Essay i do my homework at night
Print Text Size Memorization, not rationalization. That is the advice of my year-old daughter, Esmee, as I struggle to make sense of a paragraph of notes for an upcoming Earth Science test on minerals. When I ask Esmee what this actually means, she gives me her homework credo. Esmee is in the eighth grade at the NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies, a selective public school in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
My wife and I have noticed since she started there in February of last year that she has a lot of homework. We moved from Pacific Palisades, California, where Esmee also had a great deal of homework at Paul Revere Charter Middle School in Brentwood. I have found, at both schools, that whenever I bring up the homework issue with teachers or administrators, their response is that they are required by the state to cover a certain amount of material.
There are standardized tests, and everyone—students, teachers, schools—is being evaluated on those tests. During the school week, she averages three to four hours of homework a night and six and a half hours of sleep. Essay i do my homework at night Much is Too Much? Read more Some evenings, when we force her to go to bed, she will pretend to go to sleep homeowrk then get back up and continue to do homework for another hour.
The following mornings are awful, my daughter teary-eyed and exhausted but still trudging to school. What is the exact nature of the work that is turning her into a sleep-deprived teen zombie so many mornings? Monday By late afternoon, I am tired after filing a magazine article on deadline.
When I arrive home, a few minutes ahead of Esmee, I consider delaying my week of homework, but then I realize that Esmee can never put off her week of homework. We have 11 algebra equations. I am surprised by the amount of reading. Seventy-nine pages while scanning for usable material—for a magazine essay or for homework—seems like at least two hours of reading. But the math is easier than I thought.
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I breeze through those 11 equations in about 40 minutes and even correct Esmee when homfwork gets one wrong. I may be overconfident. We have only one copy of the book, so we decide it will be more efficient to stagger our work. Frank McCourt, whom I once uomework give a homewwork tribute to Peter Matthiessen at a Paris Review Revel, is engaging and funny. But after 30 minutes I am only about 16 pages in, and Esmee has finished studying for Earth Science and needs the book.
It is now time for me to struggle with Earth Science. Tarbuck and Frederick K. Then come carbonates, oxides, the sulfates and sulfides, halides, and—I am asleep after about 20 minutes. I struggle with Earth Science for another half hour, attempting to memorize rather than understand, before I give ay and decide I have to get my nivht done.
Esmee stays up until a little after midnight to finish her reading. My study habits were atrocious. If my daughter came home and said she had no homework, I would know she was lying. The teacher was unmoved, saying that the homework was reasonable. If Esmee was struggling, perhaps she should be moved to a remedial class. No, our children are going to catch up with those East Asian kids on their own damn time.
Every parent I know in New York City comments on how much homework their children have. Is it too much? Well, imagine if after putting in a full day at the office—and school is pretty much what our children do for a job—you had to come home and do another four or so hours of office work. Plus Esmee gets homework every weekend. If your job required that kind of work after work, how long would you last?
Tuesday My younger daughter, Lola, 11, is a little jealous that I am spending my evenings doing homework with her sister. She agrees with this, but still makes me feel so guilty about it that I let her watch Pretty Little Liars, her favorite show. There is also a Spanish test tomorrow on irregular verbs. The algebra is fast becoming my favorite part of this project.
I may have picked an easy week, but something about combining like terms, inverting negative exponents, and then simplifying equations causes a tingle in a part of my brain that is usually dormant. Also, the work is finite: The Spanish, however, presents a completely different challenge. My daughter has done a commendable job memorizing the conjugations.
I spend a few minutes looking over the material, attempting to memorize the list of verbs and conjugations. Then it takes me about half an hour to memorize the three most common conjugation patterns. I decide to skip the irregular verbs. Esmee already worked on her Spanish this afternoon, so she goes right to the Humanities project, which she has been looking forward to. I decide that the diary I am keeping about doing homework will be my Humanities project. She takes a shower, then reads in bed for a few minutes before nodding off at about One assignment had her calculating the area and perimeter of a series of shapes so complex that my wife, who trained as an architect in the Netherlands, spent half an hour on it before coming up with the right answers.
The problem was not the complexity of the work, it was the amount of calculating required. Another exercise required Esmee to find the distance from Sacramento—we were living in California—to every other state capital in America, in miles and kilometers. This last one caused me to question the value of the homework. What possible purpose could this serve?
She explained that this sort of cross-disciplinary learning—state capitals in a math class—was now popular. She added that by nighg, Esmee should know all her state capitals. She went on to say that in class, when the students had been asked to name the capital of Texas, Esmee answered Texas City. But this is a math class, I said. The teacher was unmoved, saying that she felt the homework load was reasonable.
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If Esmee was struggling with the work, then perhaps she should be moved to a remedial class. There homewogk little to no coordination among teachers in most schools when it comes to assignments and test dates. The class had prepared dioramas of the role women played in the Revolution, the Boston Massacre, the Battle of Yorktown, and other signal events of the period.
I may be overconfident. They nod sympathetically and agree that the kids do have a lot of work, as if they have nothing to do with the assigning of it. Method Executing Your All-Nighter 1 Begin your caffeine cycle. There is also a Spanish test tomorrow on irregular verbs.
In hand-drawn murals explaining the causes of the conflict, the main theme was that excessive and unfair taxation had caused the colonies to rebel. The British had run up massive debts in the French and Indian War and wanted the colonists to repay them. The colonies also wanted, several children added, freedom.
This algebra unit, on polynomials, seems to be a matter of remembering a few tricks. Though I struggle with converting from standard notation—for example, converting 0. My daughter has the misfortune of di through a period of peak homework. But it turns out that there is no correlation between homework and achievement. Earth Science is something else. And tonight, the chapter xt in the familiar dispiriting monotone.
- Both answers amount to essentially the same argument:
- And tonight, the chapter starts in the familiar dispiriting monotone.
- But lf are somewhere around in the middle that is, you neither have problem waking up in the morning or staying late up in the night then it is better to see which suits you the most.
The accompanying charts are helpful, and as I keep reading into the chapter on igneous rocks, the differences between intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks make clear sense. The upcoming test in Humanities will focus on John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, monopolies and trusts, laissez-faire capitalism, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the foundation of labor unions, the imposition of factory safety standards, and the populist response to the grim conditions of the working man during the Industrial Revolution.
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My daughter has a study guide she is ready to print out. But our printer has just broken. The logistics of picking up the printer, bringing it over to our apartment, downloading the software, and then printing take about half an hour.
The study guide covers essy wide range of topics, from how Rockefeller gained control of the oil industry, to the rise of monopolies and trusts, to the Sherman Antitrust Act, to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Esmee and I have a pretty long talk about the causes of the tragedy—the locked doors that prevented the young girls from taking breaks, stealing merchandise, or escaping the flames; the flammable waste material that had been allowed to accumulate—that leads to a discussion about trade unionism and then about capitalism in general.
Freedom, in the form of unfettered capitalism, also has its downside. I tell her my view: It turns out that there is no correlation between homework and achievement. According to a study by the Penn State professors Gerald K. LeTendre and David P. Baker, some of the countries that score higher than the U. Zt to a University of Michigan study, the average time spent weekly on homework increased from two hours and 38 minutes in to three hours and 58 minutes in Data from a National Center for Education Statistics survey showed American homeeork between grades nine and 12 doing an average of 6.
Esmee has hours of homework every night. She would be jealous of her Finnish hojework, who average only 30 minutes a night. Attitudes toward homework swing in cycles of roughly 30 years, according to Harris Cooper, a professor of education at Duke University and the author of The Battle Over Homework. Others were eager to approach school officials.
He disagreed, saying the teacher felt threatened. I explained that we never intended for the teacher to read those notes. This was a forum where we were airing our concerns. What was frustrating me was that the underlying issue of ridiculous amounts of busywork was getting buried beneath the supposed method we nomework used to discuss the issue. Yet something did change.
Over the next few months, the math teacher assigned a more manageable workload. Thursday Parent-teacher conferences at the Lab School are similar to what I imagine speed dating to be like. Each conference is three minutes, and parents can homeworm an afternoon or evening session. My wife and I choose the afternoon. The conferences are strictly first come, first served. At noon, my wife and I sit in chairs outside each classroom waiting our turn, sometimes for as long as 45 minutes.
In each conference, I urge the teachers to give less homework. A problem often arises, I explain, in the total lack of coordination among classes. The creative stuff, like drawing or writing a short story or preparing a scene from a play, is all extra, to be completed in addition to the hours of humanities, math, science, and Nivht. The teachers usually respond in one of two ways. They nod sympathetically and agree that the kids do have a lot of work, as if they have nothing to do with the assigning of it. Or they say that time management is one of the skills that a successful high-school student will need, and if my daughter wants to perform in an elite high school, she had better learn that in middle school.
Both answers amount to essentially the same argument: And over the years, I have noticed that the amount of homework does let up, slightly, after the conferences—if enough parents complain. However, there is always a clique of parents who are happy with the amount of homework. In fact, they would prefer more. I tend not to get along with that type of parent. There is a worksheet, for example, requiring a reinterpretation and annotation of the rock cycle that Esmee never handed over. The teacher finds an extra copy for me. So I have another date with Tarbuck and Lutgens.
School is training her well for the inanities of adult life. Our math homework this evening is practicing multiplying a polynomial by a monomial, and we breeze through it in about half an hour. Then we have to translate some song lyrics from Spanish to English.
Is there a special place where you always put your paperwork each night? But after 30 minutes I am only about 16 pages in, and Esmee has finished studying for Earth Science and needs the book. However, in this blog we shall talk about the benefits of getting up and doing homework in the morning. Begin with the toughest or the most important part of your homework.
They are making difficult decisions about what to teach or not teach in the limited class time they have. The overall education being imparted is secular, click to see more, multicultural, and intensely quantitative. The math Esmee is doing at 13, for example, is beyond what I was doing at that age. Of course, there are gaps—so far as I can tell, Esmee has spent her entire life studying American history, with several years on Native Americans, and absolutely nothing on, say, China, Japan, India, England post, France after Lafayette, Germany, Russia, etc.
This school has clearly made choices—these kids are going to get very good at algebra and maybe a little less good at creative writing. If Esmee masters the homewrk covered in her classes, she will emerge as a well-rounded, socially aware citizen, a serious reader with good reasoning capabilities and a decent knowledge of the universe she lives in.
What more can I ask of her school? But are these many hours of homework the only way to achieve this metamorphosis of child into virtuous citizen? Certainly, they have told me, all the homework does no harm. As I watch my daughter struggle through school days on too little sleep and feel almost guilty if she wants to watch an hour of television instead of advancing a few hoework in the trench warfare of her weekly homework routine, I have my doubts. When would she ever have time to, say, read a book for pleasure? Or write a story or paint a picture co play the guitar?
But what I will continue to do at every opportunity is remind teachers that if each is assigning an hour of homework a night, and the average kid is taking four or five academic classes, then that is simply an unrealistic cumulative workload. Give the kids a break. Once in a while. Of course, I may just be balancing the scales against those parents asking for extra assignments for their child. Well, it did in Brentwood, even if it took parental pressure.
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Esmee just started high homeworl. She has told me she feels that the many hours of homework in middle school eszay prepared her well. I have my doubts. When it came time to select a middle school, she took the admissions test for Lab and listed it as her first choice, despite my telling her that in my view, the school essay i do my homework at night too rigidly focused on academics and assigns too much homework. Lola, always competitive with her older nitht, replies that she is esssay at homework. She was accepted at Lab.
She also has an algebra honework on Tuesday. She says that in her class, they have more than one midterm every term. My wife and I decide to go out to dinner, and on our way up Hudson Street, we run into another couple we are close friends with. We stand on the sidewalk for a few minutes, chatting. The husband is smoking a joint, and he hands it over. I take a few tokes. We part ways, and my wife and I go to a Japanese restaurant, where, as doo as I am seated, I regret smoking.
The numbers that were so familiar and reassuring just yesterday have become repellent. I realize, sitting there, failing to solve my algebra homework, that I have inadvertently yet perfectly re-created my own eighth-grade homework conditions: I consider my daughter, who to my knowledge has never smoked marijuana. I decide to give up on algebra for the night.