What Parents want Teachers to Know: 2. Homework

Homework: Oh joy! Parents look forward to their child’s returning home from school so they can share the delights of homework. And little children, after their six hours of effort, naturally come home full of enthusiasm for more of the same. Not!

And it appears to be universal: the disruption of helping a young child with homework, when they are tired and distracted; while attempting to prepare the evening meal, provide snacks, help unpack the school bag, check on lunch consumed (or not…thanks school for your diligent supervision), have light conversations with them, settle sibling disputes, perhaps arrange for a play with friends, or even to do some little chores around the house makes a fair crack at homework complete family drudgery.

Given that the research base on homework shows no discernable beneficial effect and plenty of detrimental results, please, just don’t bother with it. If you can’t teach effectively in 6 hours, change jobs. If you want me to help you do your job, then pay me.

On the other hand, given that research can’t identify any benefit, I’ll do it in a few minutes. Then our family will have a reliably pleasant evening instead of one fraught with tension. The calm evening will help prepare for the next day of school, and the teacher can mark work done by someone with more degrees than they have.

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