- Helping parents help their kids succeed at school

Have you done your homework yet? is a question asked almost daily by parents across the country. Thats changing for parents of students at St. Pauls Hazel Park Middle School Academy.According to this article from, students have to prove they understand the concepts by doing we...


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Should homework be optional if students understand the concepts?

Posted by: SchoolFamily on Mar 16, 2009 in Homework

"Have you done your homework yet?" is a question asked almost daily by parents across the country. That's changing for parents of students at St. Paul's Hazel Park Middle School Academy.

According to this article from, students have to prove they understand the concepts by doing well on tests, and if they can do so without doing the homework, that's okay.

Some parents are skeptical, but school officials believe "standards-based grading" will teach kids to take responsibility for their learning. From the article:
"Under the new system, Hazel Park has seen fewer students get the best grades, and fewer get the worst. Students who know how to "game the system" by faithfully turning in homework and extra credit, even though they don't understand the material, are having a harder time. Students who don't turn in homework, but know how to do the work, are having an easier time.
As to whether it will make a difference in student achievement, it's too early to tell because students haven't taken the state tests yet."

What do you think? Would you like to see more schools adopt this method of evaluation?
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  1. Posted by - david on Nov. 30, 2012

    it should be optional because it causes a lot of stress
  2. avatar

    Posted by MamaBluz on Mar. 10, 2011

    I agree! And it doesn't help that I worry about their grades, so I am often nagging them about the homework, and this makes them resist getting to it all the more. Our kids are young, and the fact that they have homework at this young age bothers me, from the standpoint that it's drill, drill, drill all day long, with very little lunch break, recess time, or downtime. They're tired and burnt out when they get home, and all they want to do is variate between vegging out and releasing all the pent-up energy and frustration. To have to sit down when they get home and do even more school work (even if to me it seems like simple, rudimentary stuff) is torturous to them, and this is when the fights start. My kids and I get along great until the subject of school has to be dealt with. They fight it hard--and what should IMO take minutes ends up taking hours. Then, no time for fun and family time. This is a vicious cycle that we can't seem to break, and well, we just get through it the best we can until summer vacation. Then, they can enjoy just being kids. Whatever happened to that?
  3. Posted by - rachel on Mar. 09, 2011

    I think that homework should b optional, because some students could use it to get their grades up if they don't have the best grades and want better ones, and others who have extra curricular activities after school, wouldn't have to stay up late at night to get the mandatory homework done if they alreay understand the concept.
  4. Posted by - troy on Jan. 19, 2011

    only the kids with a's want homework to be mandatory because they have no lives besides going home and doing homework. what about kids who have jobs saving up for college or even kids who get bad grades because of there homework scores, they get a bad wrap because they cant do the work.
  5. Posted by - Cody Harlan on Dec. 01, 2010

    I completely disagree with this! Im a sophomore in high school, and i get all A's! If it wasn't for homework i would be failing high school right now. I wouldn't be able to go to college, and so i wouldn't be able to get a job. Homework has touched me emotionally. I believe all teachers should keep assigning homework. If you have any counter arguments feel free to comment back and let me know how you feel. From the way i see it, homework is awesome! =)
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  7. Posted by - Alex L. on Apr. 16, 2009

    Of course. i agree I think if we have this oppurtunity,all teachers have to do is make sure students are on track (^_^).
  8. Posted by - Julinda on Apr. 01, 2009

    Totally agree with the previous comment. They spend the whole day in school.
  9. Posted by - betty clark on Mar. 17, 2009

    Yes. I would love this I have always been a believer in school is for school work and home is for family. Children go to school all day and when they get home they are really tired of doing work they just want to rest, relax just like we do when we get home from work.... Kids are being pushed hard to do better than the next person, or to make better scores on their test, I really think children should not have homework it is too much.

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