Homework has many rewards, but it also comes with a plethora of cons. While the debate may rage amongst parents and teachers, the focal point should always be the students, and what is most beneficial for their education and life pursuits.
The prevailing school of thought tends to be to dole out homework in an attempt to increase student readiness for the following academic year. Homework, unfortunately, is often given not to reinforce concepts, but instead to complete busywork.
Homework should be assigned in moderation, and somewhat sporadically. Elementary school students do not need to be inundated with a plethora of questions to complete on a nightly basis.
Homework does not belong in elementary school for a number of different reasons. First and foremost, children need time to be children, to not have structure. This is crucial to their healthy development from a social aspect. Other factors include busy schedules, lack of support in the home, and misunderstood expectations.
When homework is not clear and concise, it can become an issue with the child and the parents. This can also lead to conflicts with the teacher, and frustration for the teacher as well.
When arguing for no homework in elementary school, it is important to remember that kids will be kids. After having spent a large portion of their day mired inside of a school, they want to get out and play, exploring the world around them. There is a lot to be learned outside of the parameters of a school classroom.
Children need time to play and be silly, a time where they can learn how to problem solve on their own, through unstructured play. Everything about school is structure and rules, and the children never have any say in these.
Playing a game of baseball without rules can be much more entertaining to children. Disputes can be settled on their terms, and this can be a very effective learning tool. Kids need this time to learn many valuable life lessons, such as fair play and sharing. There does not always need to be rules and score being kept.
Most elementary school children are inundated with busy schedules that they may or may not even want. To add to this with a pile of pointless busywork will teach them to resent school, rather than embrace it as a necessity for growth and maturity. Not having homework will allow the elementary school child the chance to enjoy their extra-curricular activities, whether they are organized sports, or random play.
Children do not want to bring home school work, they would much rather leave it at school once the day has been completed. Most adults despise bringing home work with them, so why shouldn’t children?
A fundamental lack of support in the home can also be a factor in the argument for no homework in elementary school. Many children do not have the supports in place to receive guidance with their homework. This poses an unfair advantage for the child that has ample assistance at home.
Parents are also sometimes a tad too ambitious, and take the brunt of the homework under their own wing to complete. This can lead to inflated marks, and an improper sense of self-esteem in some children. If all school work was completed while at school, then all children would be on the same playing field, which would be an even keel. This could drastically help boost the morale of many children.
A time to relax once school is over is essential. Children need time to decompress and place their focus and priorities elsewhere. Many children would benefit from not having homework because they would be able to spend more quality time with their parents or guardians, without homework frustrating them. These moments come and go quickly, and cannot afford to be missed or squandered.
By the time parents get home from work, and supper is prepared, there is little time left for family bonding. Add homework into the fray, and quality time quickly evaporates.
Misunderstood expectations can also be presented in the argument for not having homework in elementary school. The onus should be on achieving success, not having a child go home and become perturbed due to a lack of understanding. If the expectations were not clear to the child, or if the parent is unable to figure out the expectations, then the child may become disillusioned along the way.
If a child gets help at home, and the teacher lambastes them for poor work, the child will be conflicted with their allegiance when it comes to homework.
Not having homework in elementary school should be considered by all school boards as a mandate. If parents wish, they can do all sorts of educational work with their children, either as part of the curriculum, or just as a general knowledge. Parents and children need to spend time together, and it should not be spent frustrated and angry because of homework.
Compromises must be made, and the importance of school should not be questioned, just the rationale behind excessive amounts of homework.