Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Case Against Homework by Bennett and Kalish

Homework for my elementary school kids caught me off guard. I don’t remember having homework until high school. It seems common now to hear about kindergarteners having homework and upper elementary kids having significant amounts. This book by two parents addresses what to do when you think your kids have too much homework.

I think the authors make a number of good points including discussing recent studies that show there is no correlation between the amount of homework given and achievement in the elementary grades. Another point they make is that for any student doing 2 or more hours of homework is just as physically detrimental as playing two hours of video games. They are especially concerned with lost family time due to homework.

“Parenting magazines and books urge us to slow down and reconnect with our children and partner when we get home. But if our child’s response is a heart-sinking ‘I have a lot of homework,’ we can say good-bye to any hope of meaningful time together.”

This book is a worthwhile read if you have kids in elementary school or beyond who are struggling with hours of homework. They offer suggestions on approaching the teacher to lighten the load for your kid and even working on developing a homework policy for an entire school district. The general consensus on experts in this area seems to be to focus on reading and no more than 10 minutes of homework per grade per night.

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