web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Who Needs Homework?

Schonfeld-logo1

Shimon quickly shoveled a forkful of rice into his mouth, while attempting to scribble the right math equations into his workbook. “(2 x 34 -11)2” he said between mouthfuls. “Mommy, I got some rice on my paper, but I have to finish this before it is time to go in the shower,” Shimon choked out.

“Just relax, Shimon. Take your time. And, I really wish you wouldn’t do homework at the table,” his mother said.

His mother watched him trying to finish his math homework so that he could move onto his Mishnayos memorization, Navi questions, and then to his English reading. She knew it was going to be a long night for Shimon – and for her as well. She hated that he was doing homework at the table, but she didn’t really know what else to do. It just felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day to finish. This wouldn’t be the first time that she would end up reading aloud to him before he went to bed because he was just too exhausted to do it himself.

 

What’s the point of homework?

Recently, a lot of parents have been asking me: what’s the point of homework? Why do we need it? And why do we have so much of it? Well, there are some really good reasons for homework:

Practice: Homework gives kids an opportunity to master skills that they learned in the classroom. They can learn how to solve problems more quickly and efficiently.

Preparation: In some cases, teachers might assign new material or reading for homework. This can help students prepare for the next day’s lesson. In education this connects to the idea of “Velcro.” When a student is aware of a concept before and then learns it more in-depth, he has the mental Velcro to attach it to in his brain. This helps him remember it better in the future.

Diligence: While perhaps the most hotly contested “benefit” of homework, diligence still makes the list. Homework teaches children to sit and manage their time in order to complete tasks within an allotted timeframe.

Parent-child interactions: Because homework is done at home and parents are often somewhat involved in the process, it allows parents to communicate how important the learning process is. Through this interaction, children can recognize that learning is not only a value in school, but at home as well.

 

How much homework should your child have?

There are many benefits to homework. That said, often problems arise when there is too much homework or very difficult work is assigned.

The National PTA and the National Education Association suggest that children get 10 minutes of homework per grade level. That means that first graders should have about ten minutes a night, second graders 20 minutes, third graders 30, and so on.

Parents of children who receive more than this amount of homework, like Shimon’s parents, are increasingly finding themselves stepping in to help out. In fact, one Brooklyn parent, Nancy Kalish, became so alarmed by the amount of homework her daughter was being assigned that she wrote a book entitled, The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It. The book includes research and interviews with parents, educators and students surrounding the idea of homework. In the book, she argues that too much homework does not allow kids to be kids.

Do and Don’ts of Homework

While perhaps Kalish’s book is a bit extreme and in some senses impractical, here are some tips for how to help your child through his nightly homework:

 

DO:

Encourage. Let your child know that you are proud of him for working with distractions or for solving difficult problems that he didn’t think he could.

Let your child fail. If the homework doesn’t get finished that night, let your child go into school without it. If you want to talk to the teacher about why the homework was not finished, that is okay. But, you shouldn’t be the one to punish your child for not having homework completed. Homework should be evaluated by the teacher.

 

DON’T:

Give into tantrums. Help your children without doing the work for them. Otherwise, they learn that when things are difficult, they can just give up.

Nag. The homework needs to be important to your child, not important to you. If you are constantly nagging him to do it, then it becomes a battle between you and your child, rather than a learning tool.

Badmouth the teacher or the assignments. Your child needs to respect his teacher. Therefore, if you have an issue with the homework, talk about it with the teacher, not your child.

Homework Horrors

Even with all of these careful calculations, children who are school age will occasionally feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted by their homework. They might throw their book bags or rip out pages of their notebooks. Alternatively, they might simply cry about how they just cannot do their assignment. If these meltdowns occur every now and then, this is normal and a symptom of our pressurized school systems. However, if these meltdowns happen on a consistent basis, there is something larger at play.

 

What You Can Do:

Regular routine. If your child does his homework at the same time and in the same place every day, he will be more likely to feel in control and at peace. Set aside a separate area and time for homework nightly.

Sleep. Children who do not get enough sleep will not be able to concentrate and will therefore be more prone to being overwhelmed by homework.

Get tested. If your child is struggling with work on his grade level, consider having him evaluated. He might be having meltdowns because a learning disability is preventing him from comprehending the assignment.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Who Needs Homework?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Car - A-Tor
Updated: Three Injured in Jerusalem Terror Attack, Ambulances and Mayor’s Car also Attacked
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Schonfeld-logo1

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

A lot of people have heard about dyslexia, a learning disability that concerns reading.

Because birth order can affect most children in similar fashion, there are things you can do to help your children overcome weaknesses that birth order has thrown their way.

Occasionally, a teacher will encounter a student who simply cannot be motivated to do his homework, finish his worksheet or study for a test.

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/who-needs-homework/2014/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: