Please Don’t Give Us Homework!

There’s a “movement” to abolish homework, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Vigorous scrutiny of the research, they argue, fails to demonstrate tangible benefits of homework, particularly for elementary students. What it does instead, they contend, is rob children of childhood, play havoc with family life and asphyxiate their natural curiosity. Learning becomes a mind-numbing grind rather than an engaging adventure.

Who said all homework was mind-numbing? Perhaps these teachers should be thinking of more original alternatives than photocopied worksheets and such.

Who said homework has to impact family life? Here’s an idea — the parents become more involved in their children’s education and work with them.

Is this more of the no-wrong-answer-fuzzy-math theory of education?

In an era of more rigorous academic standards and vertebrae-straining backpacks, most American schools seem to be assigning more homework in earlier grades. For two decades, experts have propelled this trend with dire warnings that students in nations such as Japan are besting Americans because they diligently do more homework.

The problem is not the amount of homework we are or aren’t giving our students. It’s the time spent in actual instruction, particularly at the high school level.

  • The Japanese school year starts in April and consists of three terms, separated by short holidays in spring and winter, and a one month long summer break. (Source)
  • Japanese students spend 240 days a year at school, 60 days more then their American counterparts. Although many of those days are spent preparing for annual school festivals and events such as Culture Day, Sports Day, and school excursions, Japanese students still spend considerably more time in class than American students. (Source)

So it’s not just the amount of homework. Imagine that…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *