Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Boo Frickity Hoo

Every year at around this time, news reports come flooding into the local news channels about the amount of homework given to kids at school. Today, I saw yet another one of these reports which made me want to hurl something at my TV. The report featured a girl in grade 12 who was saying she was so overwhelmed by her part-time job and her homework last year, that she had no free time. The result was that she had to drop one of her classes last year and opted to stay in school an extra year. WHAT???

Oh, boo hoo! Did the reporter want me to feel sorry for this girl? Seriously? The report indicated that students in grade 12 are looking at around 2.5 hours of homework each night. That's nothing, considering that school ends at 3pm. If you get your butt home right after school and do your homework, you'd be done by dinnertime. That leaves you plenty of time to hang out with friends and/or go to your part-time job. And besides, you have free time on weekends.

This whole "no homework" or "too much homework" thing is a load of bull. And I'm NOT saying this because I was given homework and therefore the whole world must now suffer as I did. If anything, being an over-achiever in school, I probably spent more time studying than the average high school student. I would've LOVED to have had "only" 2.5 hours of homework in my last year of high school. At any rate, I digress. Here are some reasons why homework is good:

  1. It teaches you to manage your own time. You NEED this when you go to university, because professors aren't going to be chasing after you for problem sets.

  2. It's good practice. How can you get better at math or science if you don't practice? Yes, some people are naturally good at those subjects and probably don't need to do much (or any homework). But for the rest of us mortals, we learn by doing.

  3. It manages your expectations for university. If you're overwhelmed by measeley little high school homework assignments, you are in for a very rude awakening when you start university, where the work is seemingly never-ending, between problem sets, assignments, and labs.

I agree that some teachers are absolute nut jobs who DO assign way too much homework to students and are completely anal about ensuring that every last detail is covered in homework assignments. In high school, for example, we got docked "technique and presentation" marks - up to a total of 5% of your test/assignment mark - if numbers on a math assignment weren't formatted per some sort of standard. For example, the number "1,000" should've been written as "1 000", and you weren't permitted more than one equals sign per line when solving a math problem. Whichever idiot came up with that scheme and convinced other idiots to adopt it should've been fired. At any rate, these people are not the norm. They're just crazy, frustrated people who take out their frustrations on their poor, unsuspecting students. That doesn't mean that all teachers are this way. I would say that 90% of my grade school and high school teachers were pretty reasonable.

So the moral of the story is sit down, shut, up, and quit your whining.

1 comment:

Meandering Michael said...

We went to the same high school and I almost NEVER did my high school homework and got by just fine. I learned how to study in university.

Let that be a lesson for you, kids: don't be lazy, but learn how to prioritize so you don't waste your time on the small, pointless stuff!