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Is Homework the Right Thing to Be Doing?

Homework.

We’ve all dreaded hearing the word come from the mouth of our teachers. Though some loved receiving an assignment that needed to be completed at home, others felt nothing but frustration. Homework is not something that is new in school. It’s common throughout all grades in elementary school, high school, and even college. However, just because it’s something commonly practiced over years and years of education, does that mean it’s the right thing to be doing? 

Homework

As a teacher, I don’t assign homework. From my first year of teaching until now, I still do not believe in giving homework. Below are the top 3 reasons why several educators, including myself, do not give our students homework: 

  1. They don’t have time to be kids anymore. 12news.com shared in a recent article about a Florida school district banning homework because of this very point. One parent agreed firmly with the policy when he claimed that his 10 year old son spent at least two hours each night on homework, which was taking away his son’s ability to play after school. This is probably my biggest reason why I don’t assign homework to my own students. If we don’t encourage our children to play, allowing them to be creative and discover on their own is being lost.    
  2. Homework can hurt a student’s academic performance. Huffington Post claims homework can tend to be counterproductive, therefore causing more stress than achievement in students. With standardized testing continuing to place more pressure on students and teachers than ever, allowing students to feel accomplished with their academic performance is a huge confidence builder. Stressing out over not being able to finish homework that may not even reflect their true abilities only harms them. 
  3. Homework negatively impacts family relationships. Personally, I teach at a lower income school. Some of my students come from households where both parents are majorly involved in their children’s lives and some of my students only see their parents on a strict calendar with supervised visitation. Parenting.com said it best when they stated,

Homework overload is also affecting family life—a lot of kids can’t even make it to dinner, and as a result, the only interaction they have with their parents involves arguments about homework.”

          If giving homework hurts relationships within families, I refuse to be a part of it.

Though there are some positives from homework, such as practicing academic skills outside of the classroom, there are other ways to implement education without being given a worksheet or a major project to complete at home.

Here are a few ways to help support your children’s academic skills at home without having to do homework:

  • Reading at bed time.  Discuss the characters, the problem and possible solution, what they would do if they were the character, etc.  
  • Playing a game of “Go Fish” and using math! When someone gets a match, they have to explain what the sum or product of the two cards is and how they know that’s the answer. 
  • Practicing spells words with food. Spell out the word with peas, cereal, hot dog slices, or whatever is for dinner! This could also be a great way to involve vocabulary if you discuss what each word means or how to use it in a sentence. 

Do you think children should still be assigned homework? Why or why not? Comment below to explain your reasoning on your beliefs about homework! 

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