Too Much Homework? This Dad Says to Ban Homework in Elementary School (What Do You Think?) by Mike Prochaska

Opinion Tip of the Day
2 years ago

Too Much Homework? This Dad Says to Ban Homework in Elementary School (What Do You Think?)

My kids get on the school bus at 8:15 and return from school at 4:15. They are at school for seven hours by the time they get home from school. They normally come home hungry and I have to feed them a snack, so by the time they are ready to play it is 4:30 or 5 p.m. That gives them three and half hours, or four if they eat fast, to play with their friends, explore outside, play games, use their imagination. Childhood is short, and children need time to be kids.

They have four hours to learn the way kids should learn through play. I don’t want to make them do these sight word worksheets they bring home – they just spent six and a half hours at school! It’s time for them to be kids and play. Sure, we play sight word bingo and it helps them learn their words, but I’m not going to force them to sit at table and write them all out. Children learn through play and they need time to play.

I think homework should be banned in elementary school. Studies has shown that homework doesn’t benefit young children. Instead of homework children should read for 20 minutes every day. Our kids read to us at least one book every day before bed and we read one book to them. Some days it’s more than one book because our kids are just getting excited about reading. But reading books is way more beneficial than any worksheet.

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Elisa Schmitz
Great points, Mike Prochaska ! It seems like there’s more homework than ever these days. I’m curious what our teachers think! Kim Kusiciel Melissa Stephens Renee Herren Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead Heather Bragg Teacher Karen
Kim Kusiciel
There is mixed research on this topic, for sure! My 5th graders just read a Time for Kids article about this and we did a poll after the reading and the class was tied. Half like having homework and the other half say it gets in the way of fun (play) and stresses them out. I think that it varies based on the child and their individual needs and goals. Some students need one extra chance to review or just to see it (whatever "it" is) and some just get it and can move on. Some children like the pure structure that homework provides and other children see it as a way to learn how to manage their time so they are not overwhelmed by this in the upper grades. This is all what my group of 26 ten and eleven-year-olds think, by the way... without any influence from me. As a teacher, I tend to walk the line between enough homework that they learn time management, mental planning, and organization skills and giving them time to be kids to learn and practice skills/topics of their own interest through organized classes or teams outside of school or for their own pursuit. I tend to give 10 minutes per grade level, the norm in my school district, per night. Some nights being less and others more... this is of course all dependent on how much they finished in class and how off-task they are while doing the work. There are many opportunities for working on homework during the day and therefore some kids leave without any homework to complete except reading. Reading for 20 minutes a day is a non-negotiable in my classroom, as is in many classrooms around the country. As a mom, I am divided. All of my kids have had different experiences in school, some have benefitted from the homework and others didn't need it. It all depends!! It sounds like Mike Prochaska is doing what works best for his kids and I can't say anything negative about that!
Marianne Clyde
I have always thought homework in elementary school added more unnecessary stress and was often redundant. Thanks for the article. I do like the point on reading 20 minutes.
Lemi-Ola Erinkitola
I agree reading at least 20 minutes is very important.
Teacher Karen
Young children ...and I'm talking specifically of children 8 and under) learn through play--forcing them to sit/memorize/do worksheets is counterproductive at best, possibly creating children who hate to home or school, but I agree when they finally get home they should RELAX, RECONNECT & RECHARGE! Reading together is a fantastic way to do all that as is getting outdoors! #PlayMatters #LeaveNoChildInside #ReadABookOr2
Donna John
I think there should be a little homework in elementary, like reading, sight words, a few math problems, etc., but nothing that takes hours. Kids need to learn to get in the routine of homework in elementary school, for when it really picks up in middle school. But they should definitely have time to play.

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