There is a growing body of research indicating that children receive little or no benefit from homework at the elementary level. Instead, excessive homework discourages learning, causes frustration, and promotes a negative attitude toward schoolwork in general. Students become frustrated and disconnect from school. Parents become frustrated fighting the “homework war”. Teachers become frustrated when work is not complete. In the “homework wars” there is no winner – students, parents, and teachers all lose.
I intend to assign minimal homework, and not give assignments purely for the purpose of giving students work to do. Homework that is assigned is to be short and important to the students’ learning, OR it is classwork that was not finished in class and must be finished so a student does not fall behind.
Classroom Homework Expectations
- I assign homework on a daily basis, including Fridays/weekends/holidays.
- I respect that students have a life outside of school, and almost always allow 2-3 days for homework to be completed. This allows students flexibility in finishing their work and also promotes responsibility and time management skills.
- I do not assign homework “for the sake of homework” – items that I assign are intended to reinforce skills that I feel are important for students to practice.
- As a general rule, I assign about 30 minutes of homework per night. In addition, students should be spending about 15 minutes per night on long-term projects, such as book reports or science projects. Students should be spending 40-60 minutes per night on homework in total.
- I “spot check” homework at random, and I give homework grades based on effort, not correctness.
“No study has ever demonstrated any academic benefit to assigning homework before children are in high school. In fact, even in high school, the association between homework and achievement is weak…Finally, there isn’t a shred of evidence to support the folk wisdom that homework provides nonacademic benefits at any age — for example, that it builds character, promotes self-discipline, or teaches good work habits.”(source)
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