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.
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.