#68 Is Homework for Students, Parents, Teachers, or No One?
Lately homework has been a topic in the news. Some teachers have sent home notes to parents there would be no homework all year, while other students get loads, taking up their family time in the evenings.
In all the years I have spent as a child in school, I never once had help with my homework.
My dad would say Homework was supposed to be hard to make our brains bigger and thereby making us smarter. Then there is the opposite of the spectrum. I once asked a student to explain a part of her completed homework. She replied she didn't know because her dad told her to watch TV and he would call her when it was finished. An easy rule of thumb that tries to stay in the middle of homework production is ten minutes for every grade per night. Teachers, look at it this way, after school, at some point you get to go home. By giving an overload of homework, you are adding on to a student's school day without the benefit of a teacher. Many parents work and are tired when they get home. How thrilled do you think parents are when they get pages of Parent Homework?
One idea is this: Make a list of all the subjects and specialists you typically have in a day. Then pass out a list to each child. Students can tape the list to their desks. When you announce each subject, students underline the word. At the end of the day, students take their list home, and discuss the subjects done that day. After the conversation, the parent signs the list and sends it back to school. The purpose of the list is for students to remember what they did in school and convey that information to their caregivers.
One problem with homework is it frustrates students who need clear directions and forget or don't understand how to complete the tasks. Parents try to help but don't always understand the specific directions either. Book reports are a source of despair. I suggest teachers do a book report with the entire class as a whole, using the same book. This lowers the stress level, and allows the students to problem solve together.
I do not think the benefits of homework outweigh the disadvantages. What do you think?