I would like to use this article as a springboard to emphasize something I have said many times, and that is that homework needs to be time bound. The author here highlights that children who are introverts have slower processing speed. This is important information for the teacher to know and it may have bearing on what that teacher expects in his or her class. But what happens at home? The processing speed issues are the same at home as they are in school, except that homework is an assignment whereas the school day is bound by the clock. It may be that the introverted child is getting the homework done, but at what cost? Is it possible that that child feels uncomfortable with others yet might benefit from having more social interaction, maybe not in a large group, but at least with a few other shy or introverted kids? Yet, homework can have a way of intruding on play time. Learning to interact despite one’s basic introverted nature is an important life skill. If homework is the be-all and end-all of education, and parents are dissuaded from using their judgment about what’s best for their children, teachers can end up creating excessive demands to complete assignments that are actually working against what that child needs.
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Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers, and Students, published by Wyndmoor Press.