Blogs About Reading
Sound It Out
Dr. Joanne Meier
Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.
Do your kids ever feel this way? This was written by a 7 year old, a student facing many years of homework.
Homework has been around a long time, and has had its supporters and critics since the very beginning. Critics say homework cuts into quality family time and leaves students with no down time or time to pursue non-school interests. Proponents believe that homework teaches responsibility and provides important time to reinforce what is taught during the day.
The research on homework has produced mixed results, and it's clear that additional, carefully designed research is needed. The little research that has been done suggests this: homework doesn't help students who don't do it, but very likely does help students who actually complete their assignments. Not too surprising.
I think the quality vs. quantity issue is it for me. It's the every day, yearlong slog "read and record the title" type of reading log and the "write 5 sentences a day" writing journal that really get to me. On both, there's little feedback from the teacher and little to no individualization of the assignment. Once assigned in September, the same assignment and expectations exist in May. I think homework like this causes kids to form negative attitudes about reading and writing that don't serve them well as learners.
I don't think homework should be abolished all together (as some do) but I do think it needs to be more carefully considered and planned. What do you think?