14, 2014 8:25 p.m.

    Yes collages are famous for that, making them all the more beautiful.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2014 2:27 a.m.

    @my_two_cents_worth
    "Different teachers, different standards I guess."

    *shrugs* I guess. With my set of AP classes when I was in high school I was rarely spending more than 2 hours a night on homework.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Education is not ramming lot of information through your brain. When will society learn this? The ability to discern, to think, to create - that is education.Then the facts become useful. Then one can discern facts from conjectures, hypotheses, and theories. The last two items are unavoidable, but need to be kept in balance in our thinking. Creativity is the womb of knowledge. Read "the Creative Process" by Brewster Ghiselin ( a poet and late Professor at the U ).Also, read "How to solve it" by George Polya. True thinking requires the brain to percolate, not to be force-fed.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2014 7:05 p.m.

    Success in life is not granted, it is achieved with effort. National statistics about the hours young people spend in video gaming, TV, texting, Facebook, etc suggest that there is too much free time.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 15, 2014 8:54 p.m.

    I don't think most of us get it. Annie is working plenty hard, we, or most of us, worked pretty hard in school in the good old days. I think Annie is just passionate enough to question whether this hard work is of value. I think that is a fair thing to ask. If Annie thought she was learning anything of value or more things of value, she probably wouldn't be frustrated by would think what she was doing truly valuable and interesting.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:58 a.m.

    Once one of my kids in elementary school was given a 30 step project which would have required about 12 hours of my time to help my son do it. It was supposed to be a joint project between parent and child. I saw this project as busy work where no discernable skills or knowledge was learned. I told my son to not do it, that it was a waste of time.

  • RedShirtUofU Andoria, UT
    April 16, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    To "Annie" it sounds like you are overloaded. It would be great if you told us what classes you have. Either you have too many difficult classes, or else you are not understanding the material well and can manipulate your teachers into giving you good grades.

    If you don't want all of that homework, you can enroll in the Electronic Highschool. If that is like other Homeschool programs, you will be able to do an entire day's school work in about 6 to 7 hours.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    April 16, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    It is a challenge. You can do hard things. Best Wishes to you young lady.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 11:01 p.m.

    @Wastintime

    "I agree with the letter writer. It's amusing that responders bring up Asian cultures because historically they have been the least creative (and productive) innovators."
    ------------

    I agree. We DON'T want our kids to be like the Asians. Nothing against them, but we are different, and the creative/innovative culture in the USA is what has caused our economy to excel. When high school kids have too much homework, they will sacrifice their creative/artistic side for more of a robotic approach to life. We need good hard work, but we also need balance. Besides, I would like to see more high school kids have time for a part time job. Too much homework will make the kids one-dimensional.

    The letter writer has a good point.

    A few hours of homework a night is fine. No more, unless they choose it.