Parents from around the country sound off on whether their kids are getting too much or not enough homework, or if the homework just amounts to busy work.
How much time should we be spending arguing about the amount of homework our students should be taking home? Is it the amount that really matters? I am not convinced that sending worksheets home for students to complete is having any effect on their grades or academic success. What our students need is meaningful and purposeful homework. If they are going to be doing things at home, it should be extending upon what they have done during the school day. As stated in the article, if the skill has already been mastered, why bother doing more rote rehearsal at home? It is unnecessary and redundant.
One thing that remains unclear is how to use homework to help students who are struggling with a particular skill or subject. If they cannot do it in class, how will they be able to do it at home? I believe that what struggling students need is a way to apply the skill to something outside of school. For example, if the students are learning addition, have them do an engaging assignment at home where they use things from around their house to add. Instead of staring at a piece of paper, they will be creating their own manipulatives to scaffold their learning. I have tried this out with my own first-grade class and seen positive results. These real life examples of how to apply their knowledge outside of school anchor their understanding. When they are able to see the usefulness of what they are learning, they are more motivated to do so.