Give Homework a Chance

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I’m a fan of homework.

There, I said it. I feel better now. Homework is something we come across on a long path of lifelong learning. I don’t believe in three hours of homework a night, or homework on something you haven’t learned anything about, but I do believe in a nightly recap of what you learned that day. Maybe it’s the teacher in me. Maybe it’s the knowledge I’ve gained watching those who come to college and don’t have time management skills outside of class because they never had homework. Or those who don’t have the best of study habits because they never needed to study outside the classroom. Or perhaps it’s those students who feel they can ignore me and my lessons because their parents have taught them they don’t need to listen to their instructors outside of class and send in “no homework at home” clauses.

Regardless of how I came to this conclusion, I think homework is important and vital to children’s education. I think it’s critical in learning study habits, developing time management skills, practicing and reviewing skills learned in school, and teaching respect toward your teachers (and consequently your elders). I think it not only teaches a student those life lessons, but it also gives a nice review of the days material.

Homework shouldn’t be so hard that it requires a parent to sit down with their child for ninety minutes of struggling to find an answer. If anything, that means a child needs more help in that subject in school. Now the parent is a direct line of contact with the teacher.

Many parents point out studies that say there’s no difference in having homework or not. However, as a researcher myself, I can tell you there is research for everything. Remember the egg scare of the ’90s? And comparing countries like Finland to America is pointless because the populations are so different: Finland is tiny and homogeneous, unlike the U.S.

What if, just what if, we all spent ten minutes a day reviewing what our kids learned in school? Have them complete a worksheet or two and then tell you about it. This could lead to fruitful conversations and deep thinking, allowing our kids could go into detail about what they’ve learned. And we as parents can see all the learning our kids do in a day, as well as give them individualized attention. I realize people don’t agree on the topic, but can we give homework a chance?

take a chance on homework

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