Most parents expect their child will have homework. Supporters of homework argue that life is filled with things we don’t like to do, and that homework teaches self-discipline, time management and other nonacademic life skills. What do you think?
Every school day brings something new, but there is one status quo most parents expect: homework. The old adage that practice makes perfect seems to make sense when it comes to schoolwork. But, while hunkering down after dinner amongst books and worksheets might seem like a natural part of childhood, there’s more research now than ever suggesting that it shouldn’t be so.
Many in the education field today are looking for evidence to support the case for homework, but are coming up empty-handed. “Homework is all pain and no gain,” says author Alfie Kohn. In his book The Homework Myth, Kohn points out that no study has ever found a correlation between homework and academic achievement in elementary school, and there is little reason to believe that homework is necessary in high school. In fact, it may even diminish interest in learning, says Kohn.
If you’ve ever had a late night argument with your child about completing homework, you probably know first-hand that homework can be a strain on families. In an effort to reduce that stress, there are a growing number of schools which are banning homework.
Mary Jane Cera is the academic administrator for the Kino School, a private, nonprofit kindergarten through 12th grade school in Tucson, AZ which maintains a no homework policy across all grades. The purpose of the policy is to make sure learning remains a joy for their students, not a second shift of work that impedes social time and creative activity. Cera says that when new students are told there will be no homework assignments, they breathe a sigh of relief.
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