Method 5: NO HOMEWORK!!!

17 Apr

That’s right.  Dare I say it: What if there was no homework?  What would happen as a result?  Would students ever learn the value of good study habits and discipline?  How would parents stay in the loop?  Check out this interesting article I read recently:

http://www.edutopia.org/homework-no-proven-benefits

I feel like homework is automatically assigned in classrooms just because that’s the way it’s always been.  Our parents had homework, we had homework, so now our students must have homework.  As Alfie Khon points out, parents are conditioned to accept what teachers do with their child’s time and ultimately, when it comes to homework, their time as well.  I asked parents to give their testimonials of how homework affects their and their child’s life.

I began by asking how much time their child spends doing homework on a weekly basis.

The majority of students spend over five hours of their after school time doing homework.

I then asked if parents felt like this interrupted time that children could potentially be spending with family or friends and growing through extracurricular activities.

While most parents in this poll voted “No,” one parent did comment that their children had to quit certain extracurricular activities due to having too much homework.

In my experience, it seems as if homework is a thing of the past.  Teachers, students, and parents have all been conditioned to accept homework as necessary.  However, it seems that is a major annoyance to all involved.  Teachers don’t want to have to create and grade it.  Parents don’t want to have to do it when they get home from work.  Students certainly don’t want to spend another five hours of their week doing work.

It seems that five hours a week dedicated to learning creativity through art lessons or learning teamwork through football practice would create a stronger the development of the whole students, not to mention they would be doing enjoying the development.  Something to think about!  Maybe as part of my homework policy, students could opt out of homework assignments by participating in other activities that their parents could verify.

Khon also points out in his article that there are no studies to back up the positive effects of homework.  Perhaps there are none.

I asked parents as well as teachers if they agree with this way of thinking.

Around seventy percent of both groups thought that a no homework policy would not be beneficial to students.

Pros:

  • Students have more free time to develop other important character traits such as creativity and team building.
  • Parents do not have to worry about making sure assignments are finished on a daily basis when they come home from a busy day at work.
  • Teachers do not have to spend time creating or searching for homework assignments.
  • Class time is not lost correcting homework.

Cons:

  • Parents do not get to see firsthand the learning processes that their child.
  • Students do build effective study habits.

Would I be willing to use this method in my future classes?

I think I may be willing to consider it.  I’m not sure that I could go to absolutely no homework.  As I have already stated in earlier posts, I feel that there are some assignments that have to be done daily in order to build a strong foundation for learning (reading daily, practicing math facts, and practicing spelling and vocabulary words).  In addition, I feel that some practice every week is important, but could possibly be done at any time and not on a specific night.  Finally, this new idea that just hit me is that students could opt out of homework by participating in extracurricular activities.  While I do agree that homework is negative on some levels, I don’t think that I could completely get rid of it.

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