Is Schoolwork Enough?
“I have homework” are words an adult never wants to hear from their child on a Monday night at 8 o’clock. When children are in elementary, homework is a job for both the child and parent. Although a no homework policy may be music to parents’ ears, recently a Texas teacher’s letter went viral and has caused communities of learners across the country to ask the question: is schoolwork enough?
Samantha Gallagher, a mother of an elementary student, posted a picture of a letter that her daughter’s teacher sent home. The letter said, “Dear parents, after much research this summer, I am trying something new. Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day. There will be no formally assigned homework this year. Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.”
As for schools in Mississippi, it is unknown if any teacher has used this same homework policy. Syreeta Lindsey, a mother of 3 children, believes a lot of schools should consider this homework policy. Lindsey said, “I believe that it is very important for children to be able to eat dinner with their families, read together and get to bed early because that will help them focus more in class and perform better at school.” Lindsey also thinks that too much homework can cause stress.
While many parents believe teachers should do away with homework, some teachers feel the complete opposite about the policy. Kelsey Bowman, a third grade teacher, states, “I believe homework after school helps the students. However, I think the children benefit the most when the teacher is able to go over the homework the next day. This will allow the students to understand any misconceptions they may have had.” Bowman’s students work on school work for about 5 hours of the day and the homework she sends home with her students will typically take about fifteen to thirty minutes to finish. She believes homework will help the child grow more as an individual. Bowman also considers the viewpoint of a parent, “I think I would still want my child to have homework. It teaches the child responsibility not only at school, but at home as well. I also think the child should not have homework that will take them more than thirty minutes to complete. The child needs time to do afterschool activities, spend time with their families, and just be a kid.”
It is important to encourage kids to do their homework. It may be a job for both the parent and the child during elementary years, but it will help prepare the child for the future. Remember, balance is key. It’s also important to let the child have time to be active and have fun.
By Tanner Aby