Many parents are surprised to see a flood of projects and homework sent home with their kids starting as early as Kindergarten. Combine a snack-hungry 5-year-old with a math worksheet and you’ve got a parental nightmare.
Still, that angst would — one could at least argue — be worthwhile if it meant greater scholastic achievement. There is very little evidence to suggest that homework is anything more than a hassle when it’s assigned to young children. Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St.
After all, doesn’t homework teach grit and responsibility to kids that desperately need it? “But it’s a very simplistic view to suggest that homework teaches them responsibility and to delay gratification. “The truth is that everything has to be put in balance,” she says.
“If you want your child to learn perseverance give them some chores at home.
Back in August 2016, an elementary school teacher’s note went viral after it effectively banned homework from her classroom.
Parents (and many teachers, for that matter) seemed to welcome this policy with open arms, sharing the note on social media and wishing their own schools would follow suit.In a statement to Babble at the time, the school district outlined the reasoning behind this decision, which would affect all elementary school students in the district: “Superintendent Dr.Heidi Maier eliminated the everyday, meaningless taxing homework many students dealt with every night in the past,” the statement reads.Louis and author of What is, however, a bit harder to understand is the nature of the “they.” Who wants to give young children homework and why?The answer has a lot to do with ideas about education that don’t make any sense if recontextualized within the body of research on developmental psychology.“Teachers and possibly schools confuse homework with rigor,” Vatterott says.“Trend-wise, what’s happening across the country, is that we’ve started to see an increase in elementary schools eliminating homework, or saying that homework is just to read or be read to,” she says, though she notes that achievement-obsessed schools are obstinate holdouts.And it could be that some parents are holdouts too. There is virtue to struggle and to responsibility, but homework is really more of an obligation than anything.“A struggle is good when there is a success at the end of the struggle,” suggests Vatterott.Richard Allington, who has argued that reading is a much more effective form of after-school enrichment than homework.Other research seems to come to similar conclusions, especially at the elementary school level.“All this homework is also changing the dynamic of parent-child relationships,” she tells .“It certainly isn’t making learning fun, and learning doesn’t just happen at school.”Hirsh-Pasek acknowledges that practice is necessary for learning, but she rejects the idea that said practice must be completed through worksheets and homework packets.