Homework is a hot button issue among a lot of parents. But what should parents know about homework, according to teachers? Because while the debate rages on — online, at the dinner table, and in parenting groups — it's the people who are usually responsible for issuing (or not issuing!) that homework that are often left out of the conversation.
That there's a debate is understandable. Some parents (and educators) argue that homework has become too much; that children couldn't possibly have enough hours in a day to finish all their after-school assignments, especially when they're also involved in extracurricular activities. They point to studies that indicate that homework doesn't appear to have a significant effect on learning or academic outcomes. Others argue that homework is an essential tool for teachers regularly tasked with accomplishing more and more in the classroom, and with less and less support to get everything done that needs to be done.
To say I'm ambivalent about homework would be an understatement. As the parent of a soon-to-be-third-grader and a soon-to-be-kindergartener, it's something I've been dealing with for a while and thinking about a lot. On the one hand, I'm very much of the opinion that kids need time to kid — to run around and play and sometimes they just need to do nothing whatsoever and learn to be bored. On the other hand, I'm a goodie-two-shoes, grades-obsessed nerd and I want my kids to engage as fully in their education as possible. #JeSuisHermione And I believe in teachers, so I'm inclined to think that if they're assigning something there's a good reason.
Still, the struggle is real.
So I asked some teachers for their perspective and, to be honest, their answers were really refreshing. The real name of the game, it seems, is communication. If you're confused or concerned (or your kid is) talk with their teacher! They will take the time to try to make everything clearer. But for the specifics, I'll let them speak for themselves: