Choose Your Own Adventure

I used to hate homework.

My school district requires third graders to do 30-45 minutes of homework/night, 2-4 nights/week.  I used to assign — and try to correct — traditional homework every night, with few results to show for all my effort.

My effort did earn me parents who complained that their child received too little/too much work, work that was too easy/too hard, and that it all ended in yelling/tears/slamming doors/a refusal to do anything except pout.

I started listening more closely to the national debate about the value of homework.  Some studies like Professor Harris Cooper’s work at Duke show that homework does benefit students (much more so older kids than elementary students) so long as the right work is assigned in the right amount.  Other sources argue from a parent’s perspective that homework is at best unnecessary, and at worst, hurtful to kids and families: The Case Against Homework (Bennett and Kalish) and The Homework Myth (Kohn). Continue reading