Kids spend their days at school learning. Then they come home and spend their evenings doing homework - even kindergartners! It seems like the extra work should be boosting grades or teaching non-academic skills like time management and perseverance. But is all that homework helping our hurting our kids?
The author of The Homework Myth, Alfie Kohn, says it’s hurting our kids more than it’s helping them. Studies have shown few benefits from homework, especially in younger children. Studies also show plenty of negative effects, like strained familial relationships and stressed out, exhausted kids who aren’t making greater academic strides. What’s worse, kids who are spending so much time on homework have less time to spend on play, which does help kids in myriad ways.
As parents, you don’t control how much homework your kids’ teachers assign. But you can talk to the teachers and administrators at your school to express your concerns about homework. You can also look for opportunities to help your kids get their homework done before they come home. For example, after-school care programs and homework clubs may provide time for getting work done at school, so there’s more free time later for family activities, play time, and rest.