New Report: Kids Say School is Too Easy
But don’t worry, kids, this report will ensure you get much more homework
Well, American kids definitely lead the world in one area: admitting to things sure to cut into their video game time. A study from the Center for American Progress reveals that from as early as 4th grade, kids are admitting that school fails to challenge them. The study also surveyed many junior high students who find history to be humdrum, and high school students who lament that they don’t do enough writing. Maybe that’s why teens love to text, it satisfies an unmet need to work on their reading comprehension.
This study is interesting when measured against the highly competitive prep and high schools. There are pockets within the education system that do a great job challenging kids. In fact, some are so competitive, they draw criticism that they’re too taxing. But those schools are the exception, not the rule.
So how should bored kids get the challenge they need from school? I say that they should assign more homework. This would teach self-discipline—arguably the single most valuable life skill. Our children are coming up in a world oversaturated with distractions. Facebook notifications, text messages, and emails all conspire to block kids from becoming their best. If a large amount of homework is assigned, it will force kids to focus on their schoolwork amidst a house full of distractions. Yep, more homework is the answer—just don’t make it so hard that the parent has to help.
Do you think schools should assign more homework?
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As Caity says, most homework is busy work, repetative assignments meant to drill someone into a kids head, not really teach them anything. Sendnig home 20 pages of math problems with a kid would only help if it's something they are still trying to actively learn. However, if it's something the kid already knows, and has known from day one (or even before day one, as I did) then it's just time consuming busy work. Homework is meant to be practice to help a kid get better at whatever subject it is, but if you don't need the practice than it won't do you any good. For example, in middle school my Algebra class spents MONTHS on learning how to do one type of problem. every night we had at least 30 problems to do for homework. The sad fact of it was, we all understood how to do the work in the first week, which just meant we grew bored in class and stopped caring.
Homework will not challenge a student if the curiculum is not challenging. From sixth grade and on I struggled with passing classes, not because I couldn't do the work, but because I was so mind-numbingly bored with it that I saw no reason to do it. The only time in my high school career that I felt challenged, that I was HAPPY to go to school and learn, was when I went to an alternative school semi built off of the idea of home schooling. Kids did work at their own speed, mostly at home, and they often ended up being able to choose what they wanted to learn. The only reason I passed Geometry (my third time through it) was because I was so callenged by it because I had to do a years worth of work in a months time, which meant I had no time to get bored.
The system doesn't need more homework. It just needs to ask for more from the students. Trust me, they want to be asked for more.
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