America has long had a fickle relationship with homework. A century or so ago, progressive reformers argued that it made kids unduly stressed , which later led in some cases to district-level bans on it for all grades under seventh. This anti-homework sentiment faded, though, amid mid-century fears that the U. The 21st century has so far been a homework-heavy era, with American teenagers now averaging about twice as much time spent on homework each day as their predecessors did in the s. Even little kids are asked to bring school home with them. But not without pushback. As many children, not to mention their parents and teachers, are drained by their daily workload, some schools and districts are rethinking how homework should work—and some teachers are doing away with it entirely. Hillsborough, California, an affluent suburb of San Francisco, is one district that has changed its ways.
The Atlantic Crossword
When your child would rather be hanging out with friends, homework can be the ultimate drag. But those extra minutes and hours logged at home can help your kid get a leg up in the classroom. Here, the case for homework and how to help your kid succeed. Most Recent. Try surgeon! This Mom's Viral Rant About Homework is So Spot On We all want our children to grow up and succeed in the world, but this mom is so right when she says that homework is getting out of hand. Then, um, why are they doing so much of it?!
Are you a parent who helps the kids with their homework? Do you sometimes go overboard and do the homework instead of them? No doubt, it is a good thing to be a hands-on parent, but if you have been giving in when they start whining, is there a way to get them to work on the homework all by themselves? The answer is simple:. You need to stop cold turkey and you need to do it now. Instead of answers, what your children need when they have trouble grasping something is understanding and support. Ask them questions.
But maybe teachers just need to assign a different kind of homework. In , a second-grade teacher in Texas delighted her students—and at least some of their parents—by announcing she would no longer assign homework. Many other elementary schools seem to have quietly adopted similar policies. And psychologists have identified a range of strategies that help students learn, many of which seem ideally suited for homework assignments. A homework assignment could require students to answer questions about what was covered in class that day without consulting their notes. Research has found that retrieval practice and similar learning strategies are far more powerful than simply rereading or reviewing material. One possible explanation for the general lack of a boost from homework is that few teachers know about this research. And most have gotten little training in how and why to assign homework. Even if teachers do manage to assign effective homework, it may not show up on the measures of achievement used by researchers—for example, standardized reading test scores. Those tests are designed to measure general reading comprehension skills, not to assess how much students have learned in specific classes.