I am not a big fan of homework, either as a student or a teacher. As a student I found homework to more often than not be busy work and I quite honestly worked hard to take the easy way out of homework as often as possible (I know, I’m a great role model). Yet, I was very successful in school – both because I was able to learn during class and because much of school is not really learning (I’ll save that discussion for another post).
As a teacher, I do not often give homework. I find that in order for students to remain mentally engaged and for me to be able to help them through struggles, I need to be available. If I thought my students could learn the content I am teaching by reading the book and answering questions, I would probably not be pushing them in meaningful ways.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for practice or application and do assign homework. Yet, I do wonder if students who are able to learn from in class activities ought to be required to complete homework. Are we legitimately wasting these students’ time?
Another thought I have had concerning homework includes the ridiculous belief that students should get X minutes of homework per grade level. Most adults do not bring home that much work and why would we expect students to spend 9 hours a day working. No wonder we have lost childhood. When I was in college, I was in class for five hours, every other day (on average). So we ought to expect more from 8th graders than from college students???
Of course there are many lessons such as responsibility that can be taught with homework, but the idea of homework for homework’s sake is an idea I think we can afford to forget.