The Squeaky Wheel

How to protect your psychological health, improve your relationships, and enhance your self-esteem.

Should Homework Be Abolished?

French President François Hollande proposed banning homework as part of his plan to reform the French educational system. But is he throwing out the baby with the bathwater? Read More

Banning homework is a poor

Banning homework is a poor idea, given that school is about learning and cultivating self-discipline, which children aren't getting either at home. Yeah this would suit the ADHD and maybe poor students, but I don't think it would give them a leg-up in the long run and would actually cripple them when they get into the workforce.

I grew up in a large family, my parents spoke no English, we were poor, but all my siblings and I managed to get degrees and diplomas and paid all of our schooling and educations ourselves. We were self-reliant and had self-determination. Our parents were busy working and we had ZERO encouragement and help from them.

But speaking of excessive work...my last two places of employment: I had managers who deliberately under-reported my activities and my contributions, to their superiors. Once I caught on to this, I brought this to their attention -- they weren't happy; I was disturbing their status-quo (they knew what they were doing), and I was cruelly chastised by one of them.

One of the new managers I had supported me and she straightened out the tradeshow/sales manager who was recording everyone's activities. She told him that if it's something that I'm held responsible for (which I need to create and produce), then he needs to make a record of it. Even better was for each of us to submit our to do list/activities to him ourselves --- so I ended up having like an extra page or more. I had the most of everyone there. I didn't record making phone calls down as a to do, although I had a few -- however the tradeshow manager listed each phone call he ever made...even to book an appt. LOL. Anything to make him look real busy.

Then at the other workplace, my manager got pissed at me for trying to make his list of my to dos accurate -- he was missing a lot of items which the team and other people needed from me. All of these people were trying to downplay and minimize how much work I actually had to do. There was a minute taker in these meetings, and she would record what the manager assigned to people -- my manager would wait deliberately to assign me some stuff outside of the meetings so they would not get recorded. But then later I would send the minute taker an email to update her on these new assignments --- my manager was not pleased. He would always look over her notes before the report got submitted to his superior (CEO).

The thing with being a new employee at any workplace...is that you need a really good manager who looks out for you -- because other departmental managers may take advantage of you and pile on stuff that you are not actually responsible for, but naive and do them anyway because you are new and trying to be collaborative and helpful. So sometimes this position ends up doing the work of two and the next person they hire gets stuck with the same workload and these assholes do the same thing to the next new hire.

And if you are smart and quite capable, they take it upon themselves to expand your job responsibilities because you helped resolved something effectively and so they try to dump more work on you...yet showing no appreciation or respect. And they also try to assign stuff that you are not qualified to do, like computer programming...your own boss!

Sometimes it doesn't pay to be innovative and helpful -- no one else chips in. They like status quo --- it's less work for them...the less work they have...the more power they feel.

I Totally Agree

Hi there. I completely agree with you I been through the very same experiences as you. I have decided that running my own business is the only way to go. Also, read my post below to see what I think of the author's statement and beliefs about homework. I have seen enough from today's youth and it's not a pretty sight.

If running your own business is best, then who will you hire?

It's kind of hard to run a business without employees. Even a cobbler can't mend shoes and mind his books at the same time. It doesn't sound like you treat your workforce well if you think they're all chumps to work for a company.

Makes no Sense

Your statement makes no sense and has no logic. People who run their own business want control over their destination and business matters. That does not mean the owner does not want to hire anyone; obviously, they do. I am saying there are a lot of managers and supervisors who should not be in those positions because they have no respect for subordinates and they simply do not know how to manage. Others are simply mentally unbalanced because of drugs that are affecting their mental state, etc. The truth is it is a LOT easier to work for someone else than to start a business. That is all I am saying. Please take a critical thinking course at your local community college and come back with a logical post.

What does your workplace drama have to do with homework?

Yeah, yeah we get it. You've had some managers that sucked (yawn), who hasn't?
Yeah, you came from an immigrant family and got by with zero help from your folks, WELL LA DEE DA!
AIN'T YOU JUST ALL THAT & A BAG OF CHIPS. WHOOP DE DOO.
None of that has any relevance to what school is about. School is about learning & learning to learn.
You make school sound like a job. It isn't even close. You can't quit school until ninth grade. You can repeat grades, skip grades. A job is a job is a job. An school might be work for some, but it is truly a delight and a joy to others. People like you kill the joy in school. You want to make it all about heaving bricks over a hillside.
You know know nothing about wonder and discovery, about curiosity and the joy of absorption.
I feel sorry for people like you.

Homework is Not Supposed to Fun

Mr. Winch, your following statement is an extremely misguided and irresponsible one: "One easy guideline to keep in mind is that children should be assigned no more than 10 minutes a day of homework per grade level,” Winch wrote. “A sixth grader should be doing no more than an hour of homework a day, and a senior in high school should have no more than two hours a day of homework."

It is exactly your type of thinking that has lead to America being a third-rate nation in the so-called "STEM" courses. This country has fallen so far behind our global competitors such as China, Japan and the Philipines in the STEM courses that U.S. students can no longer compete in these areas. Yes, competition is a GOOD thing and the only thing that will help us win the war in bringing American back to its once great status as an innovator nation. American students are too busy playing their X-Boxes, Playstations, etc. and do not want to bother with homework while our global competitors are leaving us in the dust. The Asian kids are busy doing their homework while American kids are playing and being reduced to illiterate fools.

Homework is not supposed to be any more “fun” than our daily work or employment. Yes, there should be some amount of enjoyment to it, but it was never intended to be “fun.” as you put it. Homework teaches discipline, work ethic and competitiveness. Today's students would fail miserably if placed in the same class during even the 1970s, save the 1950s. The American education system has been so “dumbed-down” that students are being left almost illiterate; text-phone style, cryptic English composition should be an immediate failure on a paper, for example.

Many of today's kids are complete losers and are totally detached from any type of direct face-to-face interaction. This is the REAL socializing, not the ridiculous cell phone, texting, and other so-called “social media.” Too many kids have no clue how to truly interact socially with other people, especially adults. This type of pseudo-social interaction is damaging to our society and only hurts young adults when they are going to their first interview. They have no clue how to interact in a professional setting.

Your idea of reducing or eliminating homework is totally misguided and irresponsible. As a professional with a PhD, you should be encouraging hard work, competitiveness, a sold work ethic, NOT less homework! This philosophy will only contribute to the further decay of American society.

Do facts not matter to you

If study after study finds that excessive homework doesn't help kids and that moderation is needed, then surely it is your attitude that is more dangerous to kids developing work ethic, as you are the kind of person who would rather have them burn out... Yeesh--facts matter, dude!

Get YOUR facts straight

I did not mention one word about "excessive homework," as you put it. I am talking about homework that definitely involves more than this author is referencing. The so-called "facts" of which you speak are probably written by people like this author, who choose to ignore all of the facts that I write about in my post--America lags behind its Asian counterparts in the STEM courses (that would be science, technology, engineering and math for the uneducated). Those are THE FACTS, pal. People like you who ignore those FACTS are dangerous to U.S. education. As far as your comment about me not hiring people--I hire EDUCATED employees who can communicate both verbally and in writing, not people who spend all day sending cryptic, botched English text messages, "Tweeting" and Skyping, etc. Finally, anyone who runs a business knows who their boss is: the customers. Obviously, you must still be a student or you would understand the work ethic it takes to succeed in business or engineering career. If you are afraid to "burn out," as you put it, then stick to basket weaving.

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Guy Winch, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and author of The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Self-Esteem. more...

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