I saw that Time Magazine ran a piece by Heather Shumaker, essentially positing that kids, especially little kids, are being assigned too much homework.
I’m not against homework. But I am against busy work. Far too often I see assignments coming home that have very little benefit for my children. It’s just poorly thought out time wasters. People wonder why childhood obesity is a problem nowadays. Maybe it’s too much homework.
And there’s evidence that all that homework for the little one’s isn’t all that effective:
We’re currently enmeshed in a high-pressure approach to learning that starts with homework being assigned in kindergarten and even preschool. Homework dominates after-school time in many households and has been dubbed the 21st century’s “new family dinner.” Overtired children complain and collapse. Exasperated parents cajole and nag. These family fights often ends in tears, threats, and parents secretly finishing their kid’s homework.
Parents put up with these nightly battles because they want what’s best for their kids. But, surprise, the opposite is more likely to be true. A comprehensive review of 180 research studies by Duke University psychologist and neuroscientist Harris Cooper shows homework’s benefits are highly age dependent: high schoolers benefit if the work is under two hours a night, middle schoolers receive a tiny academic boost, and elementary-aged kids? It’s better to wait.
If you examine the research—not one study, but the full sweep of homework research—it’s clear that homework does have an impact, but it’s not always a good one. Homework given too young increases negative attitudes toward school. That’s bad news, especially for a kindergartener facing 12 more years of assignments.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that with some of my kids clearly don’t know the stuff they’re being assigned to do at home and I’m hopping online to teach to learn the concepts to teach them what they’re clearly not learning in school. So sometimes I think teachers are assigning homework to make up for their deficiencies in the classroom.
I’m not hating on teachers. Many good ones out there doing a job that I just don’t have the patience for. But over two hours of homework for my little ones is a bit much.
Just a rant. Sorry.
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