“children would be better off reading a book”

C’est vrai: French president promises to ban homework
French call for boycott of homework

I believe homework is evil in the primary years, especially for students that are NOT struggling with the fundamentals.  The quality of homework that my son has been coming home with has been decreasing and becoming less imaginative and non creative (currently Grade 3).  It does nothing for him except make him HATE school.  It’s boring!  He gets little reading books that are on topics that do NOT interest him.  I’d rather see him totally engrossed in a good book (like Harry Potter, Wimpy kid or The Hobbit) than see him unhappy doing his homework….which by the way he feels he must do so that 1) his teachers are “happy” & he doesn’t get in trouble and 2) so he can get the “fake dollars” to buy stuff!

Differentiation – I would be less anti-homework if there were more teachers out there that took the time to differentiate and give appropriate-level homework to individual students.  Some kids need extra help in spelling, some in Math and some should probably be left alone with a good book or an educational on-line game!

10 comments on ““children would be better off reading a book”

  1. Reblogged this on Teacher as Transformer and commented:
    In a day and age where we think the latest fad, technological or otherwise, this is refreshing food for thought. Real differentiation operates child by child.

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  2. missriete says:

    I feel blessed to teach at a Spec Ed school that differentiates on all levels. But sadly we are only with a few … the system we use, where children are taught on appropriate levels, are shown their progress stats and can choose what creative subjects they will do each week to give them some sort of autonomy and the feeling they “own” their own learning, is very new here.
    But it works.

    And no, we don’t give homework on a regular basis. The only ones struggling with that are the parents. They still think that lots of homework will make their child better … even if they have to fight all night to get it done.
    So we talk and explain a lot 🙂

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  3. “…if there were more teachers out there that took the time to differentiate and give appropriate-level homework to individual students.”

    So true! But in our new culture of teacher devaluation, decompensation, de-everything necessary to foster better education, how are these dream teachers to exist??

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    • elketeaches says:

      Hi. Thanks for your comment. I agree it’s not easy to balance considering all the other things that teachers need to deal with. It appears this is especially the case in many parts of the USA right now and I hope Australia does not follow too closely.

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  4. […] also complained that there is too much homework.  I agree….I wrote about my views on homework HERE a couple of weeks […]

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  5. mrjbuchanan says:

    I don’t know that homework is evil, just poorly utilised.
    I absolutely agree that I’d rather see digging into a good book than drilling away at a bunch of number exercises or spelling lists, but I’d rather see the homework change than disappear.
    Homework needs to be more about promoting High Order Thinking, getting students to investigate things that interest them, getting them to learn by doing.
    I have a radical idea, let’s let the kids set their own homework. “What do you like to do Johnny?” “Play Minecraft” “OK, build me the biggest structure you can in half an hour out of wood, show me on Friday” give this homework to anyone who wants it. Make it optional, make it interesting, make it varied.

    Beginning to think I should have written about this on my own blog now instead of commenting, I have plenty to say, but assignments call.

    Loving your blog Elke!

    Like

    • elketeaches says:

      Hey there, good to hear from you. I agree with most of your points and my son would be super pleased with Minecraft homework. 🙂 He’s 9 and has been playing Minecraft for a few months now. I recently taught him how to create How-to videos using screen-casting software and uploading to YouTube….he’s learned a lot and it’s fun.

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