Why are we putting so much pressure on our young kids?

Comments (63)

(62) Anonymous, February 27, 2011 3:03 AM


Agreed! So what can we do about it? I feel bad making my kids sit after they've been sitting in school for over 8 hours. WHen my kids come home I allow them down time before I need to coax them to "settle down" and sit again, at which point the younger ones are cranky and need mommy-time! Any suggestions?

(61) Rachel, July 1, 2010 7:08 PM

I agree

I fully agree. As a mother, I feel that the elementary school homework I supervise is not worthwhile. I pull a child away from reading a good book or writing a story to fill out a silly worksheet?! I didn't have homework until middle school, and didn't have much homework at all until high school. But I have 2 ivy league degrees and a PhD, so I don't think it hurt me much academically! I agree that building an elementary-school child's love of learning is far more important than the mind-numbing worksheets I see, not to mention the social learning that comes from playing with friends after school. And I fully agree that young children are under too much pressure.

(60) Carol Posner, June 11, 2010 2:34 AM

Thank you! Thank you!

I never had homework. I was a good student and even in high school was able to finish most of my work at school before I went home. I enjoyed learning. When I got home we would bike and skate till the street lights came on and then were worn out enough to settle down with a good book! I raised 3 children. Two boys and one girl. The homework sent home with my young children absolutely ruined our family time at home. Can you imagine active little boys who had a hard enough time sitting still for their classes now being prevented from play after school by the brutal amount of homework sent home? They did not enjoy learning and struggled all through the school years. Thankfully they are all employed, fit and in good health, but could the homework fanaticism of our teachers be responsible for our country's obesity levels?

(59) Anonymous, June 10, 2010 12:06 AM

too much homework hurts

I remember getting too much homework as a child, even as young as kindergarten. It was always overwhelming and it made me dislike school. Now that I am a teacher, I try to give only a small amount of homework so that my students don't begin to dislike school but are still able to review what was learned that day.

(58) Gershon, June 9, 2010 10:58 PM

When I studied we had grades 1-4 in one room and 5-8 the other. Classes were an hour long, 15 minutes per grade and 45 minutes to do "homework" and listen to the upper classes. At the end of 2nd grade I knew four grades of studies, and the end of 6th another four grades. I was the rare good boy who did not cause a lot of trouble. I went to city schools for grades 3 - 4 and 7 - 8 and learned little more. That worked great. For me. The teachers were uncommon. It would have been much better if the classes had been segregated by ability. Breaking each period into several sessions gives time for school work, if the kids are properly grouped. School was so easy, I never learned how to study. Not good. Now they try to use the lower grades to make up for incompetence in the high schools. It works for a few. Very few. The graduates have no hangups about their hard work and the fun continues. The challenging work is done in Asia. This is a problem. A disaster for us when the Asian kids are permited originality. You are right of course. Young people can not do the work they will be able to do twenty years later, just as I can no longer do the work I could many many many years ago,

Tseruyah, August 16, 2011 5:18 PM

Reinventing the Wheel

Thirty-nine years separates me from the schoolwork being done in my child's public school classroom. There is not a subject in her week that is taught the same way as I learned it, save art. Math tricks and timed tests in second grade? They cannot discuss a book because they are busy working out a bubble chart on what it said. Bubble charts?! I just threw away two grocery bags full of the last papers she brought home in June, stacks of workbook pages hardly worthy of her time. What passes for education these days is questionable as building blocks for a great mind. We are on the cusp of homeschooling. This next year will likely determine whether or not there is hope for her PS education or if it's really another ten years of frustration.

(57) Gitty Markowitz, June 9, 2010 6:42 PM

Homework? Boo!!!!

I agree with you 100%!!! I'm already a grandmother, but I went through it all and I feel they should only have to spend a few minutes reviewing. They should NOT have to spend hours every night doing homework. Our yeshiva kids come home late as it is.

(56) Anonymous, June 9, 2010 6:21 PM

I remember

I have a very distinct memory of being 4 years old and playing with a doll in my parents living room when my mother approached me and asked me if I wanted to go to school. "No." I reponded definitively. Mom asked why not? My answer - "I don't want to do homework" . Playing is learning too. Sometimes people forget that.

(55) rochel, June 9, 2010 5:48 PM

All for it -How do we get the schools to cut back on Hmwk?

my daughters teacher this year was brutal with hmwk, etc. When she came home with an assignmet to take a spelling test at home in case school was closed for the snow storm, I was appalled,how unfair of the teacher! My heart went out to my daughter, her teacher cared more about completing her curriculum then the kids. Snow is a forced vacation from school-let them enjoy it!

(54) S Levine (brooklyn), June 9, 2010 5:14 PM

No one is unique anymore

You are right on the money but virtually no one in chinuch today has any unique, creative and bold approach. Schools are so afraid to go "outside the box" and are much more concerned with outdoing the other schools in any way they can. There is way too much pressure now a days, then we have the chutzpa to question why so many are going off the derech today?? Thats not the only reason, but it sure helps. When will you be chartering your elementary school???

(53) Ma. del Consuelo R. de Sabre, June 9, 2010 3:47 PM

No homework¡ neither tv.

I use to be a school coordinator, and the kids didnt have homework on weekends. Problem is that if they do not have homework, they will watch too much tv or those games that are destroying their minds. Furthermore, in kinder and pre school they have lots and lots of homework.

(52) Anonymous, June 9, 2010 3:14 PM

You are right but homework should help kids review.

I'm a teacher of ESL in Israel. Ideally I would just like the kids to review the vocabulary that we've learnt but I find that most of the children won't review unless given worksheets or workbook pages to help them review. Lori I would love your input as to how we can have the cake and eat it too. I teach grades four to six. Please respond.

(51) Guy Sutton, June 9, 2010 2:59 PM


This is a tough one..... You are/not crazy... I mean, in my day, I am 45, we did school, and went and played, like you mentioned we did not get homework until 4-5th grades. BUT, now-a-days, with our society at such the way it is, I have to think it might not be such a bad idea for them to have work to do even after the 8 hours they have already put in. There is so much roughness out there now days that no one wants kids to get into trouble, yet it is rampid..... On a side note, public teachers are faced with huge growing numbers of students, thus leaving the ratio to teacher/student of the charts. Do you really think they ALL pay attention in class, I HATE to say it, but I am sure they do not. So, in order to keep our kids on the right level of education that they are in, they ned to study, keep it fresh, and keep them off the now days nasty streets.... But, you also mention that the younger ones are getting homework too, well, maybe it is a way to get them prepared to study even harder, with the knowledge of what is too come in later years and what they all face with the growing problems in society.... I would have to say, just for the sake of keeping the kids SAFE, let's keep them busy, even if it is work that is easy, it keeps them off the streets..... I hate to agree with what I wrote, as as a child, I DID enjoy SO much of the FUN that had to be had by all, but it is just too rough now..... Lori, with great respect, you ROCK!!!!

(50) Anonymous, June 9, 2010 2:45 PM

good point!

th kids often dont do the homework because its to much and just get frustrated with themselves

(49) Deborah Bach, June 9, 2010 2:03 PM

short assignments teach responsibility

You're not crazy - short age appropriate and interesting assignments can teach kids reponsibility, but not hours upon hours. I had a fourth grade teacher who sadisticly gave us hours and was very punitive - I remember her 40 years later as a very mean person.

(48) Anonymous, June 9, 2010 1:58 PM

bad attitude

I think that your attitude is all wrong. You seem to be saying that school is hard stressful and no fun so when kids come home they should need to be able to do mindless noneducational things to take their mind off of school. That's the wrong mindset! school should be a place where children go and learn new things that they are excited about learning so when they come home doing the homework really isn't a problem because it is a quick review of all of the fun things they learned that day. I think that your attitude is terrible because instead of impressing upon your children how much they can learn form their work, you just commiserate with them and try to start a "revolution' so that there will be no homework.Maybe you should switch the school your kids go to or maybe you should trust that the teachers and administrators in that school know what they are doing because all that they do all day is pour hours and hours of time into trying to make sure that your child learns as much as possible in the best way. Trust them that if they're giving your child work then it's for a reason. Work with your kids teachers not against them.

(47) M relin, June 9, 2010 10:23 AM

bravo ,

This is one of the reasons i homeschool, I disagree with homework .Teachers have our children eight hours a day , if they cant teach them enough in that time then what is the point of sending them . Would we like it if we went to work and at the end of the day our bosses gave us work to take home ? Its inhumane even the amount of time spent at a desk is bad enough but to make them do more at home .....

(46) Anonymous, June 9, 2010 1:48 AM

Well said!

I couldn't have said it better myself!

(45) shoshana, June 8, 2010 11:45 PM

The reason I had to give homework when I taught.

I taught in a school for a few years that demanded that we give the children homework every day including all vacation and holidays! I used to be angry that the children were not doing homework, I thought they were lazy. But then I realized they are in school all day, in a yeishivah with a dual curriculum, and it was to much stress for children at such a young age. A young child should be punished because he has too much stress? We also don't know what goes on at home! Maybe the family is going through a rough time and the child can't cocentrate/have the time. Then vacation they need to relax in order to refresh their minds. As a teacher you also need the time to relax and refresh. I felt the demand for homework was more pressure placed on the teacher/ parent. A youngchild who does all his homework with no mistakes means his parents had the time to spend with them. So a parent who works full time should feel shameful that they can't spend every minute with his/her children doing their homework? It's important to remember, especially teachers, we were also once kids!So try to be more understanding.

(44) ani, June 8, 2010 10:57 PM

For Lori, if you read the coments, and for everyone else, too:

Do you excuse your children from doing homework if they'd prefer to be well-rounded children and actually read or play or explore? Do you at least excuse yourself from doing it for/with them? Do you allow them to show up at school and explain that they did it on their own, and that they did the best they can, and ask whether the other students did it on their own? I've been anti-homework for years.

(43) Suzanne, June 8, 2010 10:52 PM

There was way too much homework

Lori, I truly believe that you are on to something here. While I think that some homework is appropriate, there was way too much of it assigned to my three kids (which are now just about out of the Jewish day school system i.e., the youngest will be graduating from high school next year). I, too, look back on all the insanity and want to scream. Starting in at least the first grade there was way too much homework, alot of it age inappropriate (example, one spelling word in the first grade was spaghetti!). I can't tell you how much I still resent it as it completely overwhelmed our family life for years. Another thing I remember were the horrible summer reading books which were also too advanced for their ages. They ended up getting nothing out of them except a dislike for reading. I truly believe, however, that it was not all the school's fault. I think the parents DID put pressure on the school so they could congratulate themselves on how brillant their kids were. However, I don't think the school autthorities minded it because they, in turn, could also show off by having a "blue ribbon status" for their school making it that much more sought after. All this, however, was achieved on the backs of exhausted and upset parents and children. Oh, and the ridiculous art projects that would take up every Sunday..... I mercifully forgot about them ... until now. You're absolutely correct,, Lori, kids need to be kids, exercise, play and have a reasonable childhood. PS My son noticed that the kids in the schools that assigned lesser homework got into the same quality colleges as the kids that were tortured their entire childhoods.

(42) Debbie, June 8, 2010 10:15 PM

I'm a pro-homework teacher.

H.W. is critical to progress in school. It should serve to reinforce classroom learning, so students should be able to complete it INDEPENDENTALLY. If they can't, parents should be asking questions. The parent-teacher bond demonstrates to kids that their parents care enough about their education to communicate. And the teachers should be alerting parents of issues that could be preventing students from reaching their potential. Quality of assignments is more improtant than quantity. Why should a child have to do 25 Math problems? 5 to 10 problems should cover the skills that need to be reinforced. The only times parents should become actively involved in schoolwork is for long-term projects. Book reports or research reports are very necessary for development of learning and writing skills. There simply is not enough time in the schoolday to develop all these skills, with all the special programs and enrichment that have become a part of the curiculum. Teachers must provide the outline and instructions, and should be available to guide the students and monitor progress as the work is being done at home. And again, 2 or 3 quality reports a year should do it. There's no reason for excessive assignments.

(41) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 9:55 PM

homework is a necessity

I'm sorry, but you are so far off base. Math cannot be done without homework. Most of the studies that I have seen on homework do not state that homework serves no purpose in the younger grades. Most of the studies state that homework should be escalated as children grow older. Less homework in the younger grades more homework in the older grades. I have never seen a study saying no homework for the younger grades. As a parent of 10 children, My husband and I found the time to do homework and balanced it with playtime. My children learned discipline and priorities. Please look around at how the level of literacy has dropped amongst our children. I see fewer and fewer children reading. I see fewer and fewer children aware of the world around them. They are culturally, academically and many times socially ignorant. I am not in favor of haphazardly bombarding kids with homework. Homework should be assigned in a thoughtful manner, but no homework is an option that will only compound today's problems. As a teacher, I can tell you that children no longer can read a textbook or a newspaper. Parents who passively discourage kids from doing homework (as in the post above- totally agree) encourage disrespect for the teacher and the system.

(40) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 8:38 PM


I'm a teacher (tho not a parent) and I HATE homework. Besides the extra work it gives for teachers, I find that homework is not necessary. Yes, in the early years it is important to review and practice letters and reading, but even that does not have to be every night - as long as it is regular. But even in high school, I think research projects on material learnt is useful if students are given clear guidlines of what to research. But otherwise, if the teacher is a good one and inspires the class, then the students will be motivated and learn well in class, so you should not need to give homework - they cover enough ground and work hard enough in the classroom. Let children have some play time, get fresh air, help around the home, shop for what they need, socialise or have some 'Mummy/Daddy time'. There are lots of useful things they can be doing instead, but their night times should not be stressful.

(39) Lindsay, June 8, 2010 8:08 PM


When homework keeps an elementary school child up until 10 or 11 pm, and leaves her in tears, it's TOOO much! Way to go, Lori!

(38) ruth housman, June 8, 2010 8:05 PM

a different kind of "home" work

I agree with you, Lori. I think children need to be children, to have that opportunity to exercise their creativity outside of rigid demands to fill notebooks with equations and do all these things, at an early age. They should be climbing trees, making bridges out of sticks, learning about birds and their nests, planting seeds in the garden, playing hop scotch and skipping. They need that breath and breadth of fresh air! I think we don't "get" education. There are profound metaphors running up and down all of our lives, and I can say, to introduce my little grandchildren to the life of the garden, how a seed grows, the wonder of this one becomes a morning glory and that one, a tomato, well there is this miracle, and I want them, to incorporate the wonder of it all and to enjoy this. All these lessons in books, can be taught outside, in doing with our children, and in allowing them to play, to invent, to fly kites out of torn and used materials. They need to get out of that box, and then they will fly, as never before, I know. You know. And maybe it's the biggest secret, of all.

(37) Matityahu, June 8, 2010 7:52 PM

For those who disagree 100%

I'm not sure what Lorie was saying toward the end, but certainly we are forgetting what she said at the beginning. Though I certainly agree that homework is mandatory for jr. high and up, I agree with Lorie in that we don't need to be assigning homework to tottlers and early elementary school children.

(36) batya, June 8, 2010 6:52 PM

i am also an anti-homework parent! my youngest who is in 4th grade HATES school, learning & homework. she gets home from school at 5pm (from her dual-curriculum yeshiva) & then has to sit down & focus on lots of h/w that is especially hard for her b/c she has a language/learning disability. it is sad for me that she is so turned off of learning & finds chumash & davening so meaningless to her b/c of her language/learning challenges. her yeshiva education sort of seems counter-productive to me & i am also stressed by having to sit by her side every night & help her plow through all of her h/w! needless to say, we both can't wait till the summer when there'll be no h/w so lori i'm with you!

(35) yehudit levy, June 8, 2010 6:14 PM

I'm proudly anti-homework

I went to my daughter's first grade parent teacher night and was told that she doesn't take first grade seriously enough. After about 5 minutes of her describing my daughter's lack of motivation with homework and organisational skills, I suddenly realised something and said to the teacher: Whoa, hold that thought: that is not my daughter you are describing, IT'S HER MOTHER!!!!! I never had to go through this when I was in first grade, so I don't pressure her after a day of school to do homework if she would rather play. The last thing I want with the few hours I have is to fight with my child!" The argument that homework creates discipline is misguided. If the only work done is in the classroom and a child falls behind their classmates, they will quickly learn that it is no fun to be the only one in the class who doesn't know what's going on. That's SELF DISCIPLINE: the only discipline that is lifelong.

(34) chavi, June 8, 2010 6:08 PM

A teacher speaks:

Lori, I am older than you are, and I remember having homework all through my schooling years. Not an excessive amount in the early grades, certainly enough time remainded for playing, too, but enough to review the day's lessons. As a teacher, i can tell you that if a child does not review her work in the evening, the work of the day is lost. Children require that reinforcement in the evening. It spells the difference between the child who is able to respond confidently to the teacher's questions reviewing the work of the day before, and the children who are squirming uncomfortably, hoping the teacher won't call on them for an answer. It seems to me that your concern is less about your kids having more time to play and more about your committment (or lack of) to help them succeed. there are just no shortcuts to good parenting, and that includes listening to your young child read, say the new posuk learned that day, test your child on spelling, help your child (or at least point them in the right direction) to get information required for a report or assignment. First graders should have no more than 20 minutes a day, and that should increase each following year. But if you want to eliminte homework entirely, you are doing a great disservice to your children. You are stunting their academic growth, and preventing their future success. 0

(33) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 6:04 PM

Homework should be limited to what kids can do themselves

Kids in a dual curriculum school may not have time to do all the work in school. I find my second grader does her homework by herself and doesn't need my help. As long as it is not every day and doesn't require parent help and is limited to ten minutes or so, homework is ok with me. But it is very important that the kids be instructed on what they are expected to do.

(32) Judy, June 8, 2010 5:58 PM

Agree totally

I too have been saying this for years!! Why not let them have down time to just lay on their bed or by a tree and let their minds wander and daydream. When I was in high school , we took 1 or 2 Advanced Placement (AP) courses and were considered smart, now they take 8 AP's and still worry about getting into a good college. (I have a PhD in Microbiology, so less homework and stressful classes obviously didn't damage my future

(31) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 5:58 PM


I remember when I was in elementary school, (not so long ago as I am in high school now). We felt so pressured by homework that by fifth grade we were trying to find a way to skip school so we wouldn't be responsible for the homework!

(30) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 5:30 PM

Lori, You really hit it on the nail. My youngest is 16 and she hates everything about school because of the pressure! There is no enjoyment whatsoever!

(29) Russell, June 8, 2010 5:21 PM

Spoken like a true non-teacher.

It is easy to accuse they teachers and system of too many demands upon the children of today. Children and education has changed drastically in the past 5-10 years. Public school is different than private school. I know, I have taught in each. I am a teacher of over 25 years and have witnessed the changes and demands on kids. Homework is designed to support the lessons, benchmarks and goals of the school board and societial demands upon citizens and workers. Homework is often graduated by grade and made appropriate to their current units of study. Ex. 1st grade get 30 minutes, 2nd grade 45 and so on. Kids have plenty of time to be kids. The kids of today are not playing hopscotch and doing the things we did. They are electronically entertained and very few have outside concerns. Thus, we have a nation of over weight low-achieving children. Parents are supposed to be involved in the education of their children. It is a job given to them by G_d. Study the Torah often and that was done when? Was it called homework or only done in the morning? The rigor of todays education requires many skills that must be supported and constantly learned. The develop their skills an achievement levels by constantly working on them. This is not done just in school. Teachers work day and night getting ready for these kids. We have to meet rigerous standards and have advanced degrees to teach your kids. The basic responsibility of the students learning is on the child and the parent. The teacher is the one who gives the lessons and knowledge and the student is supposed to do the work required to make the student acceptable. The parent is the student's first teacher and stays in that role all the days of their lives. This " I have already gone to school" is a cop-out and a recipe for failure of the student and parent. Train a child up in the way they should go....... remember? This doesn't mean just behavior and approach to the LORD but in all things in life. Study Abraham and Isaac.

(28) Meira, June 8, 2010 5:20 PM

Homework is too general term for descussion.

Lori, This is for the first time that I have to disagree with you. Kids need such kind of activities. Individual approach is very important in homework. It has to be measured according to each pupil’s capacity. It is not a competition or race for a better grade, where parents are taken as hostages. It is small but personal responsibility that helps students to build stamina in their practice and active adaptation for all life challenges in future. “ NO PAIN NO GAIN!”

(27) David Kraus, June 8, 2010 5:00 PM

You hit the nail on the head.

One of my arguments of education, and I have over 65 years of teaching experience off and on at all levels. Educationist, while claiming to keep with every thing new , haven't learned from business you have to measure machine and worker at the same time to find out who's at fault. For 35 years I have preached, whose at fault student and teacher and why. A young principal answered that if he used evaluation system I devised to do just that, He might have to fire a teacher. Teachers if they do their job, will be so tired at the end of the day they will not look forward to grading extra homework, and do it constructively. Especially in the early grades, as you pointed out so well. With TV ads programed to appear at ten minutes, even adults attention span has been diminished. I suspect, from my classroom observations. many teachers don't know how, or wont , cope. Now as to the machine, the student. The idea that "It's good enough" is so prevalent, "no failures," that one can't trust a manufactured product anymore. Who's at fault, the teacher or student? Machines need delicate care, and some wear-out prematurely through neglect. The worker can have any number of weaknesses - tired, not properly trained, only interested in the pay, etc, etc. Great article and thought. In case your interested, I spotted these problems emanating from teacher's colleges in the late '40 s with"sight reading", and "social integrity", etc. Rabbi David Kraus MEd In all the years I taught, I never felt I taught enough.

(26) Aaron, June 8, 2010 4:50 PM

You're Right On The Mark!

We have complained to Schools forever and keep getting the same response. Most parents are asking for more HW. Since when are schools suppose to follow parents advice on proper schooling? What I see is that the teachers are conveniently using HW & parents as tools to cover material they should cover in class. They merely introduce the topic in class and then expect the kids to study it at home. Many times I see my very bright "A" daughter struggling with HW because the teacher did not really teach it, she merely introduced it. They expect parents to do their work for them -- at the expense of children and parents quality time. So, I firmly believe schools are using parents "more HW" comments as a convenient excuse for their own agenda. Schools have no problem telling parents off when they disagree with us, so why on this suddently they cooperate. If it is wrong, then it is wrong no matter how many parents ask for more HW! You make perfect sense and schools know it. I am convinced that they are using other parents as a convenient excuse to make their jobs easier. IT IS PLAINE WRONG, AND EXPOSES KIDS TO SERIOUS EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM. Thank you Lori.

(25) Miriam, June 8, 2010 4:29 PM

I couldn't agree more!

And now, my seventh and eighth graders have three weeks straight of finals! A final, on the material from the beginning of the year, every day! Both of them got sick; I don't know if it's the stress or lack of sleep. And they're both very smart girls! It's a nightmare! Thank you Laurie for sharing.

(24) Natalie, June 8, 2010 4:13 PM

I agree

I agree that homework should be limited!!! Children should be allowed to be themselves and not feel the stresses of school after school! A little homework is acceptable but not hours and hours! What about those parents who work long hours and are too exhausted to have to sit and review every night? I think this can really turn children off learning!

(23) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 3:23 PM

I am a teacher and I agree - A Teacher's Perspective

I am a teacher in the NYC public school system and I agree. Not only are we pressuring the students but we are pressuring the teachers to give the students more work. My concern is that we are overwhelming kids, particularly at very young ages. In Early Childhood, the "old:' concepts were to instill a love of learning and to instill a positive self-worth in their early and formative years. Yes, there are students that can handle all this work and can succeed. They have parents and nuturing homes that can provide assistance and time for them. There are many parents who don't have the economic means or the time to sit with the children and help them. In the early years the students are dependent on others to help them. Yes, they can get simple, easy assignments that will teach them a sense of responsibility -- but I feel we go beyond that. In NYC public school system too much pressure is being placed on students at a young age -- we are contributing to more insecurity and fear of failure than success. What about those students who come from single family homes -- most of my students are single family homes. The parents are overwhelmed and have no time. They come home late. What the kids need to do is go to bed early. When I was growing up we were told to go to bed at 8:00 PM on a school night. Now parents let their kids stay up late --- they are given so many activities after school and it leaves no time for homework and it causes them to go to bed late. The kids are not rested, like they should be. They need 12 hours of sleep. Most come to school like zombies-- they have no attention span because they are too tired to do well. Parents should focus on teaching their kids about respect for their teachers and their peers. As a teacher I can say that the lack of respect is widespread and our biggest problem today.

(22) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 3:08 PM

Completely AGREE

My son gets homework Everyday and Every night and this has made him dislike school so much .. I feel so bad for him when he walks into the house and I say How was your day hon, and he rolls his eyes, then I ask whats wrong , he says I have Homework for every class except Gym Class, This is just NOT right . . . We need to need to stand up and say something . . Thank You Lori

(21) David (boys r us), June 8, 2010 3:00 PM

I couldn't agree more!

Granted if we put our kids on a bus for 40 minutes each way, their day would be shorter, but after being in school for nearly 10 hours every day, I also believe homework is generally a mistake. They have little time to play, and it creates an oppositional relationship with us parents that doesn't need to be there. I'm with you - now what?

(20) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 2:48 PM


My child has a lot of time to be a kid. I think homework teaches discipline and review. We leave plenty of time for games that the family plays too. There's a time for fun and a time for work.

(19) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 2:43 PM

Asian Supremacy Coming

Please be prepared to have our chldren work for foreign companies with Asian bosses. They did their homework.

(18) Chaya, June 8, 2010 2:30 PM

totally agree

Amen!! I totally agree. I have been speaking up and the schools think I am crazy and they tell me that other kids' parents are asking for more. We haven't been pushing our kids to do their homework. If they do it, fine, if not, fine. But the schools are making a big deal out of it. They are saying that our kids are falling behind but then when we push them to show us, they can't. They really want to believe that our kids need the homework. I feel like the whole world is against me on this one. Thanks for your video. Hopefully it will influence more parent's thinking.

(17) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 9:45 AM

Well maybe we should ban tests too

Or at least standardized test like the SAT's in all seriousness. I remember being in school and how much I hated homework at that time. I know what I am about to say may sound contradicting but homework does has its purpose. Some say homework keeps kids out of trouble. Certain people even argue that kids have dummied down and therefore a stricter academic curriculum should be enforced. Teachers need to have something to grade on besides tests and attendance. As I got older, I found homework helped me with my tests and finals. Kids may need a break but they need to be doing something constructive with their time besides sitting indoors and playing computer/video games all day. To a certain extent, I agree with Lorie. I think kids need to have some slack cut. A fourth grader should not be inundated with the same work load as a 10th grader. Each age group needs to work at his/her pace in pursuant of the grade he/she is in. A child should not be expected to juggle much work as a college student. I would think most reasonable parents would want their children to strive in school and if homework/project assignments have to ensure that then I don't see why there should be any objection.

(16) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 4:59 AM

What kind of Jobs will the country need in the next 20 yrs?

There is a lot of children having to be on prescription drugs. A.D.D and antidepressants more than anything else. Are the children just overloaded? It goes in cycles. What does our country need in the future? Schools help gear the next generation for that. My state is considering 4 day school week. Those that desire to excel will study even if there isn't homework assigned to them. Will they still have tons of homework when they have longer school days? If the schools goes 4 days, it's preparing them for a 4 day work week in the future.

(15) Dawn, June 8, 2010 2:49 AM

I am so glad you brought this up and mostly agree

I am a big advocate for my children having less homework and many times I have 'negotiated' with teachers. for example: the student with the great vocabulary but difficulty with math was exempted from vocab homework to have more time for math. also, I have advocated to copy letters or spelling words one time correctly rather than many times. I have advocated time limits per teacher (for example:10-15 minutes in grades 1-4) over completing entire assignments. I have refused to help make-up work not completed in class (because of difficulty, not poor behavior, etc). If homework is my job, schoolwork is the teachers. When I cooperate pleasantly with the teacher but advocate for my child's need of not being overburdened with homework, we have almost always come to amicable compromise.

(14) Anonymous, June 8, 2010 12:38 AM


The rule of thumb is five minutes of homework per grade. So, five minutes for Gr. 1, ten minutes for Gr. 2, etc. Homework is most often work that is not finished at school or it is practice of new skills that students have learned (review). Parents act as facilitators and it gives parents an opportunity to dialogue with their children. Considering how much time children spend watching television or playing video games, I do not think that this is too much of a burden. I find the request strange since children can spend hours playing organized sports and not necessarily for the love of the game, but for other reasons. While the West is going backwards in its educational standards, it is interesting how the Orient is going forward. Scores show this. One factor is homework. In fact children, in some of the Oriental countries children spend not only evenings working on school work but they spend weekends and tutors are hired in order to ensure that these children are ready to meet the rigorous demands. I also find the comments strange because they play into that Peter Pan mentality. I suppose that we never want to allow our children to grow up. This is interesting since our Israeli children at 10 can do things that teenagers at 18 are unable to do in terms of responsibility. How long do we want these children to stay as children or are we not aware that the very idea of teenagers is not more than a 100 years old? Working through homework problems can in fact help children build self esteem. Parents can help out with this. I recommend that we get back to more studying before we become like the rest of this society. Down with mediocrity. Sorry Lori!

(13) SusanE, June 7, 2010 11:39 PM

100% Agree

Thanks Lori for speaking up about homework in the school system. I've been against homework for grade school children for 30 years. Especially, I disagree with children being graded on their homework. Not all children have an environment appropriate to do homework. Not all have an adult to help with what they don't understand. Teachers don't teach. They test and test and test, using up class time that should be used for teaching and logical thinking and discussions and covering material. Children should be able to debate material covered in class and make decisions based on their teachers guidance. I've watched how women who homeschool, teach their children. These women are uneducated, untrained, working for no pay, and don't have a union or tenure. They do a fine job of teaching. And homeschooled kids are above the average when entering the school systems in 7th or 9th grades. So how hard is it for an educated, trained teacher to cover third grade math and reading and science IN the class room? There should seldom be a time that school work has to be done at home. All I see is our school system doing is turning out a group of kids who can memorize material to do well on tests by choosing an already printed out answer with (a) (b) (c) or (d). So Lori, a No Homework vote from me.

(12) , June 7, 2010 9:48 PM

I couldn't agree with you more. We are suffocating our children. When we get home we want to get recharge. Those of us that went through college can understand the feeling. WHen you are a full time student HW is necessary but exhausting. As grownups we can manage (barely) and we expect children to... Home should be for recharging. Where else will our children get to relax blow steam. No wonder they are so angry all the time and ADD and ADHD are on the rise.

(11) Stacet, June 7, 2010 6:58 PM

I work in a public elementary school and teach special ed K-2nd. If it were up to me I wouldn't give out any homework, except for maybe a fun, yet educational project once in a while. Problem is that the times I didn't send homework, (due to the copier being down or just not having to the time to make up homework for three different grades) the parents either write notes or call in questioning why their child didn't get homework the night before. This drives me nuts, especially when the parent asks me to send home extra homework, then sends in a note apologizing that they didn't have time to do it with their kids.

(10) R Fischer, June 7, 2010 5:38 PM

anti- homework - great speech!!

This has long been a pet peeve of mine, but trying to change the system I've met up with a brick wall. Exessive homework (or "busy work") truly affects sholom bayis (peace in the home). Many parents agree with me but don't want to speak up. Principals I have spoken with say that parents want more h.w., not less. Anyone who is in a position to speak up and let our children get their 'down time' back, please do!! I commend you, Lori for doing just that.

(9) Shlomo Cooper, June 7, 2010 4:13 PM

homwork is necessary

I do not agree at all. I went to public school for first and second grade and had little homework. I started day school in third grade, and I had more than two hours of homework. By the time I got to eighth grade, it was more than fours of homework a night. I think that homework helped make me what I am today - serious about limud haorah and a practicing physician. Sorry, Lori. I think you are wrong on this one.

(8) , June 7, 2010 4:12 PM


As a high school girl, yes, i agree. We come home after THE longest day, only to be piled with homework (each teacher just needs to assign THEIR homework). Im not saying there should be no homework- it would be nice to have once-a-week study period in school. THAT will be a dream. If you are a high school teacher: dont pile everyone with work! I know of so many people just start crying- is that what you want your students to do??? We are humans too! I am soooo overwelmed from studying. Now if you would excuse me, I have to go study...

(7) Alan S., June 7, 2010 12:26 PM

I do believe in homework, as long as it is age and content appropriate. If it's meant to replace the work that a teacher should have covered in class, than please don't blame the homework but blame the school or teacher. Like everything else, there is a time for play and down-time, and there is a time for education and reinforcement of that education. Sure, homework in first grade seems to be overkill. But I see nothing wrong with a bit of homework starting at around 2nd or 3rd grade. And it should only be a 'bit' of homework -- that is, an appropriate amount --to reinforce what has been (hopefully) learned that day by a teacher. My son is a public high school teacher. The stories I hear are not to be believed, and leads me to think that perhaps not enough homework was given in these children's early years. Homework should never be punitive, but hopefully, it can be used to supplement the work done in class that day. Also, consider the idea of teaching time management, and well as the idea that the homework serves to expand the student's basic knowledge. While I know this all sounds ideal, I still believe that the practical lessons of proper amounts and age appropriate learning content type homework should be applauded. Finally, in this extremely competitive world, every bit of education can only help the student that is not a natural scholar, or whose family will not be able to hire him or her into the family business.

(6) M.E., June 7, 2010 12:29 AM

I agree 100%. We did less homework yet received a much stronger education. B”H all my children are beyond school, but to give you an idea of what homework was like for them in the elementary grades….I very often had to send my children with the following note to school: My daughter/son got home at such and such time, spent half an hour chilling out, twenty minutes on supper and the rest of the night doing homework. Unfortunately, he/she was unable to complete the homework as it was already his/her bedtime. How nuts was that? And, of course, they all needed my help with homework since the homework was not review only of material taught in school.

(5) Anonymous, June 7, 2010 12:21 AM

College Student Disagrees

I am an incoming freshman in the fall to a DC university. I disagree, Mrs. Palatnik - homework is important. As I was growing up, I never really needed review (I'm a fast learner). But homework teaches and continues to teach how to find answers, think critically, and most importantly - mange your time (admittedly, I'm still working on that last one). I started homework in third grade - mostly spelling and simple reading, and then fourth grade, math review and other stuff. These silly assignments taught me very little except time management. HW also can encourage even more learning, depending on the teacher. I had a Chemistry teacher in high school like that. While I've never done all my homework, I still think it's a valuable teaching tool - students have to learn what they get from it themselves, or parents can guide them on lessons like time management (e.g., when will you do your homework/how long will it take you?).

(4) B.T.A., June 6, 2010 5:08 PM

What is it that we want from students?

I totally agree with the Less Homework attitude. My children are all thankfully beyond school now. I say thankfully, because school was a horror for all of them. They went to day schools where hours of homework was the norm. They shlepped enormous books home everyday. And each teacher took themselves and their assignments so seriously, you'd think they were life or death. I found I was basically reteaching everything they were supposed to learn in school. Invariably, the homework was almost all worksheets! When I questioned a teacher about the value of the worksheets she said"that is what school is". That might be what school is today, but that is not what education is. I am a teacher and I don't give homework! I expect my students to listen and participate in class. I do not do worksheets. My assignments and projects assess and require the students to use what they have been taught. I also didn't have homework everyday in elementary school. I would not have been able to go the Hebrew School if I did. I often thought of that when I was trying to get my children to through their homework. I knew as much if nnot more than my kids did in elementary school with all their required homework.

(3) J Katz, June 6, 2010 2:53 PM

Perhaps we're robbing our children when we don't teach them ourselves. Sure, you can give them a free education through the public school system. Sure you can give them an expensive expensive education through a private school Or you can give them a memorable education through teaching them yourself. I know many people who home school their children. They don't make a lot of money but they see no other option. They control what their children learn and what they're exposed to. Education is limitless.

(2) Unsure, June 6, 2010 2:28 PM

Some HW is ok

First of all, you have to remember that "back in the day" when you supposedly had no hw, kids got home from school and played outside, rode bikes etc; nowadays, they turn to mush in front of the tv. Also, there are 2 types of hw: the kind that reteaches the lesson and the kind that quickly reviews, like say, a math sheet with a few problems similar to what was done in class that day. The former is problematic and not what the role of hw ought to be, while the latter is ok and should not be taking hours to do. I think kids need to learn how to prioritize, budget their time wisely, and learn a bit of responsibility. Small amounts of hw can accomplish that without overburdening anyone. Hw should be perfectly ok in moderation, just like anything else, and needs to be well-designed so that it actually reviews rather than reteaching.

(1) L.S., June 6, 2010 12:42 PM

Kids have homework because they are learning nothing in class

Lori--I agree with you 100% The problem is that the majority of teachers are grotesquely incompetent and so are not teaching he kids what they need to be learning during the school day. They pretty much just use the classroom hours to babysit and expect the parents to re-teach the lessons that they *should* have been learning in school. Teachers, with their generous salaries and entire season off, are little more than glorified babysitters who are NOT DOING THEIR JOB!


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