Did homework make you smarter? Did it give you that edge over the other kids in class? Did it make you appreciate more what you were learning in school? Or did you just do it to get to the end? To appease parents and teachers?
I’ve just had an article go on live on www.webchild.com.au titled Homework or Child’s Play? Discussing whether homework really is relevant.
I recently head a book by Alfie Kohn titled The Homework Myth pretty much stating that homework is a waste of time with no real point to it. He looks for research to prove that homework does in fact make for a smarter child and at best all he found was anecdotal evidence showing that there may be some substance to doing homework from Year 9 onwards.
When I was a wee little thing in primary school I don’t remember getting homework. I think I had some token homework given to me in Year 5 and 6 but really it didn’t teach me anything. It didn’t extend me in any way. And that’s part of the argument; homework doesn’t really extend the students. They’re just repeating things they already know; so why do it again? Have any of us forgotten how to add or subtract?
I’m talking about homework in primary and infants schools here. That’s what my published article focuses on.
One teacher who does not feature in the abovementioned article said that sometimes parents taught their different the wrong methods thereby confusing the child even further.
Alfie Kohn argues that homework has a detrimental affect on the parent child relationship. He argues what’s the point of all that since research on homework doesn’t show to help the child academically.
Parents have told me that it helps them see where their child is at. Could we possibly have other checks and balances to make sure no child is left behind?
Other parents have said it gets them ready for highschool? Can’t we just wait and let them mature gradually. We don’t send kids to school before they are ready, why give them homework just to get them ready for highschool.
I would assume that by the time a kid reaches highschool that they will be able to cope with homework as well as the different structure of schooling they face. Isn’t this is the reason why we don’t introduce multiple teachers, classrooms and periods before highschool? The child hasn’t matured to cope with that yet?
We need to walk before we can run and pushing a child before its necessary doesn’t help.
Interestingly, my sister-in-law who homeschools her children doesn’t assign homework. I wonder why?
But my question to you is, what about homework in highschool? Did it make you smarter?
This post was originally posted on my other Mum’s Word blog “Homework; Relevant or Not?”