Homework For Elementary Students

A homework assignment could require students to answer questions about what was covered in class that day without consulting their notes.Research has found that retrieval practice and similar learning strategies are far more powerful than simply rereading or reviewing material.

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In 2016, a second-grade teacher in Texas delighted her students—and at least some of their parents—by announcing she would no longer assign homework.

“Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance,” she explained.

For example, there’s something called “retrieval practice,” which means trying to recall information you’ve already learned.

The optimal time to engage in retrieval practice is not immediately after you’ve acquired information but after you’ve forgotten it a bit—like, perhaps, after school.

If a child wants to learn to play the violin, it’s obvious she needs to practice at home between lessons (at least, it’s obvious to an adult).

And psychologists have identified a range of strategies that help students learn, many of which seem ideally suited for homework assignments.

The following year, the superintendent of a Florida school district serving 42,000 students eliminated homework for all elementary students and replaced it with twenty minutes of nightly reading, saying she was basing her decision on “solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students.” Many other elementary schools seem to have quietly adopted similar policies.

Critics have objected that even if homework doesn’t increase grades or test scores, it has other benefits, like fostering good study habits and providing parents with a window into what kids are doing in school.

Said differently: Homework has become just busy work in the United States, and children aren’t learning anything additional from it.

And let’s be honest, at one point a child’s homework becomes a parents homework and even I’m regularly guilty of pulling my calculator out to double check my child’s work.

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