This post originally appeared on the blog Mrs. Beattie’s Classroom.
Homework – to assign it or not. Is it useful? Does it actually benefit students? The debate rages on, and most people I know don’t really have the answers.
I’ve decided to share my two cents on the matter (round it up to 5 cents in Canada!), but please know in advance that these are simply my personal thoughts, based on 18 years in the classroom, not research findings.
The Case FOR Homework
Homework provides teachers with a platform for spiral review of class work. Assigning a handful of questions from a content area each night requires students to apply the skills they are learning in the classroom to new problems or contexts. Regular review, if done right, can allow a teacher to move forward more quickly in the classroom without having to spend class time reviewing concepts.
Homework gives parents the opportunity to stay connected with what is happening in the classroom. Parents get to see firsthand what their child is working on, which gives them the opportunity to help enrich this learning in the real world. For example, what better way to apply an understanding of fractions or measurement than by breaking out a favorite family recipe book?
Homework teaches our students about time management, how to organize their resources and how to prioritize their after-school activities. There are always things they are going to want to do more than homework, but this is also an important life lesson – sometimes we just need to sit down and complete the “must-do” activities before we get to the “want-to-do” activities.
The Case AGAINST Homework
Finally, I am a firm believer that kids need time to be kids. I’m not a parent myself, but I watch nieces, nephews, and students bounce from music lessons to soccer to kids’ club to church group… when do they get time to kick off their shoes and run in the dirt at the park?! I do think that time to just play can be as valuable.
You Can’t Please Everyone (or CAN you?!)
And if you’ve enjoyed the ideas in this post, I hope that you will share it with your friends or social media followers!
Erin has taught 2nd to 5th grade for the past 18 years in Ontario, Canada. She has Specialist qualifications in the field of Mathematics and strives to motivate and engage her students by creating high-quality hands-on resources. You can visit Erin at her TpT store, on Facebook, on Instagram, or at her blog, Mrs. Beattie’s Classroom.