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Is Homework Necessary?

I read a popular wildly shared Facebook post about homework. In that post, a parent shared a letter from her child’s teacher.

In this letter, the teacher said she was not going to assign homework formally this year, so her students can have time to eat dinner with family, read together, play outside and go to bed early.

It seems many parents applaud this teacher’s action. You can tell the popularity from the comments and the number of shares.

It reminder me a letter I received from my child’s teacher. In  that letter, the teacher said: If she assigned a homework longer than half a hour, as a parent, we have the right to send her a complain. As the teacher promised, for the whole week, she only sent about 5 pages homework.

Actually, she was not the only teacher doing so. Another teacher did almost the same thing. As for this year, I don’t see any formal homework so far except one page homework with 3 questions from my child’s math teacher.

Having less or even none homework seems a trend in some areas.

I remember, I was shocked when I just received the letter. As a person growing up and being educated in highly competitive China, I have to say honestly, I am not used to this policy.

Even today, when I read this popular Facebook post, I am not excited for having no formally assigned homework.

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I understand a teacher’s good purpose for having none or less homework, however, as a parent and teacher, in my opinion, having enough homework is necessary and helpful for a student’s academic performance.

Especially, if the assigned homework is interesting and fun rather than just being boring and repetitious.

1, A student needs doing enough homework to reinforce what he learned in the class.

As a teacher, I know, the limited 45 or 50 minutes class time is only capable for introducing some new concepts.

With a lot of students in the class, it is impossible for a teacher to test every student’s understanding, especially, spend time on students who need extra help.

If a student doesn’t master a new concept introduced in the class, he needs do some homework at home to help him practice what he learned.

2, Homework provides effective learning guidance for a  parent.

As a parent, we usually have no clue what is going on in the class. A teacher’s homework gives us some basic ideas when it comes to assist our child’s learning.

When we help our children do the homework, we will know better of his strength and weakness in specific fields. Accordingly, we can help our kids to make some progresses.

3, Homework helps to raise a responsible child.

It is true it is a lot of pressure sometimes to do some homework, especially, if the homework is tough. However, by doing homework, a child learns to handle the challenge at young age.

As the result, a child will develop his responsibility for finishing his duty on time. When a child grows up, he will be very possible to become a person who is responsible and not afraid of challenges.

Then some parents might ask: Is it a good idea to have a lot of homework? My answer is: Not really.

It might not be a good idea to have too much homework if a student knows a concept well enough.

As I mentioned, a purpose of homework is helping a student’s practices and mastering a new concept. If he understands that concept well, why waste time?

Some parents might argue that having homework brings a lot of pressure on their children and their children are unhappy for that.

My answer is: If the homework affects a child’s normal schedule and lifestyle, it means he might have too much homework. It is always a good idea to cut back to have less homework.

However, enough homework is very necessary and helpful for a child’s performance overall.

In my opinion, the issue is not having less or none homework. The issue is how to design high quality homework to stimulate a student’s learning. A nice homework can be fun and educational as well.

As a parent and teacher, I wish my child do some homework to make sure he masters what he learned. At the same time, I hope he enjoys doing homework and appreciates hard work.

Since my child started his Kindergarten, I bought workbooks every year to make sure he does enough homework. How about you? What is your opinion on this topic? I would love to hear from you.