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Homework vs Extra Curriculars

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  • Homework vs Extra Curriculars

    Since we all battle how to keep boys engaged, while going head-to-head with other, competing interests - I thought I would share this research from Stanford:
    Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

    A Stanford researcher found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance and even alienation from society. More than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive, according to the study.

  • #2
    May be... but anyone who's tried to matriculate a kid into college lately will soon learn that a "B" on the transcript is an "F" ... and Eagle counts for nothing in your average admissions office.


    • Sentinel947
      Sentinel947 commented
      Editing a comment
      Neither does any other extracurricular then. So why do you let your son participate in them? Study, study, study.

    • Huzzar
      Huzzar commented
      Editing a comment
      Rubbish re Eagle, at least in my neck of the woods.

    • perdidochas
      perdidochas commented
      Editing a comment
      I've heard that Eagle helps little for admissions, but helps a lot more in terms of getting scholarships.

  • #3
    Originally posted by Engineer61 View Post
    May be... but anyone who's tried to matriculate a kid into college lately will soon learn that a "B" on the transcript is an "F" ... and Eagle counts for nothing in your average admissions office.
    Eagle counts for a point. Senior Patrol leader is known as the head of the club - at least at the local university (my wife was a faculty rep on the admissions requirements team).

    It is true a B is an F for top schools today as well. However - the stress, anxiety, etc. that is being push on kids is insane.


    • Hal_Crawford
      Hal_Crawford commented
      Editing a comment
      And the A needs to be in an AP course. I was shocked to learn 10 years ago that my alma mater's average GPA for entering freshmen is now in the vicinity of 4.0. This is not because all these freshmen were straight A students in high school; it is because of the bonus points for passing AP exams.

  • #4
    It is almost time to throw out grades all together, as they barely mean much anymore. The standard curve, the one where most are average, or in the middle, while about 15% are in the 80-90 percentile or 60-70 percentile, with 10% on the bottom or top, is no longer close to valid. Teachers are almost afraid to give the grades many students deserve. But, if a student can't get into one of the so called better schools, believe it or not, very few people care where the degree came from, as long as it is an accredited school. There is no GPA attached to the diploma, and there are many very good college instructors that work in the so called lesser schools. It is interesting that many students that transfer from junior colleges to regular schools perform better than many that went directly, whether it be "elite school" or a basic state four year program. We worry far too much about these things. And that is much of why so many struggle in the first place, both in high school and college. The concept that everyone can be above average is simply not true. And the results of this kind of thinking is showing in the educational nose dive. It is also showing in the increase in failure in college, because too many go there that never should in the first place, and would not have even been accepted 30 years ago or more when high school students were actually held accountable.

    We will always have those that rise above, no matter what, but they would do it no matter what system of education and level of accountability they experienced. We see these in the 10%-15% of Eagle candidates that truly stand out above most of them. But, as been noted, an Eagle is an Eagle at the time of receiving it. Those we tend to hold out as examples of great Eagles, ones that achieve great things or set wonderful examples in adult life come from that small percentage noted above for the most part.

    Part of countries employment issues relate directly to pushing too many to go to college, instead of find a trade or their own special niche. By pushing them to go where they really do not belong, we simply push them to low esteem and other issues. Of course, it would also help if we were to find a way to redirect much of the corporate profit bloat that goes to the top to better pay workers that actually earn the profits, and to hire more to take the pressure off those that are over worked with higher and higher productivity expectations for the same amount of pay.

    Time to take the rose colored idea glasses off and accept that is very unlikely to happen, even a little, as long as we have our egocentric so called leaders and corporate lords.


    • Huzzar
      Huzzar commented
      Editing a comment
      A degree has become a very expensive high school diploma in America. I work with people that have degrees in Human Resources and similar that are doing work that needs no more than high school education and company training.

  • #5
    It's pretty similar this side of the pond (albeit Queens Scout or Queens Guide DOES count for a lot)

    The pressure being put on kids to get grades at school is insane. Last summer I nearly wept when I had a couple of 10 year old, yes 10 year olds, pulled out of a camp by their parents because they had to revise for exams. I don't think I had any home work at all when I was 10, let alone too much to spend the weekend getting muddy in the woods.

    The amount of mental health issues now being suffered by older teenagers over their GCSE and A levels (exams taken at 16 and 18 respectively) is going through the roof. And it's tragic.


    • #6
      Well it only gets worse later. I've heard that fifty percent of all doctors graduate in the bottom half of their class. I imagine that may be true of other professions.


      • boomerscout
        boomerscout commented
        Editing a comment
        Isn't there a town in Minnesota where everyone is above average?

      • Merlyn_LeRoy
        Merlyn_LeRoy commented
        Editing a comment
        Just the children...

      • Twocubdad
        Twocubdad commented
        Editing a comment
        Merlyn! I've never known you to comment on a topic other than religion. Attaboy!

    • #7
      I've got a dad/ASM who's been apologizing for his son's absence at literally everything for 2 years with "sorry, he has homework." Right. And so do the other 40 boys who all managed to get here.


      • #8
        Will someone please show me some studies or other evidence from authoritative sources (CHE for example) that indicate that a 'B' on a transcript is no better than an 'F'? I'd like to see the basis for that claim.
        As for extracurricular activity, OTOH, if you have nothing outside of the classroom that broadens your horizons, you can forget such things as a Rhodes Scholarship, for example. The problem is that these are subjective and therefore difficult to quantify and factor into the admission process. But they do count for something. Eagle Scout is right there with winning the science fair and leading the church choir or being recognized by the community for a service project.


        • Huzzar
          Huzzar commented
          Editing a comment
          It's hyperbole, don't lose sleep over it.

        • skeptic
          skeptic commented
          Editing a comment
          Pack; Failing does mean something, but passing with a D is still passing. Obviously, in college, should you have all low or failing grades in your major you will have severe difficulty. But, should you pass with mostly D's, with a few higher grades and even a few F's, you will still get the certificate. And it will not have that grading information on it for people to see. Of course, you would have little chance of grad school without a lot of remediation first.

          As far as high school grades go, low grades will keep you out of four year schools initially. But, once you have gone to JC or similar places and obtained passing grades you will find a four year to take you, though you are unlikely to get into the higher ranked colleges.

          F's are never good, especially if there are a lot of them. But, sometimes they only indicate the student needs to mature, or perhaps find a different area of study. I dropped the idea of ever becoming a forest ranger, something I really thought would be of interest, because all science beyond very basic stuff was far too hard for me. I also had the experience of barely passing low grades in JC right out of high school, then having UC reject my application in 1969 because they threw out one of the two A's I got in JC as remedial, and it dropped me to a 1.99 for those two years. But I had since gone through the service and was more focused; applied at ASU and was accepted straight across the JC gpa, made the dean's list and then got in to UCR anyway for my senior year.

          My point is that today we actually do not give the high school students enough reality in grading, and that often allows very unqualified college entrants in four year schools. Almost every JC in our state has very large classes of remedial students in basic course areas that they passed in HS, yet are still woefully unprepared. Many of these would have been better served if they had been given "real" grades in HS that reflected their shortcomings in comparison to their peers.

          I know you work within the higher education system, so surely you understand fairly well what I am talking about.

      • #9
        I worked in higher ed for a bit, and they are looking for more than grades. They want well-rounded and diverse students. They want Eagle Scouts, they want readers, they want athletes, they want a little of everything.


        • #10
          The "B is no better than an F" view comes from the fact that if you don't have "at least" a 3.0 "CORE GPA" and a higher overall GPA (weighted or not), colleges and universities (other than community colleges) will either not look at you or waitlist you. Been there done that. This is true even for the big "State" universities. Way different than when I entered college...heck I probably would not have gotten in.

          This is especially true for scholarships...GPA is the weed-out.

          Unless your extra-curr's are in your intended profession (my son and music for example) it is definitely his/her advantage to control the extra's. My son used to be in Marching Band and play/umpire Baseball in the spring. But he chose extra's that were more in line with his career path...honor music groups outside the school.

          As for the AP courses, unless you plan to go to the specific college that is offering the AP credit...don't bother...the credits most likely won't transfer...although I suppose it looks good on your transcript anyway.

          Now if you plan to go into forestry, park ranger, geology or some such avenue, the Scouting is probably and all-in proposition.


          • #11
            I agree with the bulk of what you wrote, but B=F still overstates it. :-)

            For any kid in high school the advice is get the best GPA you can. It keeps open the widest number of college doors and yes, most definitely, is used as a cut-off for scholarships. These days a lot of admissions decisions are made by computer so a GPA of 3.7 will get you considered for scholarships but 3.65 won't. (and "can't you round?" will be answered with a flat "no").

            A high school B student will get into a decent college but won't get any financial help outside of loans (and grants if poor).


            • #12
              Skeptic, I do understand what you describe. One thing about AP credit..I'm not sure what the process is for other institutions but this one requires anyone wishing to get that credit to take a qualifying exam. Quite a few who have done well in their AP courses don't make the cut.
              But most of this is academic outside of math skills. Someone who thinks there is a career path in sociology, for example, is going to encounter relatively easy admission requirements. Engineering and the sciences are more demanding. I do advise students all the way through and some summers I assist with what we call 'first' students, the first of their families ever to attend college. These students are particularly vulnerable because their families often have no idea what college demands or what it means to attend. The students are often marginally prepared intellectually. And it is a sobering moment when the math professor informs the vast majority who are enrolled their first semester in a remedial course, that THAT course is going to cost them an additional YEAR of work before they get their degree. Thundering, stunned silence. Welcome to reality... and it also extends to many non-'first' students. They get to discover this reality on their own.


              • #13
                I try to boil B=F down more simply to my scouts: "Learn everything you've been taught. Prove it."


                • #14
                  A low GPA and application to elite schools may end up with automatic filtering by computer, but once you get past any automatic screenings, you get read by a person. Those people are trying to fill out a well rounded class.

                  Look at the most selective schools in the country. There are enough 4.0 high school students (unweighted) to fill up the entire freshman class at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, etc., yet students without 4.0s get in.

                  State schools may use automatic scoring (GPA + SAT scores), but you can attend one if you are a decent student, maybe not you state flagship, but a state university nonetheless.

                  Eagle Scout doesn't give you X points, but it's something impressive on your resume. So is "lead part in high school musical," so is "editor of high school newspaper." There's no flat score. Harvard doesn't want 1000 newspaper editors, but they might want 10. Otherwise, the same people would get into every school, in reality, some people get into higher ranked schools and get rejected by lower ranked schools.

                  Elite schools want students that excel in their endeavors, while they have the ability to get the work done. A very low GPA will hurt you, but if the GPA gets you through the auto-filter, it's about, what do you add to the freshman class. Another 4.0 GPA + perfect SAT isn't all the interesting. There are thousands of them each year, you'll notice Harvard doesn't have a perfect SAT in their incoming class. If all that mattered was GPA + SATs, Harvard's endowment would let them fill an entire class with them and not charge tuition, yet they don't do that.


                  • #15
                    Or, you can go to the local tech school, avoid the huge student debt, be out by the time your 20 and work for 60 years and make as much as the Harvard grad who spent 30 years paying off student debt before they started making real money.



                    • RememberSchiff
                      RememberSchiff commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Better yet attend California Prison Academy. Earn $3k/month for 4 months while you learn, then get a job with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations with salary, vacation,and benefits that any Harvard grad would envy.