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Homework: love it or hate it?

I’ve been reading a lot of research lately as I prepare for assignments, and have come across more on that old bugbear, homework. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan, not as a parent and not as a teacher. So I was very interested in John Hattie’s latest meta-analyses. For elementary students, the correlation between time spent on homework and achievement is very low. I read this shortly after looking at a University of Queensland PhD study by Dr John Worthington about parents perceptions of their child’s abilities – highly accurate and reliable, you’ll be pleased to know. The part that stood out for me was this:

Reading at home with mum and dad was almost universal at pre-school age but dropped away by the middle of year two with “homework” replacing much of the time available for informal reading and early writing at home.

I know that teachers could say that not every parent reads to their children, so these children need homework, but in my experience these are among the students who do not do the homework anyway. Frustrating when you’ve spent time preparing, differentiating and marking it. I’d like to spend that time on the lessons they do when I am there to guide them. Contentious issue, I know – what do you think?

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