This past school year, my eldest daughter's teacher had an easy-breezy stance on homework. She did not assign very much, and she often gave the kids extra time during class to get it done. There were no extra projects, no weekend assignments, and nothing assigned over holiday breaks. Meanwhile, my daughter's dear friend — who attends the same school and is in the same grade — struggled nightly with her lengthy homework assignments. She had work to do every night, extra projects to complete, and assignments to complete over holiday break.
So who's the lucky kid in this scenario? Some might argue that my child is the lucky one — she has more time to play and spends less time stressing over assignments. Others might feel that my child was missing out on a key element of her education by not reinforcing what she was learning during the school day.
To be honest, I'm not really sure which camp I'm in, but it's debates like this one that have sparked a homework revolution between parents and schools all over the country. A New York Times
article reported that the school district in Galloway, N.J., is considering a proposal to limit weeknight homework to 10 minutes for each year of school — 20 minutes for second-graders, 30 minutes for third-graders, etc. — and ban assignments on weekends, holidays and school vacations. The school district in Pleasanton, Calif., is looking at a similar proposal.
Meanwhile, other schools around the country are introducing homework-free holidays, no-homework nights, and goal-work — instead of homework — that can be completed throughout the school day.
Most of these changes are in response to irritated parents who see lengthy homework assignments competing with what little family time they have each day. The documentary "Race To Nowhere" spurred more debate by highlighting the unnecessary pressure on kids in today's educational system.
But then there are the parents and educators who frown on coddling kids and support proposals to increase nightly and weekly homework assignments. The school board in Coronado, Calif., recently rejected a proposal to eliminate homework on weekends and holidays after some parents argued that this was when they actually had time to help their kids with homework and extra projects.
What do you think? Do kids today get too much homework or not enough?