There is a lot of talk about homework these. People line up on both sides of the issue. Opponents of homework advocate for schools to let kids be kids and spend time with family. Proponents of homework insist that it teaches responsibility and gives kids needed practice. Where does our school and school district stand on this issue?
The current district policy is that students will read every night and do about 10 minutes per grade of other homework. In other words, read and 10 minutes for first grade, read and 20 minutes for second, etc. However, that policy is being discussed at the elementary level. Research on homework has elementary schools questioning the type and amount of homework we assign. We have talked about which practices will have a positive effect on our students and which ones won’t.
Educational Researcher John Hattie has reviewed studies on homework and concluded, “Homework in primary school has an effect of around zero.” He advocates not that we get rid of homework at elementary but that we change our attitude. Here are his bullet points:
- Don’t get over obsessed with homework.
- Five to ten minutes has the same effect of one hour to two hours.
- Homework should reinforce something you’ve already learnt.
We aren’t sure if or how the district policy will change, but many elementary schools are rethinking homework practices. If that scares you, you are not alone. Just take a deep breath; it will be ok. In the meantime, here is an interesting article on homework in elementary grades: Are Young Kids Doing Too Much Homework?