Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog. ~ Doug Larson
I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. ~ Lily Tomlin
Sex education may be a good idea in the schools, but I don’t believe the kids should be given homework. ~ Bill Cosby
As we head back to school I have been thinking a lot about the homework debate. At our school we give “light homework” starting in kindergarten and then 10 minutes per grade level (per night) starting in grade 1…. i.e.: grade 1 gets 10 min, grade 2 gets 20 min, etc. By middle school a child could have 1-2 hours a night and by high school they could have 2-3 hours a night. Is this too much? Is this adding to the unnecessary stress we subject our children, particularly our high school students, to???
Is home work necessary? This is a hard question for me to answer – as I tend to stand on a pedestal of lecturing parents and teachers for pushing our kids to overextend themselves, achieve and go straight to university. I believe that this system is broken and we are missing many learning opportunities, yet I do tend to believe in the concept of homework. Learning must be reinforced.
I may argue here that, like the educational system as a whole, the issue is not that homework is being assigned, but the type and quality and purpose of the homework must be addressed. Mathematics must be practiced to be mastered, that is just the way it is – so if students need to learn Maths, then they are going to need to practice. On the other hand, if a child is not going to use Calculus in their life or career, should we have them enrolled in a course and practicing mathematical equations when it may serve them better to enroll in auto shop and learn how to change their car oil? These are some of the questions I struggle with on a daily basis.
One compromise we have made at our school is to ensure that teachers coordinate so that big projects are not simultaneously due for more than one subject area. We also encourage teachers to collaborate with cross-discipline projects (projects that can be applicable and turned in for grading in more than one subject). This is a learning process – a healthy one.
My girls diligently do their homework every evening – it is not hard for them to do, as they are stuck at the school for at least an hour after school waiting until I am ready to head home – this time is perfect for homework and they would be bored anyhow – it is their afternoon “entertainment” – I suppose I got lucky with this arrangement. I think my oldest needs the learning reinforcement the homework provides – I think my youngest needs to learn the skills of responsibility that homework provides…… yet, I see how pressured they are and how much work is demanded of them each day – breaks are good. Most of the teachers at our site do not assign elementary students homework on weekends – I think this has been one way to find a balance in it all – secondary school teachers cannot find the same balance, due to all the high school pressures (on the students and teachers) that I have shared in previous posts.
Today, 199 days ’til 40, I am still questioning when and where and how homework is valuable – I know it has its place and can be an important component of any educational plan, as long its integration is well thought out and planned.
What are your thoughts on homework???