Homework was always meant to be supplemental to what's learned in school. But it seems like the workload has grown exponentially, and to the possible detriment of our children. Hell, even elementary school students receive take-home assignments and hefty work packets on an almost daily basis. It varies from classroom to classroom, to be sure, but homework seems to be more common than not. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much? And, perhaps, more importantly, what do elementary school students think about their own homework load? Is it as cumbersome as some of us parents believe it to be, or is it actually manageable and, perhaps, even fun?
My son is in preschool, and currently doesn't receive any homework. He did have one take-home project assigned — an all-about-you kind of assignment — that was, admittedly, extremely fun to work on together. The project didn't have a hard deadline, so there was plenty of time to work on it, and it was essentially open to interpretation, so every child in his class turned in something unique and different. In other words, it was great, but I know this assignment wasn't indicitive of homework assignments to come.
According to a 2007 Metlife study, 45 percent of students in grades three to 12 spend more than an hour a night doing homework. The same study found that six percent of students spend at least three hours a night doing homework. I’ve had friends share that their kindergarteners come home with 10-page packets for homework each night. Shouldn’t kids get to play more, discover more, and learn more in organic, hands-on ways? I thought I’d act some actual students what they thought about their homework load, and their answers, honestly, weren't too surprising: