Homework – or not?

No homework in Finland...

No homework in Finland…

We can all learn a lot from Finland!!!

I am dead against homework, especially the meaningless “busy work” that teachers most often send home. It’s nothing more than homework for the sake of homework. It’s about time we asked why, and for proof of the benefits of such. I’ve heard that there is no scientific study that proves homework beneficial to elementary/primary school children.


What’s your opinion on homework?

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8 thoughts on “Homework – or not?

  1. Language Arts Teacher says:

    Nothing wrong with homework that serves a specific purpose. I give out weekly vocabulary homework. I also give out writing assignments according to the unit I’m teaching. I’m sure there are teachers that give out busy work. That being said, when you do that, all you’re doing is making it harder on yourself as a teacher. Who do they think has to grade all of that? Best bet is to have a purpose with every assignment as well as planned in class time to work on a portion of those assignments. Homework can also serve as a good lesson in time management. Again, homework with a purpose, not busy work.

    http://lablog101.wordpress.com/homework/ [Homework]

    http://lablog101.wordpress.com/writing-assignments/ [Writing Assignments]


  2. There’s definitely a BIG difference between homework that serves a purpose, and busy work. I have one child in grade 6 and one in grade 3. In all those years of homework, not once (and I mean that literally) has homework been marked and returned.

    There has been a couple of times a project was done at home and a grade was give for that because it was part of something that was being graded for the report card or part of a larger class project/theme/curriculum component. But off-hand, I can only think of one occasion for each child where that happened.

    I’m not against a child practising things in the true sense of the word practising eg memorising times tables.


  3. Thanks for the reblog, and for stopping by The Double Parent.


  4. Language Arts Teacher says:

    That’s kind of odd that you’ve never received a graded assignment back. Perhaps you should switch schools or ask why there is no graded work…


  5. As a teacher I didn’t like giving homework that needed to be marked (graded) because I felt I had enough to do. Unfortunately the school policy most times dictated this.

    As a parent I hated my children bringing homework home. It cut into family time and time they would otherwise use to do hobbies or reading for pleasure.To me this is the most important reason why homework is a very bad idea. If a child is to have enough sleep then their evenings are limited. I remember my teenage daughter having to stay up far too late too many times just so she could complete her homework.


  6. What you write about homework cutting into family time, and time that could be spent doing other things, is the number one reason I am against homework.

    My older child is in grade 6 in a French Immersion middle school – she is the youngest in her class. Had she been born a few weeks later she would have been in grade 5. (And that’s another issue…) She has to be bussed and although we live only a ten minute drive from the school, the organisation of the bus route means she is first on and last off. (Why they couldn’t reverse the route at the end of the day, beats me. It often seems like logic isn’t involved in these decisions.) Anyway, she leaves the house at 7:20am and doesn’t get home until 3:25pm. That is a long day for an 11 year old. And it is an hour shorter than the school day my younger daughter has because her bus stop is just across the road and she is first on and first off.

    Add to that, the fact that they both have to eat, shower, read, partake in extra- curricular activities and be in bed by 8pm so they get enough sleep. As a double parent (single-parent), I don’t have the benefit of having a spouse put one child to bed while I deal with the other, or clearing the dishes/making lunches while I help with showers and homework. I have to take care of all those things single-handedly. Homework steals from this time. It steals from the time I have to kick-back and relax with MY children in the evenings.

    And, it steals from the children – it steals family time, and time for relaxation. I don’t know why people think that children don’t need to relax. They are human beings, they have spent all day being intellectually stimulated and are expected to be on top-form all the time – they definitely deserve to relax at the end of the day, or have their weekends set aside for enjoyment. It’s steals time that the children could be using to learn about things that interest them. Self-directed learning is something children do well, if we let them – their own interest and desires are perpetuated by a natural thirst for knowledge. This is robbed when we force too much “learning” on them.

    There’s al lot of talk about over-scheduling for kids and studies have shown how they benefit from free-play, but no-one seems to take into account the over-scheduling of homework.

    I am glad you mention school-policy, because it’s good for people to understand that homework isn’t always down to the individual teacher.


  7. aFrankAngle says:

    Homework is fine … well, as long as it is not busy work. Like anything in life, there must be balance.


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