A network to share best practices for children with special needs
I am actually writing this blog while my daughter, who is eight years old and in the fourth grade, is doing her homework. She has been working for over two hours, and I can see the exhaustion on her face. The problem isn't that I think she has too much homework, but that she is not being taught the curriculum enough in school, turning homework time in the evening into teaching time by the parents. The idea of homework is to review what was learned that day/week in order to help newly learned concepts sink in. Not every school, teacher or child falls into this category, and, many times, homework is much more than just review.
After asking a few parents, some say kids are overwhelmed while others say the amount of homework is appropriate. Research from the NAEP (national assessment of educational progress) shows that there are differences and variations across communities, but, overall, kids aren't doing a large amount of homework. Etta Kralovec, author of the book The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning disagrees. Harris Cooper, professor of psychology and director of the education program at Duke University says, “parents are correct in saying that they didn't get homework in the early grades and that their kids do.” There seems to be an increase in homework for kindergarten through second grade - from zero to 20 minutes a day - which has changed in the last quarter of a century. Some say the increase in homework may be from parents who feel more is better and want their children to be competitive to get into good schools later. Teachers may feel the pressure to give more homework in the hopes their children will perform better on national tests. One thing we do know is that all children nowadays are getting homework, and maneuvering the homework realm has become increasingly important.
We have some good recommendations in reference to homework which includes "The 10-Minute Rule" formulated by the National PTA and the National Education Association. “The 10-Minute Rule” states kids should be doing about 10 minutes of homework per night per grade level. In other words, 10 minutes for first graders, 30 minutes for third graders and no more than two hours for 12th graders.
Making Homework Productive: Suggestions and Tips
-Use the “10-Minute Rule.”
-Decrease homework distractions such as siblings, television and digital devices.
-Do homework in a comfortable environment and a flat surface to write on.
-Allow children to choose when to do their homework (some kids need to relax when they get home and others are geared up and ready to work as soon as they get home from school). Follow their lead when they feel most productive.
-Be creative. For example, I have my kids do their homework on the glass window with window markers to keep them interested with a sensory approach.
-Use a Time Timer for kids who need motivation with timed feedback.
-Overall, support your child in doing their homework, and give your child positive feedback.
Do your kids have too much, too little or is their homework just right? Please share in the comments section below.