The Great Homework Debate: Should Kids Have Homework?


The Great Homework Debate: Should Kids Have Homework?

The debate over whether kids should have homework has been a hot topic for quite a few years. It generates opinions on both sides. Some argue that homework is a crucial part of a child’s education, while others argue that it is unnecessary and can cause stress and anxiety in children. As a mom of an elementary student, a mom of a middle school student, and a teacher of high schoolers, I am not a fan of homework.

Yes, I said what I said. I do not like homework in any way, shape or form. 

I understand that proponents of homework may argue that it helps students reinforce what they learned in class. It could even be a way for students to practice new skills and help them develop good study habits. Homework can also be a helpful way to get parents involved in their child’s education. However, if parents are asking their kids questions about school, reading newsletters, and checking messages from teachers, parents should already be involved with their child’s education. Parents should not have to Google information in order to be involved with their child’s education. I have had to Google topics for 3rd and 4th grade science and math, as well as topics for middle school science and social studies just to help my kids with “homework.” It’s the worst! 

My perspective as a mom is that families with kids are busy, no matter the age. After school, some younger kids have practice, whether it be related to sports, music, or any hobby they may have. We live in a society that is go-go-go. Older students may have jobs. They also have social lives. Kids need some downtime from their long days at school. If you add homework assignments to the mix, there can definitely be some stress and anxiety. Students sit at school all day long, so they should not be required to do any extra work outside of school. There are some exceptions: if students do not finish their classwork, it could possibly become homework. And, of course, if they are absent, they are expected to make up the work on their own time, with teacher or parent guidance, if needed. Other than that, students should not have homework. 

My perspective as a teacher is that many kids do not like school as it is, so why give them extra work? Homework is often counterproductive. Teachers teach a lesson, then students practice in class by completing some type of activity from the lesson, only to also have to complete something else at home to reinforce the lesson? It’s not necessary, as students should be able to master the majority of material in class. Homework usually involves paper and pencil tasks, and it is not highly engaging or relevant to the real-world. In addition, giving homework adds more to a teacher’s plate and becomes one more thing that has to be graded. It’s not fun for anyone involved in the homework process: kids, parents and teachers. 

While homework has its potential benefits, the reality is that it can be a source of stress and anxiety for both kids and their families. As a mom and a teacher, I believe that in lieu of homework, kids should be encouraged to read and study. Kids need time to relax, engage in extracurricular activities, and spend time with their families. Instead of assigning homework, teachers can encourage students to read for pleasure and review class material in their own time, without the pressure of completing extra assigned tasks.

So let’s not give kids homework so parents can avoid those late night Googling sessions and kids can have more time to be kids outside of school.


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