Oh homework, how we loathe you in my house.
You take us away from family time and dinner conversations and walks around the neighborhood and play time and even recreational reading time. You invade car rides and take away sleep. You diminish social time with friends. You make us question participation in Boy Scouts and youth groups and service learning. You cause arguments and frustration. You add stress. You cause tears.
Sometimes you aren’t valuable. Sometimes you aren’t necessary.
There is plenty of research on you. Cooper and Patall and Robinson. Fernández-Alonso and Darling-Hammond and Ifill-Lynch.
Research that says its about quality and not quantity. Research that says that giving too much of you actually hinders performance.
I would suggest you read those studies, homework. You need a reality check.
Here’s the thing homework. When I was teaching I didn’t assign much of you. I wanted to see what my students could do independently. I wanted to be there to answer questions, clear up misconceptions, and I wanted authenticity. I wanted my kids to go home, refresh, refocus and get ready for the serious learning in my classroom the next day.
I am waiting for the day when we rely less on you, homework. The day when you are relevant and engaging. The day when you are differentiated. The day when grades aren’t tied to your completion and recess isn’t taken away when you aren’t done.
Because, homework, you affect the entire family. Those walks that student is missing are walks they are missing with their families. Those tears you cause frustrate everyone in the house, from the moms and dads to the kitties looking for playmates in the evening.
Really, homework, it’s time teachers break up with you. Your relationship with educators is dysfunctional and emotionally draining.
One day all those educators you have smitten will look back. And you, homework (yes, you) will be the relationship they regret. The one they think about and ask “what was I thinking?”
You know those relationships, homework. We all have them.