Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Missing Out on Their Childhoods

Chapter 1 -  The Homework Myth


Other critics, meanwhile, offer a stronger objection, arguing that there is a principle involved: Schools shouldn't be dictating to families how any of their children's time in the late afternoon or evening must be spent.

The mystery deepens in light of the fact that widespread assumptions about the benefits of homework - higher achievement and the promotion of such virtues as self-discipline and responsibility - aren't substantiated by the available evidence

Homework isn't limited to those times when it seems appropriate and important. Most teachers and administrators aren't saying, "It may be useful to do this particular project at home." Rather, the departure seems to be, "We've decided ahead of time that children will have to do something every night (or several times a week). Later on we'll figure out what to make them do."

Kohn explores 5 effects of homework:
  1. a burden on parents
  2. stress for children
  3. family conflict
  4. less time for other activities
  5. less interest in learning 
Two of these really stand out for me as a parent...(I also like that Kohn says anyone that promotes "more homework" should actually have their own children of homework age to understand the reality each night) family conflict and less time for other activities. As a huge advocate of "free time and play" I am looking for serious reasons why a second shift of school must happen everyday in our home - Jennie

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1 comment:

  1. Hello and thank you for this post. I don't see comments yet but expect they will come.

    I would like to add to this the issue of shifting the achievement burden. I constantly see higher and higher goals set for 6 year old Kintergartners. It is to the point where they expect 6/7 year olds to read and write complete paragraphs when in many cases reading is not even age/brain appropriate. Instead of learning what is important at this age (sharing, trust, waiting for your turn, etc.) these kids are just being taught to hate school.

    The push to excel/compete should come where it is age/brain appropriate--the secondary grades.