No More School Homework in France
In the USA, we have seen a drop in the amount of homework that schools give to students in just the past 10-20 years. However, in France, homework may be a thing of the past...entirely.
California is an "early adopter" of controversial or "new ways of doing things." A friend of mine teaches in California and after living there, we made sure our son never saw a public school from the inside. The school my friend teaches in, says that IF homework is to be given, it is to be no more than 5 minutes per night, based on the slowest student in the class. heck, California public schools don't even issue homework until 9th grade.
While that is the extreme in the USA, French French President François Hollande is endorsing a plan that will end homework as part of a series of reforms to overhaul the country’s education system.
While this would make kids across the USA cheer, it would make a lot of parents upset at the thought that my child's education is solely in the hands of the schools (public or private). Of course there would be parents, such as myself, create lesson plans at home that would be homework for our kids, to keep their brains sharp.
So what would the reason be for France to ban homework? (Are you sitting down for this...you should...no really, you need to sitting for this).
French President François Hollande doesn’t think it is fair that some kids get help from their parents at home while children who come from disadvantaged families don’t.
If that arguement sounds familiar, it is has been part of the reason that some Americans oppose homework too. (Hello, California!)
Some of the plans that Hollande is designing, which mirror a number of plans set forth by the NEA in the USA: increasing the number of teachers, overhauling the curriculum and taking steps to cut down on absenteeism and (one that the USA doesn't have to worry about) moving the school week from four days to 4 1/2 days,
French President Holland said, “Education is priority. An education program is, by definition, a societal program. Work should be done at school, rather than at home,”
This is plan is a as a way to ensure that students who have no help at home are not disadvantaged.
Despite the four-day school week, elementary school children in France spend more hours a year in school than many other developed countries because students are there all day, starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m., with some kids staying even later.
Without getting too far into the other issues surrounding the French education system, with a fiscal problem that dwarfs that of the USA, no one is sure how they will afford to hire thousands more teachers.
As I stated earlier, the idea of no homework isn't new in the USA, according to Ladies Home Journal from the early 1900's, homwork has been descrive as “barbarous.,”
Many people try to argue that homework doesn't help kids learn anything. They will even go so far as to find studies to describe home much it hurts a child's learning processes.
Take it from this parent, homework has helped my son and enjoys it. Anyone who argues against it, didn't like doing it as a kid and did nothing to find out what they could do to make it fun for their kids. Some people, I would venture to say are just plain lazy. When it comes to our kids, it is our obligation to spend the time necessary to be there to teach our kids.