I have been reading Pernille Ripp's Blog about homework these last few days. I have had the same thoughts over the past two years, and even more so recently. I found an old post by Pernille on her reasons why she does not like homework - here is a link to it http://pernillesripp.com/2010/12/23/so-whats-my-problem-with-homework/.
Her thoughts really resonate with me. Below are some of her reasons why she does not like homework and I completely agree on all accounts:
* Homework is an excuse for the stuff we didn't get to.
* Homework is not fair.
* Homework steals away childhood.
* Homework does not always fit the learning.
* Homework is maybe not just done by the student.
I can see how busy our students' lives are. There is so much going on, they spend most of their day at school and only a small amount with family. Yes, there are times when they need to be doing assignments that count towards their grades, but homework really does rob them of their time. They should be pursuing their own interests, spend time with friends and family, relax, play sport, discover new hobbies, explore. We need to seriously rethink the way we approach Homework, is it beneficial or are we just doing it for the sake of it.
We should find time; we have to find time in school for homework. Allow them to enjoy their childhood and pursue their passions. Who knows, the passions might just start to overlap with school and become part of school. Encourage their passions and let them pursue that, rather than hours of homework each week.
I know we are sometimes so time-poor and struggle to get through content, but do we really need to cover every little thing? Focus on what is essential to know and the critical skills required. That is infinitely more important than doing homework every single day. Encourage students to explore the content themselves without you having to force prescribe work. Make it interesting, engaging and challenging. Then the learning will continue without homework.
I hope to try and make homework non-existent for my classes in the very near future.