Homework in Grade school

Homework in Grade school

Ok, so a hot topic.
Is homework actually helping our students in the learning process or not. After spending some quick time on the internet it looks like you can really validate your thoughts either way.
Here are some resources to check into:

So the standard that is pretty consistant is the “10 minute rule”. So a maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. So, a second grader could have up to 20 minutes of homework and a sixth grader 60 minutes and so on.

For this poll lets just set aside the debate at middle school and high school, but instead focus just on grade school. So K-5th grade, should we as teachers be assigning homework to kids? What do you think?

12 thoughts on “Homework in Grade school

  1. Buy yourself “Ditch the Homework!” by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler – you won’t regret it. I think kids need a break!

  2. I personally do not give out homework, because it is not the nature of special education. Although the general education teachers at my school (K-6) assign homework. This consists of students read or be read to at least 20 minutes a day and practice basic math facts or sight words for no more than 10 minutes a day.

    1. So, it is strictly just reading and math you think that they focus on? Growing up in a house where my mom was a librarian I totally get the reading. Although it is often the kids who need it the most that have the hardest time (because of some sort of turmoil at home). How do we make sure that we are not overwhelming kids, but also help the kids that need it the most?

      1. For the most part, it is only focused on reading and math. I think you hit on a key point that we don’t want to overwhelm kids but also give them the support they need. Our teachers offer a lot of options to work on reading and math, through computer based games and materials at their independent level.

  3. So, I have taught for 12 years and have been all over the place with homework! As a parent, I have two grade school aged boys and neither had homework last year. There was a certain relief to know that they didn’t have a mound of homework at the end of the day and we avoided lots of family drama.

    However, I am going to read and do a little learning each night with my boys. I like to stay connected to their learning progress. Nothing major but at least 30 minutes of reading, writing, or a math game. I would like that learning to tie into what they are learning in class.

    As a parent, I just want to know where they are in their curriculum and learning. If it is not a little bit of extension homework or practice, then I feel teachers should send a weekly email or newsletter that informs families of what is being learned that week.

    I don’t believe in tons of homework. Kids should be kids at the end of the long school day. However, involving parents in a small way is not necessarily a bad thing.

  4. Great idea for a poll, Dan! This is indeed a hot topic. Our high school has gone from one extreme to another (3 hours of homework each night to no homework) and has finally settled somewhere in between. At the elementary school, we’ve scaled back on homework a lot. As I am a specials teacher (I teach tech) I am not allowed to give homework, which I like! However, I personally lean toward the no homework policy.

    1. Becky, wow, what a ride from moving to lots of homework to none and then settling the middle. What was the rationale for such drastic moves? Where learning outcomes effected by the change? Seems like a great case study in the larger discussion of the homework issue.

  5. This is such a hot topic with everyone in education and everyone has their opinion. The thing that I wish, being a middle school teacher for the past three years, is that all the teachers in the fifth grade be consistent on what they do. We have about ten fifth grade teachers and some of them give a ton of homework and some give a little and some give none. This makes it very difficult to maintain consistency within my classroom because they all come in with very drastic expectations. I have not seen any trends with my students homework completion depending on which kind of teacher they had before, but I do wish that it was a school decision instead of being left up to the teachers. Great post on a hot topic!

    1. Ryann, Great point about the consistency and how it effects others at different levels. Totally makes sense, but not something that I had really thought about. Have you noticed any learning outcome differences between kids coming in with lots of homework and some coming in with none. I realize that this could be all across the board based on many factors but on the whole I would be curious as to what you see in the kids coming from different expectations.

  6. I wonder what AP/IB teachers think of this debate. I can’t foresee them saying it’s even possible for AP students to learn everything they need to for the test if there weren’t homework. Thankfully, as an elective, I can do what I want, and since I like to keep an eye on what my German students are doing (it’s waaaaay too easy for kids to go home and, if they actually do their work, cheat nowadays. Online translators are the bane of my existence), I don’t give much out. It’s more for me to grade, anyway, and with 5 different preps, why create more work for myself?

    1. Good question about the AP students. Although, based on my limited expertise most of those students tend to be driven students. Also, in the AP classes I would hope the homework would be more focused on the learning as opposed to busy work that many students get. And you are right in that if it really doesn’t work for the student (or they can easily “cheat” )then it just ends up being more work for the teacher as well. Your time could be better spent planning more engaging lessons and assignments that stimulate thinking and can’t just be run through an online translator. Great comments, thanks for your feedback.

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