Listen, I’ve heard this argument for well over thirty years. There’s never been a satisfactory answer, at least not to me. But even when I WAS in school, it was a well-worn argument that apparently would never have any resolution. Should homework be included as a part of a child’s education? Should students be expected to perform school work and studies once they leave the classroom and go home? The answer to that question depends on which side of the fence you fall on.
Personally, I was always the kind of student who managed to get most work done within the confines of the classroom. YEs, I know! That sounds like bragging. And it probably is. My parents never really had to pester me to read or study or do anything that would be considered studying, because I usually did it on my own. But when I did get homework, I knocked it out of the park first thing.
But even in modern times, what does this say about our modern educational system? When I know that my son has spent seven to eight hours in the care of the school system, I usually feel that it’s inappropriate that I have to push my child to perform schoolwork outside the confines of his classroom. I consider that if I put in an 8-hour shift at work, I assume I can relax and unwind when I finally get home to my family. Familial obligations considered, of course. So why wouldn’t the sam be true of my son, who is only a child?
Honestly, my personal opinion is that if one’s lesson plan is properly drafted and executed, then students should be in a position where they need to do “school work” once they get home. This doesn’t include studying things that may be coming on a given day. For example, if my son has a spelling test at the end of the week, he can fully expect that he’ll be practicing that shit at home. But serious homework assignments should take a bench and wait for the following day, if the teacher hasn’t managed to fit it in to his or her full day of class.
Do you agree with this perspective? Let’s consider that some students have extracurriculars to consider. In Canada, many students will participate in dance, hockey or martial arts outside of class hours. If they spend an 8-hour day in school then head off to said extracurriculars, that leave very little time for homework. And extracurriculars are extremely important. They can help train and groom a perspective youth for the future. But by the time I usually got home from karate, I was ready for a hot shower and bed. Homework was about as far from my mind as it could get.
Nowadays, I deal with my 5-year old who complains that if he isn’t in school, he shouldn’t be doing schoolwork. I hate to agree, but he has a point. You wouldn’t be expected to put in a shit-ton of work beyond your 8-hour shift. So, why are our children expected to do schoolwork once at home? It’s definitely food for thought, because I’m straddling a sharp, splintery fence where this issue is concerned. I think there are some things that NEED to be passed on to be completed at home. But for the most part, home should be where kids can do what they do best: be kids. ☯