With school breaks in view once again (already, I know), it is harder and harder to talk about one thing.
While school breaks are often a magical time where we do not follow strict schedules, and we stay up basking in the long, family filled days; we need to remember that sadly, it only lasts for a couple of weeks. I hope I did not lose you at this point. No one likes when breaks end (especially kids) but is a reality we must all face. So back to my original buzzword…homework:
Most, if not all of us are on some social media platform. You may or may not have seen a popular post on Facebook from education world, talking about a new homework policy.
“Dear Parents, after much research this summer, I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year. Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performances.
Rather I ask that you spend your evenings doing things proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside and get your child to bed early. Thanks, Mrs. Brandy Young”
I can only imagine what the comments were. Most likely both ends of the spectrum, of those who believe this is powerful, and those who believe this is insane.
Paragraphs that start with, “In my day, after we walked to school, in three feet of snow, without shoes!” and “Yes, this is exactly what we need to do, along with cutting gluten, eating only organic and not allowing parabens in my child’s life.”
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Homework; Where Do You Fit On The Spectrum?
I myself, am somewhere in the middle.
As an educator, I think homework is both good, and bad in ways.
Homework can help parents see what is happening at school, and keep tabs on how their children understand the material. Even maybe advocate for them, if the topic is difficult and they require more help with learning it. There are additional services out there that can be beneficial (such as Special Education Tutoring).
Sometimes though, it is just a filler giving it, just to give it. Other times, it could be punitive. The class was extra rowdy today – well extra homework it is!
Homework does not have to be a dirty word. I love this post about no homework because there is research that shows a family unit – eating together, talking, getting fresh air and sleep are beneficial to adults and children alike – BUT is it for everyone?
I do believe there can be a limit on homework. Maybe something like they need to complete X number of things in a week with a nightly limit. No punitive action is taken if not completed.
Oh, I could go on and on with ideas.
To indeed meet the needs of our students, teachers need to evaluate the needs of their students considering: ages, cognitive level, family life, etc. before making decisions about homework. Make homework successful and achievable for students. Make it collective about learning not punitive.
What do you think of Homework? I would love to hear about your experiences!