Homework Vs. No Homework: Where Do You Stand?


by Jennie

Now, that we are half-way through September, are you getting adjusted to your fall schedule? Have the kids fallen into their back to school routine? I always anticipate back to school with mixed emotions – happy that Eben will be learning new things (and he loves school), and sadness because I really enjoy seeing him all day and it reminds me that he is growing up quickly.

The mister and I attended the open house at Eben’s school last week. I find open house to be a little overwhelming – you start in your child’s 1st period class, the teacher has about 10 minutes to tell you everything they feel you need to know, a bell rings, you have a handful of minutes to get to the next period and so on. It’s a whirlwind of information that moves so quickly, if you aren’t proactive in asking your questions – you could easily leave more confused than you began!

What I did learn is it seems in many ways that the 8th grade of today is veryย  similar to my own experience. The teachers have the same teaching style, (some are fun/some more serious) and what might be completely acceptable in one class, another teacher won’t tolerate (chewing gum!) However, there was one very distinct idea that every single one of Eben’s teachers had in common, they do not assign homework.

I have to admit at first, I thought, “really, no homework – is that a good idea?” Then, I started to reflect on the ghosts of homework past in our house. There have been many times when Eben has come home with what I deemed a crazy amount of homework for one night and one class. There have been nights that we literally sat down for several hours simply to complete the homework that was due the next day. And I have seen Eben’s attitude towards a subject change based simply on the amount of homework that was coming home for that class – whether he loved the subject or not. Not to mention, after working all day – spending the little amount of time that I get with Eben at night doing homework seemed like a waste of perfectly good family time.

All of these things were a major concern for me and I am sure many parents can relate. Then, I took those thoughts a little deeper and wondered how parents with multiple children have time to get all of that homework done, not to mention parents who have to work at night or single parent homes. And to be honest, I don’t feel like Eben absorbed more information by doing all of this busy work each night – instead, I feel like we moved through it as quickly as we could so we would still have some family time to enjoy. Are you the same?

So, overall I am happy and excited to have a school year that is virtually free of homework. While I understand that they will still be special projects and book reports due all year long, I don’t feel like we have this “we have to get home right after school to do homework” attitude anymore. Instead, Eben can spend that time volunteering at the library, being a part of a school club, studying and creating art at his studio, or enjoying time with family and friends – which to me just sounds like a much better way to spend those after school hours.

What are your thoughts? Are you for or against homework? Does your child’s school give homework? Sound off in the comments section, I would love to hear your experience.ย 

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