Forcing Educators to Stop the Homework Avalanche

A_Simple_Way_To_Reduce_Homework

It’s typical to see a high schooler burdened with 4-5 hours of homework a night. Is there not some way to impart knowledge without keeping our young uns up till 3 am? There is now, with my latest epiphany: I make those accursed educators do homework too. 

Most adults work only an eight-hour day, although a large portion of that time is spent bitching about having to work an eight-hour day.

Once we hit eight, we quit. We despise taking work home. So why do kids have to do it? Especially teenagers? Let’s look at the research.

The data shows sleep deprivation from excessive homework load can have a detrimental effect, as proper brain developmental in teens requires more than eight hours of sleep a night. These kids need fully-developed brains if, as adults, they’re going to be good at bitching about working eight-hour days.

There also is no conclusive research that shows homework is good or bad. It’s just that this is the way we’ve always done it. Since it seems to be working, we don’t change it.

(Funny how that doesn’t apply to curriculum, which administrators treat like its a perishable food item. I’ve had milk last longer than my kid’s reading curriculum.)

So here’s my epiphany: Educators must figure out how to make the school day more efficient. If they can’t, then for every hour a child spends doing homework, educators must also spend an hour trying to make class-time more efficient.

Note that my epiphany states “Educators.”  Not just busy-work dispatching teachers, but also administrators who throw curriculum willy-nilly at the teachers, and the politicians who demand we teach to the test.

(This list does not include us parents: We’ve got TV to watch.)

Everyone who has influence on Education is an Educator, and will be part of the program. So here how it works.

Declaring Martial Law to Eliminate Homework

Because there are so many educators, I had to call on President Obama for a little payback. I’d helped him move his pool table into the White House basement during his inauguration, and so I figured Barry owed me one.

“We’ve got a lot of educators out there,” I told him. “Mind if we impose a little martial law to implement my latest epiphany?”

The President hemmed and hawed a little, as he doesn’t particularly like imposing martial law, especially during March Madness. But he realized the brilliance of my epiphany, and so he put the full power of the military at my disposal.

At first, there was much belly-aching. But with the military holding guns to their heads, educators – teachers, administrators, and politicians – soon got with the program.

They eliminated endless, droning lectures. They focused on the big picture concepts, and critical thinking. They honed in on what was relevant, and tied lessons to everyday life. They cultivated a love of learning, because really, who is successful in life besides the people who are always learning?

Soon schools transformed. Instead of meaningless work and endless test taking, curriculum became vital. Connections were made. Relevance was established.

Educators, who at one time hated my guts, thanked me for the spectacular transformation. Some even kissed my feet (perhaps due in part to the armed Marine standing at my side.)

The moral of the story: Hard work will get you places, but homework better be worth your time, or you’ll get shot by an army run by that crazy epiphany guy. And that’s a life lesson if I ever heard one.

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Comments

  1. Great ideas but you forgot the most critical element-Money. How can Educators make learning relevant without barrel upon barrel of cash?

    • Greg Mischio says:

      I think out old buddy Confucius said it best. “The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?”

  2. You are one busy guy. Thank God we’ve got you making this world a better place.

  3. You are so right and as an ex teacher we could also do without the extra marking and could use the time to plan lessons instead!
    Well said.

  4. 🙂 Love this! As a teacher in the UK (which is no different to the US in education in seems) I have always loathed setting homework. Now as a parent I loathe the fact my 5 yr old is forced to do it for the sake of having something to do on a Sunday afternoon. usually pointless. Like this week’s installment. “Write 5 questions you could ask someone about this picture.” So he starts by asking all these deep evaluative and deductive questions before I have to stop him because I realise that’s not what the system wants him to do at 5. NO! he needs his imagination and creativity stemming to only ask literal questions. (I drip with sarcasm) Do I hate homework? Oh boy, I just hate the whole system. Setting of homework here is mandatory. I don’t see the value and haven’t done for 16 years.

    Great post. You’ve got me thinking I need to stand up more against this stupidity!

    • Greg Mischio says:

      Wow, Joanne. The last thing I’m ever accused of is making people think. And please, leave stupidity alone. Without it, what would I write about?

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