Adventures of a K-5 Academic Technology Teacher & New(ish) Mommy

Thing 4 – “O Homework, O Homework”

on June 10, 2008

“O homework, O homework, I hate you, you stink. I wish I could wash you away in the sink…” Jack Prelutsky

After reading Mr. Meyer’s post about why he doesn’t assign homework, I got curious. I can only speak for myself, but I have a hunch that there are many others who feel the same way I do: Why am I so resistant to remove the homework component from my teaching? From Mr. Meyer’s experience, homework provided no benefit to the kids who really needed the extra practice. There goes the support for my theory.

Recently there has been some buzz in my school community about the role of homework in a child’s development. Some teachers have already jumped on the no homework bandwagon, but others are still struggling with how to get work done without sending practice, project work, reflections, reading, etc. home. I guess I’m stuck in the gray area. My students this past year told me that I hardly gave any homework…and I felt anxious and nervous when I heard this: nervous perhaps that I would get in trouble for not reinforcing material at home or nervous that I would be labeled as being “too easy.” I don’t want that kind of reputation. I don’t want a reputation at all. I’m beginning to think that maybe I should have felt proud by my students’ comments…

It’s clear that I need to be 100% invested in whatever homework decision I make in my classroom. I need to be able to support my argument for or against and explain that stance to my kids. My students and I need to be in agreement about the homework (or no homework) expectations. Here’s where the thinking comes in, thinking that is interrupted by my students’ voices echoing Mr. Prelutsky’s sentiments in my head.

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