Some Thoughts On Homework

I’ve been thinking a lot about my stance on homework since returning to a classroom this year.  A lot of words have been spoken on my behalf  (chiefly “ Mr. Stepan hates homework”) and I thought I ought to clarify.

I don’t hate homework.  I just think that it needs to be used in a way that respects the time of the students that I teach.  I’m not ok with busy work.  I’m not ok with practicing skills that do not require practice.

I am all FOR spending time exploring and doing great things.  I’m also FOR reflection and thinking about the many things that we spend our day doing (that is the reason that I started this site).  I’m all FOR reading lots!  This grows vocabulary and reading stamina, and it builds empathy for all of the people with whom we share this world.  I’m also FOR practicing (ideally through play).

When we craft homework for other reasons, we spin our wheels, we frustrate our students, and we collect “marks” for work that we’re really not allowed to use for evaluation purposes.

Ahem:

“To ensure equity for all students, assignments for evaluation and tests or exams are to be completed, whenever possible, under the supervision of a teacher. Assignments for evaluation must not include ongoing homework that students do in order to consolidate their knowledge and skills or to prepare for the next class.”  

So no, I don’t “hate” homework.  We just have a complicated relationship.  

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