Schools Gone Bad

Delta Winds cover 1998Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Schools Gone Bad

Thomas Lechich

"Ring, ring," the school bell sounds as all the kids start to rush out of their classrooms. Johnny was the first one out of his classroom door determined to get home as soon as he could. What for? you may ask. To play with his new video game that he received as a gift the night before. Johnny, after running all the way home, opened the door and slammed it behind him. He said a quick hello to his mother, ran into his bedroom, and snapped the switch on the computer to turn it on. As Johnny gets settled at the computer, he can see his mother coming down the hallway. His mom walks into the room, crosses her arms and says, "What have I told you about playing with your computer when you have homework young man?" Johnny says, "I don't have any!"

This story illustrates an important point about young students in our American schools. These young students, like Johnny, are coming home from school to play with their newest toys or video games, or to watch the latest episode of "Batman and Robin Adventures" on TV. This is happening not because this is all that they want to do, but because they have nothing more productive, such as homework, to do. I'm not saying that kids are never sent home with any homework, because my little brother has had his share of book reports; rather, I am saying that students need to be sent home with homework more often, and homework they can't finish in ten minutes.

Casey, my little brother, comes home at least two days a week without any homework to do. He claims that he does it all at school. If that's true, then there must not have been very much homework for him to do because between the recesses, lunch break, and classes, he barely has any time to finish. In order for the kids to learn, they need to have homework sent home with them.

I was in the same situation as my little brother is in now. I used to come home with little or no homework to do. I didn't have the video games that my little brother comes home to, so I just played with my toys. Now that I've matured, I feel that I wasn't assigned enough homework. How do the schools expect children to learn if they don't send work home with them to do on their own? In order to succeed in this world, kids have to learn that life is not only fun and games but hard work.

After graduating from eighth grade, I went right into a home study program, Independent Learning Center, without even going to a normal high school. I went to school once a week to pick up my homework and have questions answered by my teacher. I would then take my homework home, finishing it before my next visit. By having my schooling done this way, I worked at my own pace and had enough time to understand what I was reading rather than rushing to finish it to turn it in the next morning. The only thing that was hard about going to Independent Study was that I would always do my homework on the last day because I would procrastinate. But I guess that was my fault. I feel that I had a good education in high school though. They sent me home with a lot of homework all the time.

I think grammar schools need to hand out a little more homework every day. Homework will help the kids get information so that when they go to high school they are not overwhelmed. It is important for kids to play, but there should always be time for learning. Parents need to motivate their children and participate in their children's learning because this will show them that learning really is important. Teachers also need to motivate their students. A way to make learning more interesting to kids is to have fun with the class. When students have fun with something, they usually do not forget about it, and it makes them want to do it again. It is the method to follow in order to get the best education possible for children and students.