Homework…

I must admit, I’ve been looking forward to getting to do this blog the most.

Homework — What purpose does it serve in education? Homework’s purpose in education is as it always has been. Practice. Do I think that students need to have several homework assignments, or hours upon hours of homework each night? No. I don’t. But, do I think that students should be given something to take home to practice the skills taught that day? Absolutely. I teach 5th grade, and I will tell you that we do not give out much homework, but there is some. When I was in school, math homework was always the same. Page (insert a number here), 1–84, evens. That was because the odd numbered problems were in the back of the book!

Homework should be all about practicing a skill at a students level. One such comment was made in Why Homework is Good for Kids mentioned that students in low-income families were less likely to do their homework because no one would be home to help them. Homework shouldn’t require help. If the teacher has taught the lesson, with whole group, small group, guided instruction and independent practice, and assigned an appropriate homework sheet for the students. No help should be required. Now, let’s not be naive, not all students will have reached independence by the end of a lesson, but in most cases students should be able to do the work assigned. If they can’t, the teacher should look at what they are handing out as homework. It seems to me that anti-homework groups are making it seem like teachers send home worksheets on skills that have not been covered. This is simply not the case. (At least where I teach)

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Homework has no place in a young child’s life. With no academic benefit, there are simply better uses for after-school hours.” This is a quote taken from Homework is wrecking our kids: The research is clear, let’s ban elementary homework. I could not disagree with this statement more. I view homework as an opportunity to practice and keep yourself sharp. To me, this statement would be like telling professional athletes, you don’t need to practice, you get enough work during a game. How can students master math facts, or create an elaborate experiment for the science fair, if they aren’t doing something outside of school to help them get better or create to the best of their abilities? Children need homework in small amounts to continue to get better at certain skills, or to master a subject as they progress through their education.

“…it helps teach fundamental skills such as time management, organization, task completion, as well as responsibility.”

Homework is something that is given to students to help make them better. It gives students an opportunity to establish a schedule outside of school all the while, allowing them the opportunity to have a conversation at home about what they’re learning. It shouldn’t be something that creates anxiety or issues at home.

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