Homework. I have no problem saying, as a parent and educator – I HATE HOMEWORK!
I tell everyone. I tell students I hate homework. I tell my daughter I hate homework. I tell parents in conferences and parents of my daughters teachers in conferences – I hate homework. And when they look at me and say but they need homework. My response is always the same – “Why?” “Please tell me why your child or my child NEEDS homework?”
And that’s when the tried and true responses start. Sometimes.
The list of reasons I have heard a child NEEDS homework is endless, some of the responses include:
- “How else will I know that they are learning?” – (and I think okay fair enough. You would like to know what your child is doing in school. Ask them.)
- “They need the practice.” – (and I think they have practiced for 90 minutes in school, what is the 10 minutes at your kitchen table going to do?)
- “It helps them learn “it” better.” – (and I think actually it doesn’t hurt them unless of course they keep flipping the co-sign and drilling into their brains the wrong mathematical formula.)
- “Because everyone should have homework.” – (and I think, you only believe that because you were forced to do homework.)
As a lifelong learner I always seem to find myself with homework. Finishing a spreadsheet. Or editing a report. There’s always something that needs to get done. Maybe it is because I get side tracked during the school day working with my staff on whatever is pressing. Maybe it is because I take on a lot, too much. Maybe it is just because I hate homework so much the homework gods punish me with more. Either way homework seems to be a huge part of my life.
While the research in the US is mixed on homework, I find it harder and harder to believe that homework is the difference between a student passing and failing and the Finnish seem to prove my belief that homework is not needed. In this infographic, homework clearly is not needed in the Finnish educational system;
If the role of school is to educate our youth then why is it that so many of us fall back on homework as part of the reason a student is not meeting or exceeding expectations. Finland is one example of why we don’t need too. Instead of relying on what they don’t do when they are not with us, we should be relying on the teachable moments each and everyday to make sure that they reach their potential and have the tools to maximize on the teachable moments in the future.