Sunday, March 22, 2009

Homework....sometimes less is more

As a former student, I hated homework and everything about it. As a teacher, I know it can be a frustrating for both the parents and the students, so I try to send home a few items as possible. When I was a second grade teacher, the only thing I really had them do was read, and then they would record in their journal the title of the book, the page numbers, and a short reflection. What I really wanted them to learn was not going to happen at home, but rather in the classroom. So I just focused all my teaching efforts to make it as effective and efficient as possible. Unfortunately I do know that from time to time we had to do grade level projects where I can see the parent's influence from all different degrees. From writing, to building, to even creating the idea of it, the parents who I saw, had taken away the child's ownership and made it their own. While they might be trying to be helpful, is actually causing serious problems down the line when the projects become bigger and more important.

The Houston Chronicle, wrote a story discussing this very issue and explained that parents who tip over into doing the majority of the thinking and writing need to stop and back off. Helping them with thinking about how to solve it, is fine. Helping them write it and solve it while they watch is not. It's a hard and sometimes blurry line that parents have to deal with. So the rule of thumb is to try to do as less as you can.

How do you feel about homework? Do you notice that as teachers your parents are having more and more influence on it? As parents, are you finding that you are coming more and more to your child's aid?

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