Parents Say No to Homework - what would happen?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by eddygirl, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    Jul 1, 2012

    The reading log thread of a few days ago listed a site created by parents who do not believe in homework. Whether their reasons are valid might be debatable, but it made me think--how would I (and my school) respond if a parent said that because of family philosophies, his/her child would not be doing homework for my class? I'd love to hear your thoughts and how you think your school would respond.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I almost started a thread to discuss the same question. :)

    I think homework should be minimal...even for a high student, thirty minutes is an acceptable time to me. Beyond that and I start to get concerned.

    But for a parent to refuse homework across the board? Well, I would support the parent in meeting with other parents and educators to discuss the topic, but I don't support him or her just refusing the homework, period. There is a point at which parents much look for other schooling options for their children...
     
  4. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I think more and more parents are feeling this way. I teach preschool, but many parents tell me they are tired of busy work their kids already know how to do. They will read every day and do activities they feel are valuable but don't do the rest. They feel their children should be judged on what they do at school, not at home and it isn't fair to judge assignments some parents help them do, or correct, when some kids don't have anyone helping them. They also feel hours of homework infringe on their valuable family time or time kids should be playing outside, etc. I know a principal who doesn't let homework be part of the grade because she feels it puts some kids at a disadvantage who don't have parental support and promotes the gap between the disadvantaged and advantaged.
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    We have a homework grade on our report cards. It is also school policy that we send home homework 4 nights a week.

    I had a situation in Kindergarten about school policy. It was about wearing caps. I had 5 kinders show up wearing graduation hats for our promotion ceremony. 2 of the parents had already been told by the P that they could not wear the hats for the ceremony. One of the parents told both me & the P that the cap was part of his outfit & that he was going to wear the cap on stage. P stuck to the school policy. . . they didn't get to wear the caps out of the classroom.

    I've had other situations this year regarding school policies. My P helps me to enforce those policies with certain parents.
     
  6. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I think if, as a teacher, you value homework, then you need to be very firm in your rationale. If you have a reason that homework is required and that is communicated to parents, then you can also determine a consequence for not doing the homework. However, you also need to make sure that the homework itself is valuable. Are you differentiating? Are you making some students "practice" skills they have already mastered? Is the homework so difficult or lengthy for some students that they can't complete it successfully?

    I read Alfie Kohn's The Homework Myth and it confirmed everything I've felt about homework.
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    My homework is to read, study science vocabulary (5-10 minutes per night), and to finish any work they did not finish in the school day. Most kids rarely take things home. Some kids do.

    I've had parents complain about too much homework, but I've also had them complain about no homework/not enough. Some like to see what their kids are doing and check it over.

    If I had a parent refuse, I would tell them it would negatively impact their child's grade. My P knows what I assign and that it isn't excessive, so she would support me fully.
     
  8. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    I have never had this happen in my class, and I have not heard of it happening at our school. I teach at a private HS that considers itself "college prep." I imagine that if a parent told me/us that the student would not be doing his homework, the response would probably be that doing homework is to help prepare the student for college. Homework is part of the grade at my school; some teachers give a lot and some give minimal amounts. Homework for my class probably averages out to be about 10-15 minutes four times a week. I avoid giving homework over the weekend, and I always give at least a week for papers and/or projects.
     
  9. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    If a parent were to respond this way about homework as a whole, I would feel that is their choice. But at the same time, they would be choosing consequences for their student. Different teachers have different policies, but the student could receive detention or have other requirements put on them.
    As well, at our school, if a student misses too many homework assignments, they are not eligible for the honor roll. We have to give social grades and homework is one of them. If they receive any low social grades, they can not make the honor roll.
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Believe it or not, the complaint I frequently heard at my previous school (especially from high SES families) was that there was not enough homework. Many of these students had transferred from a charter when we built our new school and these parents were concerned that since we apparently assigned less homework than the charter, we weren't "advanced" enough. Any school I can think of that I've been in has some sort of school wide requirement for about how many minutes of homework a kid should have per grade level, so I think a lot of the time it's not up to the individual teacher. Last year when teaching sped I tried to work with some of the gen ed teachers to send home differentiated homework for some of my students sort of "under the radar" but we were really not supposed to since the district did not believe in any modifications. I'm all for less homework, but at the HS level I have to wonder how that prepares them for college when they'd be expected to do hours of extra work per day.
     
  11. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Our school has an afterschool homework program for kids who need a quiet place to complete their assignments, for kids who chronically refuse to do work at home, for kids who need to catch up on work, as well as for kids who want some extra help. I'd give the sign up form to the parents and encourage them to sign their kids up for the program.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I also belong to the train of thought that feels homework is over rated.

    Fortunately, I am not required to send homework. I do have parents and children who request home work so I try to find fun projects that require multiple skills and let the students who choose do the projects. Those children who do the homework get to present their projects in class.

    My students work hard in school all day without a break (recess is not allowed). When they get home, they need to relax and play.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    There were many times this past year when I wanted to be that parent who said "No" to homework--Lauren had over 6 hours per night at least 3 times per week and over 10 hours almost every weekend. I could not see the value in that.

    I don't tend to give a lot of homework--a weekly reading response, some math review and unfinished work. With reading, well under an hour each night.
     
  14. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I would love to say no homework for my son.

    It's a battle at the end of the long day and not one I want to fight.

    However, I don't let him play video games ever and he doesn't watch TV on school days. When we have time we play games together, read, work on projects that interest him, etc.

    I feel like homework is busy work and we spend more time on it than need be.

    I honestly feel that if kids unplug then anything they do instead will be beneficial.

    So many parents work. I think that the time they have together should be spent together and not spent doing busy work.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    My most difficult parent this past year complained that I didn't assign homework. She was livid and very hateful about it all, actually.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My kids and their parents know that I have a 20 minute rule: 20 minutes of real work on the homework, and you're done. If you're the only one who hasn't finished, or one of the few, then you need extra help. If the whole class had trouble, then I have to re-evaluate the assignment.

    They're also aware that it's OK to miss and make up up to 3 homeworks per marking period. Hey, sometimes life gets in the way of schoolwork.

    But I do see a real value in practicing the skills we've covered in class, skills that you'll need for tomorrow's lesson.
     
  17. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    The goal of homework is to send home something the kid can do on his own. The problem is when parents have to spend hours firguring out how to help. My twins did have a lot of homework in the late 80s during high school years, but they knew how to do it. My daughter struggled and I was always having to email the teachers and dropping by just to figure out how they were teaching the concept. I'd never heard of Singapore Math of Box Division. So as a parent I'd rather see kids reading a book or even watching educational tv.

    My district says I have to send homework home so I try and make it something that my students can do on their own. Hopefully, it's something to reinforce what we've just learned. For reading I send (and purchase) 4 books home a year. My students are way behind in reading. If they can't read how can they learn? I also tell parents on back to school night that I'm not expecting anymore then 20 minutes. So far, all the parents have been onboard with the 20 minute rule.
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I feel like a broken record, because I'm always prefacing my posts with "I teach in a very low-income urban elementary school" - first grade, remember. I have a weekly homework packet, which shocks some people, until they look at it. Most of the "homework" for my students is copies of stories for the phonics and/or sight word skills, plus our comprehension story for the week and "flash cards" that I print out on regular paper for my kiddos to cut out at home. There is a little math and some suggested spelling activities, but that's about it. I have had parents ask for more homework, as well as parents who complain. The complainers really confused me because we have an afterschool program (free) at our school at which the students do their homework, and there is a 99% participation rate of our school's students! Therefore, no actual homework is going home! I have two main goals with my homework packet: students learning the mechanics of reading should practice reading every day (many of my babies say they have no books at home), and by keeping up with the folder for an entire week at a time, they are learning responsibility. I may not be right, but I've had more parents who like it than not, fortunately.
     
  19. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    We actually had this issue with one of our classes (the entire grade level at one of our elementary schools). The K-4 teachers weren't allowed to give homework. The parents caved when they got to 5th grade.
     
  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    There is a lot of research out on homework. I think that as teachers we should be looking at what the research says. Homework, in moderation, is not a bad thing. As long as you are well informed, I don't see why you should not stand your ground. I gave a 0 for homework not turned in. If you listed to the parent and explain your view, and use the research and information you have looked at to help defend your view, I think it should be reasonable that the parent should expect the student to earn a 0 for any homework not done. However, I sense the admin. would have a lot to say on this, so if this were to really happen, I think you would need to speak with admin.
     
  21. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Where I was just hired the school has a very strict homework policy. I would imagine the P would enforce it since the retiring teacher told me all about it and that is used a lot. Basically if the kids don't do their homework one night, they get sent to homework intervention. They get two dates to choose from and they have to stay an hour after school. She said it's really helped and most kids do their homework. It's up to the teacher to send them there so it allows for those times when it's the first time ever or there are extenuating circumstances.

    I try to keep my homework to just reading and some discussion questions to start thinking about. They also have vocabulary.
     
  22. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Homework for me is rarely anything other than finishing work they didn't get to finish in class. If they work hard and spend their time in class wisely, it should be a rare occasion that one of my students has homework.
     
  23. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    I am with Shanoo...my students are required to finish any work that they didn't complete in class. There really is no reason for a student to have a lot of homework unless they don't use their time wisely in class. There is one exceptation to this rule...on Wednesdays the students all get a nonfiction reading assignment with 5 comprehension questions at their reading level to complete outside of class as homework.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I honestly feel like little kids need time to play when they get home. I assigned homework because it was expected by the school, but I made it so flexible that families basically could do what worked for them. I gave options. The work was pretty much be same but when they did it, I honestly didn't care. If they needed to skip a night because they had other plans, I was okay with it. The tasks were the same for each family but the work itself was differentiated. It was designed to be more open ended instead of an actual completion so if the family wanted to spend 10 minutes on the task, that was fine. If the family could spend 20 minutes, that was up to them. I gave simple ideas for enrichment so they could expand if they wanted.

    I found that most families tended to be willing to do better quality a but only a few times a week and most of my families thanked me for the flexibility. Sometimes I even got pictures from the family to show me how they came up with their own enrichment idea.

    I basically told them my purpose and gave them tools but let them decide how and when to apply it. I only had two children who didn't do at least something a few times a week. For these kids, the aides or I helped them practice a few times a week.

    This approach wasn't well like by the first grade teacher but I feel we do them a disservice at this age. They already work all day. Most of us want to go home and relax. We have chores of course (as do my kids). I actually cut after school activities down to once a week because by the time we do everything that needs to be done, they really don't have enough down time left. They are little kids. Why do we expect them to work like adults do?
     
  25. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 2, 2012

    I have had a parent that didn't believe in their kid doing homework. They also didn't believe in detention or silent lunch or suspensions, so there was a little more going on. The school's stance was that if the child was going to be enrolled in a public school, they had to follow the policies of the school... one of which was nightly homework in each subject.

    That being said, I make my homework relevant. I don't overload them with busy work. I send a packet home at the beginning of the week, and they have til the end of the week to get it done. I get that things come up, that they have extracurriculars, and that some nights, they just don't feel like doing it.
     
  26. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I teach high school and have students of all ages/grades and abilities. Students from all sorts of backgrounds. Certain students refuse to do any homework and figure that once the last bell rings, they are done for the day. They've paid their dues and do not have to conform until 8:30 the next day. I have students that want to go on to medical school and will do whatever they can to get ahead of their peers. To me it doesn't matter what the background of the student is. Since I only assign homework that I feel is necessary, it shouldn't matter who the child is or what he/she is going home to. A student that has no support at home will most likely be the student that needs the extra practice most.

    Depending on the subject my homework philosophy changes. Some subject require that students simply finish vocab. or look over their notes. Another subject requires daily practice of at least ten problems. Sometimes it is pre-learning so the students will be more familiar with the terms as I lecture the next day. Sometimes it is practice to the process becomes second nature to them.

    One thing that I HATE, hate, hate is a modification on an IEP that requires half the homework problems to be assigned. It has never once worked out for the betterment of the student IME. If I were to assign 5 of the same type problem to my students it is because they struggled a lot with the process and I believe they need that extra practice. If I assign ten problems for reinforcement, I have selected one or two from each type of scenario. Excluding any from the set does not give the student the practice he/she needs. If a student cannot do the amount of work I assign in one evening, then he needs more help, not just blowing off the work. If it takes him ten times as long to get the work done as a regular student then we really need to find a way to make the course year-long instead of semester-long for him.
     

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