It is not unusual to see conflicts between parents and school-age children diminish during the summer. Why? Because there’s no homework.

 

While the potential academic benefits of homework have been debated for over a century, it is a rare family who does not regularly experience homework as a source of argument and tears.  Except for reading practice, many researchers feel homework is of negligible benefit to grade school children; and find the same results for older children with homework in excess of two hours.  Not all teacher training involves how to give useful homework assignments; then again, some school boards and even some parents demand it.  

 

It is a tall order for parents to make the role switch to academic tutor, and it can be confusing and upsetting to children.  And of course this all generally takes place in the midst of meals being made, phones ringing, and the needs of younger children. 

 

Parents can, however, speak out against excessive and unproductive homework.  I’ve seen excellent results where parents have joined together (it only takes a few) to advocate with individual teachers or with the school to reduce the amount and improve the quality of homework.  In so doing, parents not only take back family time, but by acting as advocates, are excellent role models for their children.

 

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