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?
Love our blog? Become a fan of MSN Living on Facebook. We’re like the Lady Gaga of news and entertainment portals.
Check out my hilarious book Sorry I Peed on You (and other heartwarming letters to Mommy)(Andrews McMeel). Makes a great baby shower gift!
And hey, do ya love doggies and puppies? My hilarious and adorable new book, Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe (and Other Heartwarming Letters from Doggie) (Andrews McMeel) is now available!
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.
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
When it comes to traveling with the family, "adventure" can mean a lot of different things. Just packing the suitcases for a 3-hour flight can be an adventure of its own. And surviving a 5-hour flight with a toddler? That's a whole different kind of adventure (tip: pack snacks). But when your family adventure is good, it can be is really, really good. Sometimes swimming with dolphins or ziplining through the rainforest is just the kind of vacation that will make you forget all about airport hassle, and will get your kids (even the teens) smiling. From hiking the Rockies to white-water rafting, we've found 11 family adventure vacations that will get the adrenaline pumping without driving you crazy.
When you're expecting a baby, preparations can be overwhelming. Decorating is stressful as it is, and when it comes to nurseries, there are the added concerns of reducing sharp edges, use of engaging colors and -- if you're a believer in the powers of feng shui—optimal furniture placement. Luckily, your favorite fashionable A-listers are here with tons of dazzling baby room ideas. Click through this slideshow for more nursery ideas from celebrities, stylists and just plain fashionable moms.
Our Research Institute scouted out the New York City Toy Fair and spotted a few standouts we predict will be topping wish lists shortly.
When we scoped out the New York City Toy Fair, we spotted everything from human-like robots to kid-friendly DIY projects.
Stroll down any aisle of a Toys"R"Us these days and you'll be confronted with a billion options that are light-years beyond anything you had to entertain yourself with as a kid. Lego cruise ships (complete with flatscreen TVs in the lounge and sideboard jet-skis), battery-operated Mercedes-Benz sedans, and hi-tech tablets with Android operating systems abound. We wondered, as we let ourselves get nostalgic for a moment, if any of the beloved toys we played with as children were still even on the market. Thanks to a quick hunt on the Internet we were able to find that Fisher Price still makes their classic Two Tune TV, and you can still get your hands on a good ol' Slinky. Here's a roundup of the best old-school toys for kids-- we encourage you to click through the slideshow and consider wrapping up a well-loved classic for your little one this year.
Not great with a budget? Don't sweat it. Try these simple ways to save.
Watch the video of Kristen Bell going head to head with paparazzi - it will make you angry
Every year, toy makers from around the world gather to show their latest creations at the Toy Fair in New York City. The high-tech models, gadgets and trinkets on display put those basic Legos we played with at kids to shame. Here are 10 new toys that we'd happily buy or children. Or, really, ourselves.
Find yourself wandering the aisles, suddenly needing an owl-shaped candle while drinking a $5 latte? You're not alone, moms...
Here's some parenting advice for whatever stage of separation or divorce you're in.
Whether you pop it in the mail or post it on social media, a creative photo is a surefire way to grab everyone’s attention and proudly say, “I’m pregnant!” Prepare for a lot of likes.
Remember the magical children’s rooms in Peter Pan and The Little Prince? These timeless novels described spaces that were enchanting and made us wish that we could inhabit the rooms ourselves. The sumptuous interiors that were filled with never-ending toys and fort-like draping may seem like a fairytale, but thanks to four of our favorite kids' furniture websites, the dream could actually become a reality. Click through the slideshow to check out the best kids furniture websites that have everything necessary to create a fantasy room for your little one. And check out Sophia Demenge's super-fun space in the video below. By Barry Samaha