Will it be a packet of doom that will lead him to despise school? Will it be projects so insurmountable that his parents need to help him? Will it be nightly? Weekly? Will he thrive with it? Fail miserably?
In conversation with Rachel, Karl, Matt, and Victoria, 4 of the people who make me think the hardest about a lot of topics surrounding education, the concept of homework became a chat that sparked this post.
I'll say this: I want my kids to have homework. In fact, I hope that you, my sons' future teachers, assign them homework - as long as it looks like this:
"Roll 2 dice and add them up. Repeat several times."
"Write an addition problem with a picture"
"Watch a show with your family and talk about it."
Edutopia recently posted a blog that argued Homework vs. No Homework is the Wrong Question and I couldn't agree more. The month of February at my son's future elementary school is rich with developmentally-appropriate practice, very little rigor, and a lot of parent involvement encouraged throughout. As Rachel pointed out, "maybe it's more parenting practice than skill practice". Earlier in the year, there is another sample of homework that asks parents to read a book to their child and talk about it, among other great "assignments".
Now, the challenge. Once he's done with Kindergarten and makes the leap to first grade, what will that look like?
How might we as educators intertwine parenting practice into the homework routine?
Rather than pulling my kids away from me so they can complete their work, this sheet is pulling me into what he, and eventually both of my boys, will be learning and supporting them along the way.
To me, it's apparent that we need to reach out to our local Kinder teachers to learn ways of making parents feel responsible in supporting the learning of their children and providing support to them as the content become more challenging. Yes, content at the secondary level is out of reach for many parents; still, we can find ways to involve them.
*Homework doesn't have to be evil. Homework can be fun. Homework can have meaning. Homework can get the whole home involved. I want my children to have that kind of homework.
Happy Homework Fishing