Summer homework? Hey teacher, leave those kids alone!
If you've got kids and are planning to take time off the last week of August, expect a vacation of aggravation. That's the time when the mad scramble to get the summer homework done kicks in. It's a time when books are being speed read at a level beyond comprehension, math problems are frustrating being solved half because their brains aren't in math mode and half because they don't want to be. Halfway through the week, you would kill to go back to work. That's why we need to get rid of summer homework!
Thanks to summer homework the school year begins with aggravation. Parents and children instead of enjoying the last week of summer instead argue over the same subject they argued about all though the school year. It also really doesn't do much good.
According the New York Times citing a Duke University review of more than 175 studies, there is little or no correlation between homework and standardized test scores or long-term achievement in elementary school, and only a moderate correlation in middle school. So what's the point?
Some will say the child will lose their skills if they don't practice, really? What skills have you forgotten two months after you've learned them for nine? Do you think children forget how to read? How much reading do you think they're already doing just buried in their phones, especially if they're into sports or follow anyone on social media.
What summer homework does do is take way from the things they could be doing that they don't get to do all year because they're buried in homework. Things like playing non organized sports, manhunt, kickball, exploring the neighborhood, making new friends or just hanging out with their old ones. Those things improve physical fitness and social skills and you can't get that in a book report.
Teachers can't be thrilled about summer homework either. Why start the year checking assignments given by someone else? Better to start the year fresh and ready to go than with the resentment and aggravation brought on by summer homework!
What summer homework will do is affect how kids feel about learning and school. Do we want our children to start the year refreshed and ready to learn? Or burned out and resentful? It’s something every teacher should carefully consider.
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