School Is Becoming Obsolete As Fast As Technology Moves Forward
The standard for homework set by educators is known as the “10-minute rule.” That means 10 minutes per grade level per night (ie: first graders get 10 minutes, 8th graders get 80 minutes), with recommendations for no homework for kindergarteners. A new study of over 1,000 primary and secondary grade students found that kids are actually being assigned up to three times the recommended amount of homework, with parents of kindergarteners reporting 25 minutes of nightly homework. So what’s the big deal about a little extra academic time, aside from the inevitable moaning and groaning from your kids? Unfortunately, the extra homework and time spent on it comes at a potentially high cost.
Too much homework for high schoolers was linked to high stress levels and negative physical health manifestations including migraines, ulcers, sleep deprivation, and weight loss. According to the current study’s contributing editor, homework over the recommended level is believed to be “not only not beneficial to children’s grades or GPA, but there’s really a plethora of evidence that it’s detrimental to their attitude about school, their grades, their self-confidence, their social skills and their quality of life.”
The U.S. ranks among the high range regarding homework expectations: France, South Korea, and Japan log at least an hour to several hours less a week for the typical 15 year-old student, and Finnish teens spend less than half the time U.S. students do on homework (2.8 hours vs. 6.1). All that homework may not be improving our education systems: in a 2014 ranking, the U.S. was 14th(behind Finland, Japan, Canada, and South Korea, by the way).
Grades and performance aside, the extra homework could be detrimental in other ways. For undereducated parents who lack confidence in their ability to help their children academically, homework time became extremely stressful. According to the study, fights and conflicts over homework were 200% more likely in families where parents did not have a college degree. Children of parents for whom English is not a first language also faced additional homework obstacles. Furthermore, too much homework takes away from the oft-overlooked, but very necessaryunstructured play that kids would otherwise engage in after school.
Most children learn their communication skills these days during communication in games. They learn to type at 3 while their bases are being destroyed in interactive wars. They learn to build homes together with friends, developing building, critical thinking, and development skills at age 4 that used to be learned in grades 9-12. They learn teamwork, math, critical thinking, reaction and response times, collaboration, and many other great skills from such games as Age Of Empires (which now is out-dated as well)
Schools that offer internet programs have shown that students who use good apps for education discover that a school-day's worth of work can be completed in 90 to 120 minutes, revealing that a 6 hour school-day has four hours worth of inefficiency built into the day. Time with a teacher spent standing in front of a class is known to be far less efficient than private tutoring time, but the time spent on a computer is shown to be even more effective than that when the applications are well made with a combination of interactive elements, videos, and education. Studies have shown that games which promote learning are even more effective than that! So while homework times spent with parents are higher than ever, with today's technology, there's more than enough time in school to accomplish all that needs to be done. Good partnerships need to be found within the gaming industry to accomplish more in less time, and to help interactive learning in schools rise to a new level, so that family and home time can become more productive and less stressful.