About Me

My photo
Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

Total Pageviews

Monday, September 29, 2014

Homework, homework and more homework

I don't know how things work in the other states across this country, but I do know that when I was a kid, I never had any where near as much homework as my children do.

Granted, my two older girls are in a gifted and talented program, so I kind of expected more homework would be in the cards for them. Last year, was my first foray into the wonderful world of G&T.  When Faith was accepted, I wrote a post about never feeling dumber in my entire life than when I sat through the orientation and saw what curriculum they had in store for her.  I have to give daughter #2 mad credit, because Farrah saw first hand the pounds of homework and projects older sissy had to do, but it did not in any way deter her from applying and interviewing for G&T herself. Honestly, to have one kid make it into this program was a blessing, but to have two???  My cup runneth over!! But so does the homework.... We spend at least 3-4 hours every night and almost our entire weekend, doing homework. By the way, that's after sports and clubs and every other after school activity my girls are involved in- quite often they are up to one or two in the morning, finishing homework.

My youngest is still in elementary school, fifth grade.  And yet, she does no less than two hours of homework a night. Unlike big sisters, Franchesca has a much harder time focusing on homework. She is the type of kid that needs to be in a totally quiet space, with ZERO distractions. And even then, I have to keep reminding her and redirecting her to focus on her homework.  It's a nightly battle. Out of all my kids, I can relate to Frankie the most. I was always daydreaming or having a hard time focusing on one topic. Anyone who reads this blog can clearly see, I still have that problem.

This weekend, my older girls turned down free tickets to Fright Fest at Great Adventure, because they had way too much homework to go.  They also had to pass on Rosh Hashanah dinner at their Aunt Lynn's house (one of their favorite celebrations to attend). I wonder what else they will have to miss out on in the future because of homework and I wonder if it's at all worth it.  On the other hand, I do absolutely LOVE the teachers and program my two older girls are enrolled in. The Husband and I are very grateful our girls were chosen to be a part of G&T. However, I have to ask myself, what's more important. My kids being challenged or them losing out on fun activities?  What if it's too much pressure?

Have any of you seen a trend towards more and more homework, like me? What are your thoughts about homework? Recently, I was speaking to someone (from overseas) who laughed when I said my kids are enrolled in a difficult academic program and I worried deeply about their stress level. According to him, we are a joke in the education department, no matter what program your kids are in, here in the USA. I argued there are only so many hours in the day to do homework, no matter what country you hail from. Although he absolutely insisted his country was superior to ours in every single way, and I wasn't going to waste my time arguing with him any more about it. *** 

Please, drop me a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions about how much homework your kids do or how much you had to do. I don't ever remember doing more than an hour in elementary school, but that was a long time ago now.



***Sorry, but after talking to that gentleman, I feel compelled to add this thought: to all of the people from other countries who immigrate to America and then want to stand there and bash it to pieces and insist the country you came from is so freaking awesome and superior to mine in every single way, do us all a favor, and GO BACK HOME. Cause no one asked your stank ass to move here in the first place, thank you very much.  

28 comments:

  1. I applaud your last paragraph!
    I do not remember that much homework, even in college. What do the kids do in class that leaves so much work still to be done outside of class?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh Alex, he went beyond pissing me off, that dude infuriated me. Besides being a misogynist a-hole, he bashed our education system and went on about how horrible our farms are, how awful the food is here and how fat Americans are. Then he talked about how much BETTER his country is overall, and how much more intelligent their military is!! Riddle me this joker, if we suck so freaking much, why the heck are you here??? Somehow, I held it together and made my escape without punching him in his stupid superior head.

      As far as the girls and the homework goes, it's mostly projects and in-depth study of certain subjects that takes so long. For instance, the Honors classes use some of the same books and do some of the same assignments that the G&T kids do, but the G&T kids are expected to expound upon it. The GATE kids are not allowed to answer any question, unless it's in this type of expanded format they call RAFT. Restate the question, answer the question, factual support, at least two supporting details. (RAFT) That's the only way they get full credit for answering a question. So, sometimes, they can get 10 questions for homework, in one subject. That doesn't seem like alot, however, when they must answer every question in the RAFT format, it takes a LONG time to get it done. And my girls, are perfectionists. They want to get a 100 on everything!

      Delete
  2. My child is 41 now, but I have friends with children still in school and I am astounded by how much homework they have to do. I remember doing an hour or so a night and not on weekends. But I might not be remembering correctly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay stupid computer put my reply to you, below Christine. Sorry about that Karen!

      Delete
  3. I see that mound of homework on my horizon. I've heard they give kids in kindergarten homework now! While I agree with you that it's fantastic your girls are in the gifted program and that more homework is to be expected, that just seems excessive. I think I remember maybe an hour or two of homework a week when I was in school. And a big cheer to you for that last bit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. My kids all had homework from Kindergarten on. But it was all fun stuff back then. Now it's some seriously hard projects. Again, I know my girls signed on for the "extra" when they applied to the G&T. It's just me second guessing if I should allow it.

      Delete
  4. Yes! That's exactly what I remember too Karen. I don't ever recall doing anything over an hour. And rarely, if ever, on weekends or in the summer. But my girls have both.

    It's not that I'm against homework all together, just a modified version of what they do would be nice.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am embarrassed to say school programs in Mexico are the ones that are trully a joke. They pass students from one grade to another even if they know absolutely nothing, zero. Anyway, I would expect a lot of homework from a talented and gifted program. I wouldn't worry so much if my kids are happy with what they are doing. I would still keep a close eye on them for signs of frustration or excesive stress. Your kids are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Al!! I know that they always strive to high standards and academics, on a lower level, would not challenge them. This is the first time in daughter #2's life, she actually had to study for a test!! So for her, I know this is for sure, the right path.

      Delete
  6. I don't have kids so I'm just kinda shooting from the hip with this one, but 2 hours or more of homework each night sounds insane. I never had even half of that when I was a kid, maybe 30 minutes tops if any. My (uneducated) opinion: in the workforce, you go to work, do your job, and come home. Very rarely do people ever have to bring work home with them. So why should kids have to come home and spend 2 more hours doing extra work? What does that accomplish or prepare them for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a lot of different opinions on the subject, and I think I have heard them all- from no homework enthusiasts to pro-homework all the way. I'd like to think we could find the perfect balance between the two. The amount my girls are doing, is a bit much and not all kids thrive or respond well with this amount of homework, like my younger daughter. Who gets amazing grades, but has trouble focusing after a long day at school. Homework literally does that kid, NO good. She just gets more and more burned out.

      Delete
  7. Both of my older kids are in "honor" classes and those classes give them the most grief. My daughter is about at her limit. All night she is in her room working her butt off. My son is being a slacker at the moment... (I'll deal with him later about it.) I totally understand. My kids would like to have a life outside of school.
    I totally love your last paragraph!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dani. The Honors kids get a lot of homework in my daughters' school too. Either in G&T or Honors, I find that the pressure of having after school activities and then so much homework, is all a bit much for these kids.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  8. It is true: students are piled down with homework, more than even ten, five years ago. The common core puts more requirements, and the only way the teacher can meet them is to send part of them home. It is shameful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree completely!! The common core makes me want to throw up. The pressure on the educator is ridiculous. I don't know how we are going to attract any new teachers in the future, when their very job is threatened by such a program.

      Delete
  9. I have always thought homework was a farce, even a little bit. Most kids are in the school for the same time as a adult works full-time. And yet what they do in school is not enough?

    Though as an American, I will say we are subject to criticism in education. It's not so much anyone's fault, but just the "american way" schools run. We have a lot of politicians who cut school funding, and little respect teachers. They also cram as many students in one class room as possible. A lot of the schools funding is absorbed by the higher ups (the principal's bosses) who do little for the classroom. And high school and colleges usually spend way too much on football and basketball programs.

    Then you also have just the way things are taught. There are many exceptions, but there are a lot history classrooms that worry about date memorization than the details of what happened in those dates. Many English classes often teach literature from stuff written centuries ago. I even had a teacher in 10th grade biology who literally stopped teaching us after a month.

    And then there's also many standardized tests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make some valid points regarding education; especially regarding cutting costs and administration salaries. I also agree with you regarding standardized tests. They are not now, nor will they ever be, (in my opinion) a fair assessment of a student or teacher.

      Again, I can not speak about other states, and it saddens me to hear about your experience with rotten teachers, but I must emphatically endorse and stand up for the teachers I have encountered here in the state of NJ.

      My girls had a first grade teacher that they have never and will never forget. She was simply amazing and touched the lives of every student she ever taught. (As well as the parents. I break out in a smile just thinking about her now.) And at the present time, my girls have the most fantastic, professional, dedicated and thoroughly knowledgable teachers you could ask for. They truly care about the subjects they teach, but more importantly they care about each child. They take incredible amounts of their own personal time and invest it in every kid. I honestly can't say enough about the particular team of teachers my two oldest daughters have at the moment. They are spectacular. But I recognize this may not be the case across the states, or something the average student enjoys, as a whole. I also think it's important to mention my kids have never been in class room with more than 17-20 children. When the number hits 20- another teacher has always been brought in to help with overflow. Again, that may not be the case, in other areas. But that's my experience here.

      Delete
  10. First of all can I say hellsya to your thoughts for that gentleman? What a tool!

    As far as homework goes...I went to a really tough middle and high school that sounds a lot like what your girls are doing. Major tests and interviews to get in, homework until 2 or 3 in the morning every night, etc. Thing is my family was dirt poor (I was on full financial aid) and I knew if I ever wanted to get my butt into college and afford it, I'd have to survive on scholarships, so I worked really really hard.

    It was super stressful, but I was accepted into a good college with several scholarships (that paid for housing, food, extra expenses, etc.) and though this college was a difficult one for most to get accepted into, I thought the classes there were ridiculously easy compared to my high school experience. I graduated with an honors degree in physics and thought it was a piece of cake, and when I look back at what I went through in high school to get there...I think I did too much. It was too much stress for a teenager to put on herself, and if I could do it all again, I'd relax a little bit and try to live more balanced.

    Of course I turned out just fine and I don't have regrets, but I think I could have been a little smarter about it all. Now my kids are in a difficult private school and I am seeing them go through the same thing. Hours and hours of homework, missing out on other "life" things because of that homework, and while I'm a good mom and make sure they stay on top of it, I'm not stressing out as much if they come home with a B or two among the other A's. Or if we have a family activity that means they'll lose a couple hours of study time. I don't want them to have to go through what I did, but it's definitely a hard balance to find.

    Just know I know exactly what you're going through right now and I'll send an extra prayer your way so you can feel at peace about it all. You are doing a fab job with those girls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Ilima!! It's awesome to know other moms feel the same as I do!! We are kind of in the same boat as you were- my girls are amazing students and have so much potential. But The Husband and I are not in a positition to send them to their colleges of choice. Earning scholarships, is crucial for us. I want what's best for them, of course, and as a mom, I struggle greatly with balance. Finding that balance of work, fun, charity and family, is still a hard one for me. I guess it's something they will have to figure out on their own as well.

      Delete
  11. I don't have children, but I can see the trend for more homework as I notice my friend's kids situation. I have to wonder if it's easier to just give homework than teach or it's just easier to assign things given today's technology?

    Either way, hang in there....it will all be worth it, in the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark!! I appreciate everybody weighing in and giving me their opinion. It means a lot!

      Delete
  12. Another post where I say; 'better you than me'. Ha, ha, ha. Although I don't think that stressing and burning kids out at an early age is a laughing matter. I worry that the new competitiveness in education is doing just that. I think as a parent you must constantly evaluate whether or not you children enjoy this concept of learning or are being stressed beyond their capacity - no easy task.

    Your daughters seem to enjoy it. They really appear to get what they need from the rush of learning. Some kids are like that and I applaud those programs that keep them stimulated. But all work and no play, isn't good for anybody. Finding the balance is the key to life in this day and age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! You are correct (as usual). My girls love a challenge and rise up to it. They don't complain about the homework- that's all ME. Ha!! I just worry about them finding that right balance.

      Can you imagine what education will look like for my children's children? Lord have mercy!!

      Delete
  13. Did I miss a fight!!?

    Wow, that sounds a lot of homework. My kids are bang average, though, so I wouldn't know what the gifted programmes are like in UK. I struggle to get them to do the amount they get at the moment - but working evenings doesn't really help with that. It might be a struggle for your girls now, but they'll reap the benefits later. Sounds like they both need a huge treat soon though :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah Annalisa! LOL. Normally, I am not so defensive. This guy was just so rude and obnoxious. I have a real hard time keeping my patriotic mouth shut. Especially when people choose to come to America and then turn around and bash things here. Do I think my country is perfect? Of course not. But I would not move somewhere if I thought that it was so flawed, and where I came from was so superior, in every way.

      And yes, you are right. My girls deserve a big treat, for sure. They work very dilligently, every single day. Funny thing is, they are not the ones that complain about all the homework. That's all me! I must admit to being quite proud of them and all that they endeavor to do.

      Honestly, I can relate to your kids, much more than mine!! I was more of an average student. I only excelled in the subjects I loved, like Language Arts/English.

      Delete
  14. I let my kids measure their own stress levels by constantly asking them if they are too tired to do their extra-curricular activities such as soccer, softball, piano, jiu-jitsu, painting... wow...that seems like a long list, but they seem to handle it well. When they have a lot of homework, need to study for an exam, or have special projects, we cut back on the extra activities, family visits, chores and anything non-school related. I kind of like it when they are ultra busy, it makes for less tv-watching, pointless internet browsing and youtube-ing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tanya!! That list of activities sounds a whole lot what goes on over here- piano, volleyball, MMA, chess club, Jr. Honor Society and the list goes on.. LOL.

      You are right about less tv watching- because I can't even tell you the last time my kids had time to sit in front of the tv! And that's just fine with me. I am not a big fan of tv watching myself.

      Delete