Healthy Homework Guidelines (Video)

The video above starts with Alfie Kohn stating, “Homework may be the greatest single extinguisher of children’s curiosity that we have yet invented.

Whether you agree or not with this powerful statement, the video above from Reel Link Films, the producers of Race To Nowhere, is worth checking out in reference to the discussion on the assigning of homework.  The video discusses the Healthy Homework Guidelines that have been developed.  Check them out below.

1. HOMEWORK SHOULD ADVANCE A SPIRIT OF LEARNING 

Educators at all grade levels should assign homework only when:  

  • Such assignments demonstrably advance a spirit of learning, curiosity and inquiry among students. 
  • Such assignments demonstrably provide a unique learning opportunity or experience that cannot be had within the confines of the school setting or school day.  
  • Such assignments are not intended to enhance rote skill rehearsal or mastery. Rehearsal and repetition assignments should be completed within the confines of the school day, if they are required at all. 
  • Such assignments are not intended as a disciplinary or punitive measure, nor as a means of fostering competition among or assessment of students.

2. HOMEWORK SHOULD BE STUDENT-DIRECTED 

Educators at all grade levels, but particularly in elementary and middle grades, should limit take-home assignments to:  

  • At-home reading chosen by the student. 
  • Project-based work chosen by the student. 
  • Experiential learning that integrates the student’s existing interests and family commitments.  
  • Work that can be completed without the assistance of a sibling, caregiver or parent.

3. HOMEWORK SHOULD PROMOTE A BALANCED SCHEDULE 

Educators at all grade levels should avoid assigning or requiring homework:  

  • On non-school nights, including weekends, school holidays, or winter or summer breaks. 
  • On the nights of major or all-school events, concerts, or sports activities. 
  • When a child is sick or absent from school.
  • When it conflicts with a child’s parental, family, religious or community obligations. 
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