Does Homework Help Kids To Learn: An Expert's Opinion
At the start of every school year, homework becomes the central focus in many homes. Kids wonder why they have to do it at all when they would rather be playing outside, and parents are concerned about whether or not the work is being done. Does doing homework really help our children to learn? Are we just wasting their time?
Homework ban attempts are not new. France's President, Francoise Hollande, proposed a ban for all primary and middle school students in 2012. The Wall Street Journal ridiculed this decision vocally. A school in Germany decided to actually get rid of it for students in grades five to nine in the same year. An elementary school in Quebec, Canada, the College de Saint-Ambroise, banned all homework for children in grades one to six for a trial period of one year.
When schools decide to abandon out of class work it makes the news in a bid way. What we never seem to hear though, is what happens after. The closest we can come to being able to see the results is Finland. Very little is assigned to students in Finland, yet they have some of the world's highest test score results.
History of the debate
This intense debate has a long history. As far back as the 1920s, physicians were starting to become concerned about the impact of homework on the health of students. Their argument was that kids need between six to seven hours daily of sunshine and fresh air. The editor of Ladies Home Journal, Edward Bok, called for an end to the practice in the 1930s. During the rest of the 20th century, various research reports were used dismiss or support the practice, yet it still persists despite the lack of clarity on how much educational value it has.
Parents who want to connect with their children after a long day at their job in meaningful ways should remember that they have a right to uninterrupted family time. They should also listen to what their children have to say about the impact working on assignments after school is having on their lives. Too much homework may not be the best thing, especially for children who are younger. Families who are interested in their children having less to do can find support and advice from the rapidly growing movement, Healthy Homework.