Most teachers assign homework according to school district and individual school requirements. Homework is given in different amounts to different ages and stages. Some teachers assign it only 4 days a week and some teachers have homework that extends into the weekend. Some parents want more, some less, and some insist on none at all. There are those parents who are completely hands off when it comes to homework while others take over the job and do some or all of it themselves. What is the purpose of homework, anyway? Is homework really giving students opportunities to practice concepts taught in class? For some students, research says homework is harmful. What kinds of feedback is best to challenge students and not cause stress? How much should homework count towards final assessments and grades?
Recently a colleague sent this to all faculty and staff. It got us thinking about the homework policy we have, how, and if, it is followed, and how we as a whole school, as well as individual teachers, articulate homework policies to students and parents. Homework has been talked about and reconsidered numerous times during my long career at this independent school. I am not surprised that it recycles and always becomes a hot topic because we are not sure we know the right answers. New research, different students, tuition paying parents with loud opinions, and now a more connected curriculum makes us think about homework, yet again.
This article speaks to making homework effective and worthwhile. How much and what kinds of homework do you assign? Does your school or school district have a written policy? What is it? Can students be exempt from homework at the request of a parent? What are your personal thoughts about homework?