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Working parents speak out about homework overload

I am a parent who believes kids today get too much homework. Although I'm all for giving homework, I just believe in moderation.

For working parents, ensuring homework gets done is just another item on their to do list. When jobs demand longer hours, arriving from work to a second shift at home that includes hours of homework supervision is exhausting.  I wonder if teachers understand this?

In my Miami Herald column today, I let readers have their say about homework insanity. By the way, parents, besides Google, here's a book that can help you when you're trying to help your kids with homework: The Parent’s Homework Dictionary

Column on homework overload brings flood of responses

A column about homework overload on kids and their parents drew a flood of response.

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Debbie Regent, 48, center, assists her children Haley, 10, left, and Brooke, 14, with their homework at their kitchen table.
        Debbie Regent, 48, center, assists her children Haley, 10, left, and Brooke, 14, with their homework at their kitchen table.    


            After putting in much more than her eight hours at the office, Julie Price returns home for a long night of supervising her daughter’s homework — a process that often lasts for hours. “It’s exhausting,” she says.

She’s not the only parent with this routine. Reader response came flooding in from all over the country after my recent column on whether homework is preparing the next generation for the workplace of the future. The message: Excessive student homework has become an overwhelming burden on working parents.

Price, a single mom in Coconut Creek, says she and other parents are confronting the perfect storm of work-life challenges — increased work demands and longer hours resulting from pared back office staffs, competitive pressure on students to achieve more and school budget cuts that have forced more learning to be done at home.      

“We’ve overstretched and overtaxed the family unit,” Price says.

In my prior column, Debbie Regent, a mother of two in Weston, said homework stress is ruining her home life. After a day of work, she arrives home to several hours of homework supervision. “There is a value to reinforcing what you learned that day through homework. There is not value in torturing a kid with five pages of math problems when they have other classes with homework assignments as well.”

Parents wrote to tell me their home lives have turned into a burdensome flow of homework, tests and projects. Nagging about homework and kids’ stress over it looms over the evenings and weekends, infringing on family time. In some households, it has even led to marital discourse, short tempers and a child’s need for anxiety medication.

Other parents wrote to say they had to quit jobs, change work schedules, even sacrifice career advancement to deal with the homework insanity. A mother of triplets says she left her job as a receptionist when she and her husband decided even dividing and conquering wasn’t enough to get all the homework done at night and allow their girls to participate in sports.

Read more.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/02/3031330/column-on-homework-overload-brings.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/02/3031330/column-on-homework-overload-brings.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/02/3031330/column-on-homework-overload-brings.html#storylink=cpy



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As a grandparent of two schoolage children, once a mother of one and a working part of the public education system, I am surprised by the complaints. Past and present experience has shown that my children have had a tolerable amount of homework. All of my children have been and are part of the Miami Dade County Public School system. Two are gifted and one is in a charter school run by the public school system. I suggest that a poll be given as to which schools give what amount of homework. This will attest to the reliability of most parents' reports.
Elementary students normally have one to two teachers that are required to provide homework as follow up to the day's lessons and in length aligned with their age level. As the students proceed to the middle and senior years, there are more teachers who are required to give homework and there too the amount of time required is dictated by their age level. Probably, at the upper or senior levels, students have more in-depth work and requirements. Rightfully so as they approach the world of work which also requires some sort of homework.
The public school over the years have been asked to incooperate so much into a 6 hr day, provide so much more data and address so many different issues. My understanding is due to efforts to provide parents with teacher accountablility.Parents seem to want this accountability but not to take on the required additions just as the educators have - if we can all agree that there is excess in the amount of homework. In seeking accountability from parents, as education is three pronged (student, parents, educator), educators ask parents for better attendance and to utilize the data supplied by the teachers such as that is daily placed into portals, follow up with efforts to prepare students for testing like utilizing reading plus, gizmo, etc. As well, attend conferences, speak highly of the importance of good behavior and character, and communicate with educators when things are not understood. Education does not come with a pre-nup nor a promise of long years of easy living nor with the possiblity of divorce without child support. Rather, education is a democratic given right that requires all stakeholder to come with civility to an agreement to work together for at least 12 years for the betterment of our children, our society and a healthy future existance on this earth.

linda s.

It is too much even starting from elementary- if kids are in class all day teach them what they need but if you must give homework let it be given on Friday(a small amount). But Mond-Friday everyone schedule is too busy and kids need down time(as well as parents). In many homes kids have to get up early and many go to aftercare and may get home around 6 pm-they need to be able to rest, eat dinner and unwind. People that work get to unwind when they come home. Kids, and teens are people too. Let them rest.

linda s.

Children and teens are not robots. I feel sorry for the kids in high school , they have to get up 6:00 to be ready for school at 7:30 am. School should start at 8:30. Many are sleep deprived and when I was in high school I did not wake up until second period. I have never been an early morning person but I can get to work etc between 8:30 to 9:00-Most parents work 9 to 5 so why punish the kids with being in school at 7:20 am.It is shameful. Do schools even like kids. They are kids not robots. And it is a shame no one listens to them so we as parents have to make our voices heard!! And homework should be very light and on the weekends only. Many private schools dont give homework to let the students rest.!!

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