By Amy Putman, Elementary Principal
Homework. I did it in school. You did it. Your child probably does it. But why? Have we come to expect it as the norm because ‘that’s the way it’s always been’? The arguments for homework are simple. It’s review of skills that have been studied in school. It’s an opportunity to create a project that can’t be completed within the realms of the school day. It’s an easy way for students to finish work that they weren’t able to complete during the school day. But does it truly help?
The amount of time that families truly have together, outside of school, jobs, sports and other extracurricular activities is not much. Throw in the time to complete the daily amount of homework – and you may have just enough time to eat dinner before you need to put your child to bed. Why are we continuing to uphold this tradition? Why do we keep putting the stresses of assignments on families that are not necessary?
It needs to stop. It has been proven that homework does not have a substantial impact on learning. In the early grades, homework is simply not necessary. Children need time – unstructured time. They do not get enough of it.
When I was given the opportunity to found a school, I wanted to make sure it had all the components for a great center for learning. One thing you will not find in our school – homework assignments. Families need time at home to simply be together – without constraints from school. Our students have not suffered. They are learning and mastering skills as we expected they would. They are on pace to finish the year proficiently in reading and math.
Students don’t need more homework – they need time to be kids.