Jessica informed me that I rambled quite a bit on my last post about homework and wasn’t coherant enough. She’s right. I did ramble quite a bit but that’s only because this is an emotional subject for me. I’m quite impassioned about it and its proving to be very difficult to be impartial and just look at the studies. Last year we (Jessica mostly) had the homework fights, this year we started to and ended up where we are now. I tend to ramble because I want to explain the basis of my position, and because I really don’t understand how the school system got to this point. I’ve been having a hard time wrapping my head around how these policies came to be in the first place and how we let them get so far out of control.
I will also point out that after speaking with more of the parents in my son’s first grade class that the homework fights seem to be universal. All of the parents I’ve talked to are having the same problems getting their kids to do homework. There is fighting, screaming and crying coming from both the parents and the kids. Everyone is tired and this greatly diminishes play time and family time.
That being said, in this post I’ve decided not to ramble (I know, too late) and just post some of the reference material I’ve been studying.
- Goodbye to homework for some elementary schools and classes – an AP story that highlights the positive effects teachers have seen with reduced homework load
- Study Shows Early Bedtime Has Lasting Impact On Kids – Discusses the positive benefits of an earlier and consistent bedtime, something that is often overlooked with a high homework load
- Homework in America – A Brown Center Report on American Education a long read full of interesting statistics and facts on the history of homework in the United States
- French president pushing homework ban as part of ed reforms – A Washington Post article about the education reforms being proposed by French President François Holland
- Nonacademic Effects of Homework in Privileged, High-Performing High Schools – A study that examines the relationships between homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement
- Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework – A Stanford study that links too much homework with stress and physical health problems
- The relation among sleep duration, homework burden, and sleep hygiene in chinese school-aged children – Explores the effect of sleep hygiene on the association between homework and sleep duration
- Homework could have an impact on kids’ health. Should schools ban it? – Examines homework on kids and the negative effects it may be having
- Who invented homework, anyhow? – Everyone hates homework, so why do we still have it?
- NEA Reviews of the Research on Best Practices in Education – Urging schools to take a fresh look at homework
- Is a ‘no homework’ policy beneficial for students? – A local (to me) article about a teacher who took on a no homework policy and talks about its effects
- The Homework Problem – Discusses our homework culture
- Down with Homework! – Scholastic discussing The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn
This list could go on and on, but suffice to say a lot of studies are being done now and deserve consideration by our schools and their administrators. The status-quo doesn’t seem to be working anymore.
Lastly, here is a TEDx talk from Pasi Sahlberg, an educator from Finland. Its not directly related to homework, but it speaks to education as a whole and how we’re doing it wrong here in the US but can’t seem to realize it. Its worth the watch.