Why should kids be given homework? A school in New York City has recently decided not to, citing current research and thinking on the homework topic. Is this a major news story? Yes, it has captured attention of many parents and has become the topic of discussion.
Let’s first try to understand why students have been coming home with homework all these years to supplement what they had already learned during their school time. Should children be thinking about and sharpening up or building upon ideas that they learned during school hours away from the school by doing their homework? Most parents and educators would say yes. But, do the teachers need to give homework to students so that they can build upon what they had learned in the school?
This question has been intensively investigated and its results extensively analyzed and interpreted. According to the education experts, homework is not considered to have significant benefits at the elementary school level. It is also recognized that too much homework‚ negatively impacts students. The ‘no homework’ dictum is practiced in Finland whose education system is ranked at the or near the very top in the world. Unfortunately, US, does not make the ‘Top 10 World’s Educational systems’.
But, doing homework is practicing what you have learned. We all believe that practice makes perfect. So, then, what’s wrong with a little homework? Why should we be reconsidering the value of homework for elementary school students. The answer to this question is based more upon what we are used to and this is what we apply to our children. Are we ready to let our children use their time after school to pursue their own activities and interest? We need to keep our eyes and mind open and not be presumptive about what really works best!