The Homework Controversy

Surely you’ve heard both sides of it by now – is homework good or is it bad? You may be battling homework in your home daily, persuading your children to sit down and work on their extra assignments even when they are exhausted or whining. You may have even found yourself rolling your eyes when you pull out the assignment notebook out of your child’s backpack, wondering why you can’t get just one day without homework. The struggle is real.

But you may also be on the other side of the controversy, wondering if your child is getting enough practice on school work in a school that doesn’t send home homework in backpacks or folders. You may find yourself wanting just a bit of homework so that you can see for yourself how your child is working through those math problems or reading on grade level. The struggle is real.

No matter which side of the struggle you are in, homework isn’t always a black-and-white issue. “We hear from parents on both sides of the spectrum,” says Nika Fouquet, Education Consultant at Tutor Doctor Santa Monica. “I think that there are positives for homework and benefits to no homework for kids and families. But I also think that the real benefits comes when there is homework, but homework in moderation.”

Homework is an excellent way for parents to stay involved with their children’s school life. But too much homework can leave kids frustrated and burnt out on school while parents are at their wit’s end after a long day of work. Perhaps the compromise is homework in moderation – enough practice at home to keep students on task and retaining what they learn during the day, but enough homework-free days to keep them engaged in play, activities, and family time to remind everyone to relax a bit.

“I love when I hear of students who are reading daily but only getting homework three times per week,” says Fouquet. “It is giving that student responsibility for getting work done, along with skill reinforcement and time management lessons. But those days without homework allow for more reading, more play, and more time with friends or family.”

Perhaps the key isn’t one extreme or the other. Perhaps a little moderation is just what the (Tutor)Doctor ordered.