Elementary Students may not Benefit from Homework

To make a good evaluation and argument against having homework one must understand some of the objectives of homework. A recent study of elementary school teacher suggested the following reasons for homework.

*to give the parents the opportunity to what is happening in the classroom and be more involved with the teaching of their children

*to re-enforce the lesson that was taught in school

*to give those students a time and way to get the extra practice they need to learn a concept

*to help families stay engaged with classroom lessons and activities

After reviewing the reasons that homework is being sent home, perhaps other arrangements could be made between the parent and teacher that would help to accomplish the same goals. It would take a lot more work on the part of the teacher as they may have to individualize things a lot more. However, if the results are good most teachers in the study seemed to believe it would be a worthwhile project. They claimed it would be worth time and they would be willing.

Here is what teachers think it would take to eliminate the homework.

*More communication between parents and teachers

*Commitment by parents to supplement learning with activities – below are some ideas the teachers suggested

~ Outdoor exercise and play for at least 30 minutes

~ Review of material as provided by teacher

~ Use math in connection with chores (Can you get me two potatoes? Thank you. Can you get me three potatoes? Great, how many potatoes do have to peal now?)

*Student taking responsibility

Although a schedule of testing and material would be sent home, it would be up to the student to do extra things if required. For example, a list of vocabulary and spelling words would be provided to the students and parents. It would be up to them to find a way to study and be prepared for the exam if the in-activities were not sufficient.

Teachers would expect an initial decline in grades and more involvement from home. Then they would hope for a marked improvement over all.

*In class activities would need to be more focused on learning the materials than preparing for testing.

The approach in the classroom would change focus to teaching the basics and leaving the reinforcement to other activities. For example, they may write the spelling words in a sentence. They may shape them out in clay. They may write them in sand. What would not happen is the mid week test that would be sent home as homework. The time to take the test would be replaced with a learning enrichment activity.

Could it work? Certainly. The key is cooperation.