No homework! {CELEBRATE This Week: 136}

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The best thing about state standardized testing is no homework.
I’m not a proponent of homework. Kids are in school for hours; there is no reason they should bring work home. Nothing good comes from homework. My kids are not more responsible because they complete a worksheet. They are not more prepared for the world because they are chained to their iPads completing a writing project that has been assigned, but not explained. They are not better off (except they stay out of detention) because they’ve completed menial tasks for a teacher.
Homework is the instigator of arguments, fits and lies. It is not pleasant. It does not show my kids that I care about their eduction. It is not a pleasant experience.
Even for the compliant children in the house, homework only zaps them of precious free time. Instead of crocheting head warmers for her online business, Hannah sits for hours at the kitchen table plugging and chugging math problems. Instead of heading into the skatepark, Sam waits for everyone else to finish their work. (Sam has mastered taking advantage of “golden moments” in school to complete his work.)
This week we’ve had a few homework free days. That means —
  • A walk through the yard discovering a new little turtle-friend.
  • Researching turtles to find out what they eat and where they live.
  • This led to a venn diagram to compare and contrast amphibians and reptiles.
  • Making dessert together in the kitchen.
  • Bike rides.
  • A family game of pig on the trampoline.
  • A card game (or two or three).
  • Reading books together — like the old days.
  • We weren’t rushed.
There is nothing good that comes from homework. Children are in school for hours. They work hard. There is no reason to send them home with more work. For the ones who do the homework, the consequences may even be greater than for the children who don’t complete their homework.
So where is the celebration in all of this? 
I celebrate tenacity. Children who hold on to their creativity in the midst of all the demands placed on them by school. I celebrate perseverance. I celebrate families who are able to work through the grumble of homework and find time to do enjoyable things together. And I celebrate state testing, because for a couple of weeks there is no homework.
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9 Comments »

  1. The granddaughters are still too young for homework, but I guess that time will come. I'm glad you are all having some good time together! Have a wonderful weekend, Ruth.

  2. No homework for me either but exciting that this is the first Saturday I'm celebrating with Ruth and this community as Passover begins… 😉
    Digital Bonnie

  3. We've been having this debate at our school. I fall on your side of the argument. But I wonder… for those students of mine who will not be out playing with friends, or hunting for lizards, but rather hooked up to a device playing games… but I guess homework doesn't cure that either?!

  4. My students always loved the “no homework” clause that accompanied testing. I found testing to be a great time to “flood” my classroom with poetry books. I always maxed out my account at the public library (100 books) and then I used my daughter's card! For those students who didn't bring a book to read after testing, poetry books were perfect!

  5. Ruth, I love the fact that you enjoy family time with your children. I wrote a poem about homework called What If for one of our #NYEDChat convos? I will send it to you.