Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus

The Homework Debate (page 2)

The Homework Debate

Related Articles

Related Topics

based on 1011 ratings
By
Updated on Jul 29, 2013

How Much Is Too Much?

So, what's the solution? The National Parent Teacher Association suggests children in kindergarten through second grade should do homework for no more than 10 to 20 minutes a day, and for third through sixth graders the limit is 30-60 minutes a day. Kohn says the question isn't just, "How much homework is too much?" Many parents would be delighted if teachers reduced the amount their children are getting, but he says the quality of those assignments needs to be addressed as well. “Some of this stuff isn't worth two minutes of their children's time,” he says.

Kohn believes that the “default” setting for schools should be no homework, but that if evening work was assigned on occasion, it better be for a good reason. That means repetitive practice problems from 500-page textbooks get tossed out the window. Instead, Kohn says parents should be asking two fundamental questions:

  1. Does this assignment make kids more excited about the topic and learning in general?
  2. Does this assignment help kids to think more deeply about questions that matter?

What You Can Do

For parents who want to probe deeper into the quality of homework their child is getting, Kohn says the first step is to check the school's policy. In the case where poorly designed homework is being given, it's time to talk to the teacher, sit down with the principal, write a letter to the editor, and/or speak up at the next school board meeting. “It makes sense to do this with other parents,” he says. “Ten parents saying that homework does more harm than good are hard to ignore.”

Wherever the homework debate goes next, be it the front pages or on the back burner, it's worth taking a moment to examine if we're asking the right questions about our children's education. The good news is, it's never too late to start.

For more information on Alfie Kohn and his latest book, The Homework Myth, visit www.alfiekohn.org

View Full Article
Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.
See all Worksheet Generators