This is a link to an article by teacher and blogger from the website educationrethink.com, John Spencer. The article not only gives great reasons to eliminate a homework requirement from childhood, education it also gives some great alternatives to homework.
Many alternatives to homework are actually touched upon in the section where he lists why homework should be eliminated. It’s true that there is inequality, but unless parents (or other adults) get involved with their children’s education and dedicate themselves to providing opportunities to learn instead of homework, how are children going to spend their time actively learning?
What purpose does homework serve? Presumably, homework is about practicing a skill previously presented during the class. But, if a child has the skill mastered, homework is just busy work with no purpose. On the other hand, if the child does not have the skill mastered, mastery won’t likely happen without a different approach to learning the material or concept. So, insistence upon hours of daily homework must be serving some other purpose. It could be serving the purpose to give teachers something to grade. It could give parents a reason for their child/ren to be occupied after school while they are doing their own chores. Either way, homework has the potential to cause a rift in family relationships by creating distance, and causing stress between parent and child when homework is not completed.
It’s tough to go against something that has become a tradition and such a heavy component of ensuring learning, but it’s time to take a deeper look at the purpose and actual results of assigning homework. We need to eliminate the unintentional results, and match outcomes of “homework” with actual learning.