Considering the list of concerns above, certainly many children do have too much homework. Homework can likely be of some help to some students in some cases. The important factor is that teachers understand the role of homework as an instructional tool. Parents need to have the knowledge to help teachers understand that role. The inconsistent nature of education across the U. There are few clear and valid rules, but parents can help by being informed. About the author: Harvey Craft is a retired educator and former principal, with extensive experience in teaching grades six through to twelve.
Click here to contact or read more articles by Harvey Craft. Tags : homework, benefits, importance, amount, learning, school, children, kids, child, kid, education. Sign up for our newsletter. The Reading Room Read and share your views on our current and past articles, covering a wide range of children's books, reading, education and development topics. Changing Times Seemed to Create a Need for Homework Resistance to homework diminished with technological advancements and subsequent new skills required.
Homework is Not, and Never Was, Consistent Like many aspects of education, homework was poorly defined as to what it was intended to accomplish, what it was supposed to be, and how much was appropriate. Homework's Contribution to the Learning Process is Uncertain Homework , as it usually is assigned today, is the subject of much study.
The results of various studies often conflict, but several findings seem clear: Homework is of less value in elementary school and marginal value in high school. Homework should not be graded because of its role as a formative assessment. The standard that is gaining acceptance for the amount of homework is 10 minutes per grade per night.
Teachers tend to ignore recommendations as to amount and the role of homework as a non-graded formative assessment. Parents rarely question homework practices of teachers. Homework can, and is, copied out of class nullifying its value. Homework is often not corrected by the teacher thereby depriving students of feedback.
Rather, it may be simply checked off and those checks are, by various methods, converted into grades. Homework is often graded for no other reason than to make students do it. There is no level playing field when it comes to homework. Some students have parents to encourage and assist, some don't. Homework may or may not contribute to responsibility.
Do responsible students do homework, or does homework make students responsible? The question remains unanswered. Do Children Have too Much Homework? In deciding whether or not a child has too much homework, the following issues should be considered: Does a child experience stress because of homework?
Does homework rob a child of valuable family time or leisure activities? Is a child failing due to missing homework? Do homework assignments look like busy work or do appear to be clearly connected to standards? Is homework given as punishment? Is homework returned corrected with teacher comments? Is homework a large part - or any part - of a student's grade?
School and district sites sometimes place stern warnings for students to do their homework or face loss of privileges and other discipline. Homework is, to say the least, problematic. There are many popular Internet teacher sites where teachers can exchange ideas across the nation. A perusal of these sites indicates that homework is of great concern to teachers. Teacher policies about whether or not to grade homework, how much it should count, and other matters create unnecessary worries..
Homework is a formative assessment. That single fact can put an end to the homework quandary. Part of the divide has resulted from the fact that homework as an instructional tool has developed in an uncontrolled manner with few rules governing its application and correct role.
There is no one thing called "homework", and in many cases isn't even done at home, but at the end of class. Another problem is the myth that everything that students do must be graded. Arbitrary "solutions" have been initiated by many schools and districts.
Chief among them are decisions to allow no grade lower than fifty - or some other arbitrary level to be recorded. This is a way to maintain student motivation and respond to the problems created by zeros, but it is simply a convenient invention.
The practice has become common across the nation. Humble, Texas includes the policy in its student handbook, as does St. Variations of these policies are frequently posted on the Internet. These policies have troubled teachers who see it as grade manipulation, and it is, but with good intentions.
School policies serve better when they are based on a logical process. An analysis of the problem reveals a possible real solution. First, teachers need to understand that homework tends to fall under the category of formative assessment - those things teachers do while students are learning a new topic or set of standards.
Students must be retrained to believe that work has value even when it is not graded. Schools have become institutions that place too much emphasis on grades. Schools must dedicate themselves to emphasize learning. Teachers need to convince students - starting with students' first-ever homework assignments - that homework addresses what they will need to know when they are assessed with quizzes and tests - i.
It gives them an opportunity to study these things and review them the next day in class and make correction as needed. Teachers will quickly check off whether or not the student has done the homework in order to let parents know if students are doing homework.
That's it! No grading, no arbitrary methods of turning checks into grades, and no zeros. Students should be encouraged to use homework as part of the material to study for assessments. Next a summative assessment is given.
Some of the assessment should sample knowledge gained from homework. When the assessment is scored, the students who were serious about using homework as an opportunity to study will score better than those who didn't, provided the homework assignments and the assessments were in agreement. In this way, what was learned from homework is finally graded. The same factors that might have caused poor homework grades are still in effect for better or worse but significant positive changes will result:.