Thursday, August 23, 2012

Less homework means more learning

Today’s featured items from the news is an article by Anne Michaud, “Less is more when it comes to homework.” The article highlights information that those of us who have been following the homework debate know so well. The more voices sharing this message the better.

Michaud speaks in terms of public policy. As I’ve mentioned before, it is hard to find consensus among parents and teachers in the publicdebate because everyone has a different point of view. But the principles that Michaud highlights are still true, regardless of what the teacher assigns and regardless of what the school’s policies allow.

So I encourage all parents to take charge of their ownhomes, and make sure that they make their own decisions about how much homework their children are allowed to do.

This will play out differently in elementary, middle, and high school. In elementary school, for sure, you are the one in charge. In middle school, you need a method to balance the complex demands that are coming in on your child from multiple teachers. By high school, it will be harder to take control and your child is at a point where he needs to fend for himself. You may also get confronted by choices between the more advanced classes your child may qualify for, where it would be hard to say no to homework demands, and more mainstream classes where there might be homework relief but at the cost of the college preparatory classes your child needs.

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