Dad Podcast

Why Elementary School Kids Should Not Have Homework – Dudes To Dads Ep 77

It’s back to school time. This means routines, schedules, and chaos. You must listen to this episode!  It’s really important that parents, teachers, and administration hear this.

We first discuss some of the benefits of homework,

10 Benefits of Homework by John Bishop, Author of Goal Setting For Students:
Homework teaches students about time management.
Homework teaches students how to set priorities.
Homework helps teachers determine how well the lessons and material are being understood by their students.
Homework teaches students how to problem solve.
Homework gives students another opportunity to review the class material.
Homework gives parents a chance to see what their child is learning in school.
Homework teaches students that they have to do things, even when they don’t want to.
Homework teaches students how to take responsibility for their part in the educational process.
Homework teaches students how to work independently.
Homework teaches students the importance of planning, staying organized and taking action.

I won’t argue that these are good things to learn, but there are other ways to learn these items too. For elementary school kids, I think there are more engaging and interesting ways to learn.

2 really powerful people in this arena:

Harris Cooper of Duke University – considered the country’s leading homework researcher has published numerous studies around homework.

Sara Bennett – Co-author of The Case Against Homework started Was successful in changing rules at her kid’s schools

Here are two articles that really help explain the research findings:
Why Parents Should Not Make Kids Do Homework

Research is suggesting that for elementary school children, homework provides no extra benefit. For middle school, they are suggesting that the benefit is minimal. In fact it’s actually having a negative effect……it’s effecting children’s attitude toward school. It can effect their grades, their self-confidence, social skills, and quality of life causing fatigue and stress.

Jason goes on to discuss how driving to success and the constant focus on achievement doesn’t necessarily always result in a positive experience.

National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) support a standard of “10 minutes of homework per grade level per night” and setting a general limit on after-school studying.

What can we do to bring change?
Here are a few tips from

1) Talk to the teacher directly
2) Find the right time and way to communicate – in person vs email
3) Communicate clearly – say exactly what the problem is: “After two pages of math problems, my child loses focus. Getting him to finish the whole packet can take two hours.”
4) Be Solution oriented – “Are there alternate ways he can show what he’s learning?”

The bottom line is kids need to play more and kids need more sleep.

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