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Homework or Not?

Yesterday Apollo asked Hezekiah to go downstairs and watch a movie with him. Brother bonding…isn’t that just the sweetest thing ever? Maybe…until Apollo added, “You’re my third favorite brother…and that’s a good thing out of seventeen!”. It looks like he needs to work on both social skills and math…what does his kindergarten teacher do with him all day anyway?

#largefamilyproblems

Apollo chooses his favorites...#largefamilyproblems

At least Tucker is learning something in school…mainly that he doesn’t like homework. 

Here’s a little sample of his writing that I found in his backpack recently:

Dear Dr. M (the principal), 

Don’t you just hate homework? Well I believe that homework should be banned. First, we learn enough at school. Second, we don’t have a lot of time after school. Third, we need to relax at home. 

First, we learn enough at school. Every subject, math, writing and so on. In fact we are smarter without homework, because we don’t have to stay up all night doing it. Then we’re tired and we can’t learn the next day at school. And most of all we don’t need it. We can survive without homework.

Second, we don’t have a lot of time after school. We need time to be with our family, and we can’t if we have homework. Plus, we stay up all night long doing homework such as writing, reading and math. As the old saying goes: “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. And we can’t be healthy, wealthy or wise.

Third, we need to rest at home. Everybody needs to, even the president. We need to rest so we can be healthy and active, so we can learn. If we don’t rest grade standards will drop to D-‘s at least. How would you like that? 

I believe that without homework, home would be happier, more relaxing and less stressful place. I believe that homework should be banned. They would say, “You need homework to learn” and I would say, “we learn enough at school.”

Sincerely,

Tucker

Who needs homework? These kids don't think they do!

Sheesh…I have no idea where this kid gets this stuff from! But I agree with both Tucker and Alfie Kohn. The studies just do not show that homework (especially in elementary schools) improves grades or tests scores. Let’s give those kids (and parents) a break…and let them have some serious downtime after school. 

What is your opinion on homework in elementary school. Do your kids have it? Some locals schools here have removed all homework in elementary grades but not, unfortunately, at my kids’ school. 

18 Comments

  1. Amy

    Tucker is a brilliant child! My kids are grown, but if I could get back their time spent doing homework, and my time either helping them or nagging them to get it done, we’d have had a much happier time. And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have wound up homeless… Kids need exactly what Tucker described. More time to be KIDS! I’d be very proud of him. He’s going to make a difference in life, I can just feel it!

  2. Anna

    4 of my 7 kids are in a traditional school this year for the first time (3 are still homeschooled). The school’s policy is 10 minutes a night per grade. So 1st grade gets 10 minutes, 2nd 20 minutes, etc. They don’t have homework on the weekends or holidays. I have found this to be very reasonable. I had no idea going into this year how it would be after hearing all the nightmare stories. Rarely does homework consume us for very long. My middle and high schooler also scheduled one study hall each in lieu of another elective class. This was intentional so that homework could be started and sometimes finished during school hours.

  3. Jessica

    I’m not a big fan of homework, I do like that it keeps me up on what they’re learning and the chance to cement concepts they may be struggling with.
    Perhaps on an as-needed basis? I know teachers don’t have time for each struggling child so I like being the support there. But my son who breezes through math maybe doesn’t need math homework, ykwim?

  4. Julie

    Our two oldest boys were in public school until grade 4 and grade 2. I had great relationships with most of their teachers. Every Monday they would come home with a homework packet for the week, AND were supposed to log a certain number of minutes per day reading (by themselves, with a parent, whatever).

    I had a discussion with the teachers:
    #1 Our lives are more enriching than busywork, and we would not be doing it.
    #2 If my kids were not completing their classroom work, we would finish it at home.
    #3 If they needed extra help because they were having difficulty grasping a concept/subject taught in school, we would work on that at home.
    #4 We read together a LOT (much more than ‘required’) and would not be logging it.
    Problem solved.

  5. Kris

    We have limited homework in ES. 15-30 min of reading depending on your grade and then typically a reasonable math sheet. They went to the reduced homework about 4 or 5 years ago.

  6. Ashley

    As someone who went through the public school system, I DO think *some* homework is beneficial
    I never once had homework from kindergarten through grade 8. Other than the occasional assignment or special project, I never had work sheets, or math problems, reading assignments or even studying to complete at home.
    As a kid I thought this was great – we’d get home from school, drop our bags and spend hours outside until it was time for bed.
    However, once I entered high school, homework hit with a vengeance. It was very very difficult to try and get into the habit of spending a few hours a night studying and completing assignments, and my grades definitely slipped.
    So I definitely am in the camp that a little bit of homework early on will help set good study habits for the future 🙂

  7. Jennifer

    I like to think that homework teaches my child that this is an expectation of him and even though he would rather do something else he must do what is asked of him…. Last year the teachers used a system that the kids would get a packet on Monday night and would have all week to complete it…It let us control the pace and still have lives (like for tonight when we had swim lessons and science night at school!)

  8. Desiree'

    I totally agree with Tucker. Would he be willing to come to JCBOE in NJ and tell them the same thing? I think they would listen to an outsider more readily than their own.

  9. wannabe1987

    I have siblings, not kids. they are 14 (8th grade) and 15 (9th grade). I have been at home during home work time before (i do not live at home). ITS A STRUGGLE. and by the time home work time rolls around, their meds (adhd, etc) have worn off and if you medicate them *again* theres another 4-8 hours of med in their system and how are they supposed to sleep?!

    I have had convo’s on fb/text with dad at 11:30p-12am before and he’s like ” just finished homework and went to bed, so i’m headed there too” and i’m like….that’s way too late! Esp cuz no meds, so dad has to nag nag nag nag *sit down and STARE at you till you get it done* nag nag nag. Dad doesn’t wanna nag (mom works nights at the hospital, so she doesn’t nag homework). no one wants to nag.

    less homework.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Wow! Thanks for sharing. Yes, what I hate is the lack of family time…if we are just nagging to finish chores and homework 🙁

  10. Christy

    Believe me! No parent loves helping with homework but I believe it sets them up for better work habits when they get to middle school. My son never had h.w, in elementary school and it was a BIG adjustment for him when he got to middle school, and it was only math and reading! My daughter(4th gr) on the other hand has quite a bit of homework and although it can be a pain ( for both of us, at times) I know that it won’t be such a “shocker” when she gets to MS. It forces her to be organized and plan ahead too.
    I also like to see what she is working on and get a sense of how she’s doing with it.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      This perspective totally makes sense…but my homeschool teens who had never been in a classroom before quickly adjusted to college classes (at age 16) and the homework that went along with it. The lack of homework (and classroom experience) didn’t seem to hinder them at all.

  11. Eliza

    What makes me angry is schools that expect parents to do the teaching. Many schools, for example, set up their literacy programs in such a way, that children whose parents can’t/won’t help with reading at home, automatically fall behind. Teaching is the school’s responsibility. Children should only be given homework that they can do independently.

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