Homework may indeed have a role in shaping my children’s academic and intellectual lives. But as a parent, I’d like to be sure that role is kept in balance. Why not ask our schools to assign homework only when assignments advance a spirit of learning, curiosity and inquiry, and offer a learning opportunity students can’t have during the school day? Why not advocate for policies that make homework the exception — not the rule — in elementary and middle school, and that limit it to at-home reading or occasional project-based work, not busywork and drills? Why not give parents — who should have at least some control over the arc of their children’s lives — the power to opt out of homework on behalf of their children, for any reason, without fear that doing so will result in negative consequences for the child? Why not simply eliminate all homework on non-school nights, including weekends, holidays and school breaks, so that these hours can be filled, instead, with the passions and pursuits of our children’s and families’ choosing?
These are some great ideas for school reform overall, but also for the IEP chil who is struggling with homework, but gets the concepts that are being taught.