Parents and students need to stop complaining about homework! Some parents claim that too much homework takes away from family time, play time, sports and other extracurricular activities. There's also that parent perspective that suggests homework is too much like "work" and kids need time to "play" and ample "downtime" after their "job" aka school. I think that homework is essential for kids and imperative in furthering their learning and education. Sports require a lot of work with training, practice, competition which is just as taxing on the child as homework. Just as kids and parents find fulfillment in practicing for their extracurricular activity, they can find the same in homework. What is going to happen when these kids get to college where there is constant homework? There are parents, school board members, administrators, and students that are advocating for homework cutbacks, but is that in the best interest for the learner?
Students who have not developed the right attitude towards homework as a means of learning, self-development, and/or intellectual tools will be lost in college. Too many times students are able to coast through high school on their raw ability without ever developing strong study skills ultimately not reaching their full potential through homework and other outside assignments. Shock is the best description for these kids when they find themselves overwhelmed by heaps of work in college that they should have been prepared for during their K-12 education. "The most direct positive effect of homework is that it can improve retention and understanding. More indirectly, homework can improve students' study skills and attitudes toward school, and teach students that learning can take place anywhere, not just in school buildings. The nonacademic benefits of homework include fostering independence and responsibility. Finally, homework can involve parents in the school process, enhancing their appreciation of education, and allowing them to express positive attitudes toward the value of school success." (stateuniversity.com)
Reasonable homework assignments in the lower grades is the beginning of appropriate preparation for the more rigorous and time-consuming assignments that lie ahead in high school and eventually college. Homework needs to have a purpose and fit in the larger scheme of learning. But, does homework need to remain traditional, or can it be combined with more 21st century (web 2.0 ) assignments such as reflecting in blog posts or contributing on wikis?
Many government leaders are concerned with the quality of education in the US and how achievement in education will affect and maintain a quality workforce. Good work habits can be built from intelligent and creative homework assignments. Being able to have ownership of their work will build a child's self confidence in their academic abilities which will translate into success in college and the workforce. In conclusion, I feel that the as long as the homework is "meaningful" and time appropriate it is a crucial component in everyday life long learning.