Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pete: Homework is bad for kids

Amid growing calls for higher education standards, a City Council member is urging the Department of Education to limit the amount of homework teachers assign students each night.

Council Member Calls for Limits On Homework

Peter Vallone Jr., who represents parts of Queens, said his two daughters are routinely swamped with homework and stuck at home, slogging through it.

"As a parent, I have been unable to have fun with my kids. We can't go for bike rides. We can't go to the park. We can't go to the museum, and that's not fair," he said.

29 comments:

ken said...

like many politicians, seeking to gain public support, he's probably just trying to convince everybody that he's a good family man, by fostering the impression that he enjoys spending time with his kids, which may actually be the case, though one can't help being cynical when time and again one politician after another winds up in the news on account of some scandalous affair.

Anonymous said...

No I think he's pandering to all the whiny parents of kids in the school system today. Ever been to a PTA meeting?

verdi said...

Hey....spend less time "Godfathering" it with your building lobbyist friends.....
Don "Junior" Vallone and you'll have more quality time to spend with your kids !

Anonymous said...

Have children, but unwilling to help them do their work? The biggest problem a parent has is homework and require commitment on the part of the parent to see the child succeed and homework is a part of that. I am guessing Pete does not do his own homework from long day as others may do, yet alone go home and help his children do thiers. Makes you wonder about this guy approach to his professional efforts on behalf of the public he represents and personal values and commitments to his own children? I say term limits benefit the public when pols like Pete speak out on issues like this - stop wasting our time Pete - boot him out already!

Taxpayer said...

Hey, Junior,

Your public pander has the effect of taking the NYC education system down one more notch.

Get yourself on the Education Committee and do some homework. The NYC public schools are so badly distracted by taking up every edu-fad that accomplishes nothing for the brain, but pushes "self-esteem", "diversity", and every anti-religious notion, that there is no time for substantive teaching, so, teaching must be accomplished at home via homework and parents.

Now sit in the corner until you show you comprehend what school is all about.

Anonymous said...

"Family Values" is a big stchik with the Vallones, coming from a community of old line Italians and Greeks, it plays well.

The myth, in this case, does fit the reality fairly well, though Junior had a somewhat checkered uncle (who was killed in a hit and run in front of Ricardos) and he himself is divorced.

The point is that other nations are speeding ahead of us, and with education, habits start young. If anything, the kids of today need more diversions from the empty-headed modern culture so I disagree with him on this point.

Kids can never get TOO much education, and come to think of it, if the constituents of his community were awake during civics, it would not be such a suffocating political envirnment, and recieved a little more info on preservation, the community board would not be such a laboratory for developer stunts.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't homework - it's the amount that SOME teachers expect. My daughter is in 5th grade. One the AVERAGE day, she leaves school, goes to the "homework helper" afterschool (aka where they do homework with teachers checking their work). I pick her up at 5:00, by 6:45 we are done with dinner, and by 7:00pm, she's back to homework till 9:00pm, and on days before tests, the studying goes on till around 10.

Yes - 5 HOURS a night of home work in 5th grade! You have at least 1 book report/week, PLUS an extra "30 minutes/day" in another book (with nightly write up of what you read), Science Projects, Spelling Tests, the monthly "Paper to be published in the class jounal" etc - like I said, when your all done, the average night takes 5 hours for my daughter. She's not the fastest worker, but I know talking to the other Moms and Dads, most of the students take 2.5-3.5 hours a day, 7 days a week to get the school work done.

Yeah, I can see that in High School - in fact, I would expect it. The thing is, when you have 2 children, each taking more than 2 hours, and you have to review their homework, supervise them doing it, etc (we refuse to feed them answers - we will point out mistakes, and coach them - but they have to figure out the answer) - it not only takes hours of their time, but hours of ours

georgetheatheist said...

There is also a bigger issue here: "going" to school is becoming more and more obsolete. You can get your education now on the internet or from dvd's.

eamallc said...

In many countries around the world where there is very litlle to no homework, on average the children perform better than the children here in the United States. My child is in 3rd grade, special ed and is already complaining that he cant stand doing the homework. After a 7-8 hour day at school, children deserve to come home and rest, eat and enjoy their lives.
This doesnt mean that you shouldnt read to your children and practice a few things. But this idea that we have to drill facts in to their heads is ridiculous. Vallone is usually wrong, but he's right about this one.

Julie said...

I don't understand the big deal about homework. You are supposed to learn from it. It's not supposed to be fun. Maybe if parents didn't condition their kids to have short attention spans, they would finish the work quicker and have time to play. The first thing I had to do after coming home from school was my homework. This was with no distractions, such as TV or radio. After I was done, I could go out and play. I now have a Master's degree and a great career because I was able to focus and prioritize. Kids who can't are doomed to fail. Kids have been whining about too much homework for decades. The only difference is that up until now, parents didn't whine about it, too.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, kids. Once you get to CUNY, the standards are much, much lower.

eamallc said...

"You are supposed to learn from it. It's not supposed to be fun."

Julie, are you suggesting that having fun and learning are mutually exclusive?

"Kids have been whining about too much homework for decades."

I agree kids have been whining for a long time, but it doesnt mean that they are wrong in what they are feeling. Many children feel extremely overwhelmed by too much homework. If they are overwhelmed, they are going to look for short cuts. Guaranteed. The quality of the work suffers and ultimately they dont learn a thing.

Julie said...

"Julie, are you suggesting that having fun and learning are mutually exclusive?"

No, I never suggested that. But if kids are expecting their homework to be entertaining, then maybe they are watching too much TV.

Anonymous said...

Julie,
Up until now, most families relied on one income while another parent stayed home. Sadly, kids and parents do not have enough time nowadays to sit down and get to homework–together. I agree with you about the attention spans, however I feel like that may also be a result of no time, and when there is a little time–say on weekends–there's other stuff to do that keeps mom (and possible dad) occupied.

There are 5 days in a school week. Instead of sending them home with 2-3 hours of homework a night from every subject, why can't they focus on one or two subjects for homework each night?

ken said...

yes, I agree.

Besides other things watching the boob tube too much also makes kids lazy. Most tv shows are made to be easily digested, requiring little or no thought to process. This gets kids in a bad habit of expecting everything in life to be that way, including their lessons at school and homework. Like all things in life anything worth achieving takes discipline and lots of hard work. There's just no easy way of getting around this and to get kids thinking otherwise sets them up for future failure and ultimate discontent.

Anonymous said...

Parents and children do need some more quality family time together. Leisure contributes important lessons of life, if the parents are responsible parents.

Seth said...

I'll go with Julie on this one, hands down.

Like they say in the military, "The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat."

That may be a bad, or at best loose metaphor, but it holds true -- the more you challenge and bestow responsibility on the young, the better equipped they'll be to handle the challenges and responsibilities of adult life.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely true "Seth".
There are 2 kinds of bayonet fighters
(the drill instructor tells his recruits)....
the quick & the dead !

Life ain't a bowl of cherries.

A good parent finds the time to assist
in homework with their kids......
or they DON'T have them in the first place....
until they are financially (as well as biologically)
capable.

Let's stop with these candy-ass excuses.....
shall we ? !!!

Anonymous said...

I remember my father telling me.....
".....eventually the baby bird leaves the nest......
and has to take care of himself....that's why we're
a little tough on you.....do your homework first...."

Both my parents are gone now.....
but their combination of warm/tough love
remains with me......
and so I'm better prepared with good study habits
and the stamina that comes
from an increased attention span.

Thanks Mom & Dad !

Anonymous said...

Hey "Junior" Vallone
doesn't have to force his kids to do homework.....
they're future is assured.

He'll push them into the family business.....politics.....
where no real talent is required
just kissing up to a bunch of fellow crooks
and making new connections!

The rest of the future voters
he wants to keep dumb
so they can be more easily tweeded !

So you mommies, daddies and kiddies.....
forget about homework !

Harold said...

Vallone wants your kids to be dumb, so his dumb kids won't have to compete too hard.

Vallone and Liu are the masters of the non-issue.

Anonymous said...

maspeth mom wants to know


TO Julie & Seth ...I can bet that neither one of you two fools have children.
With attitudes like that my guess would be that you can even get a date... let alone someone to like you.. Hey... wait have you guys met???

Anonymous said...

TO julie

you dont understand becuase you DONT have children. Why are you consistenly putting in you 2 cents when you dont have any experince with the issue??

Anonymous said...

To seth - HOw much military experience do you have ???

Anonymous said...

Don't pay them any mind Julie. They're just jealous of your intelligence. Though I don't agree with all the things you have to say I usually find your comments insightful and though provoking. So keep posting them!

...Good motto Seth. I think I'll tack it to my office cubicle.

Anonymous said...

How is talking about something, you dont know anything about intelligent???


So, julie DO you have kids???

Julie said...

My son is 9.

be careful!!! said...

I heard on the news a few weeks ago that predators often go after kids by hooking up with their parents on the internet first. So be careful (everybody!) about revealing whether you have kids, when chatting or blogging online.

Anonymous said...

This is a bunch of bull. My mother was good on me and she let me be her friend. What the hell is with the military??? Our kids arent in war, and if you want them to be pushed to the limit send you lovely 9 yr old son to africa to be on the front line in battle my dear "julie". Kids are special because we can help them do things our own parents wouldnt let us do. Its just a big guessing game on who is right. The right thing is to be a good parent and listen to your baby. Hear what they have to say and if it not right tell them why. Kids are being drilled harder than us so they might be even more mature. Let the children speak. They only have one life (maybe) to do what they feel is who they are. Dont hold them at knife point and force them to do more than we did. When I was in school of course I had homework but not THAT MUCH. No one should. It is keeping them from ever being a child. And we all know that those are the best times.