As kids go back to school, we need to pay attention to a growing movement among parents and educators calling on homework to be severely reduced. We think they are right. Childhood is a time for growth and education is an important part of that. But so is being a child.
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In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over. Educators have debated the merits of homework since the late 19th century. In recent years, amid concerns of some parents and teachers that children are being stressed out by too much homework, things have only gotten more fraught. She worries especially about socioeconomically disadvantaged students from low-performing schools who, according to research by Bempechat and others, get little or no homework. BU Today: Parents and educators who are against homework in elementary school say there is no research definitively linking it to academic performance for kids in the early grades. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.
High Schools Assign 3.5 Hours of Homework a Night, Survey Estimates
Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass. In fact, while eliminating homework may come as a surprise to many of us, the debate is not new. Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, swinging the educational pendulum back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework. One of the great, yet often forgotten problems with homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones recently engaged in a public pitch for the policy, which is now the subject of a couple of pending bills in Congress. Doing just that, however, leads to the conclusion that a solution other than what she and supportive legislators are proposing is in order. Excessive homework — or to state the argument more accurately, any homework at all — is physically taxing on students, many of them very young, after they have already spent a full strenuous day in the classroom. Projects that students are expected to complete at home often pose a burdensome expense on parents, who may not have a ready budget for the last-minute purchase of needed materials.