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September 7, 2018
Why this Indianapolis teacher assigned less homework after visiting her students’ homes
Every year, I get to visit each of my students at their house to spend time with their family, play games, and take a tour of their rooms (which they normally clean for me!).
April 20, 2018
Week in review: When homework takes longer than everyone would like
Few students – and fewer parents — love doing homework. This week, the Detroit district board began considering a policy that would set…
July 28, 2015
Homework for preschoolers? Aurora parents make the case
Last spring, a group of Aurora parents banded together to make a surprising request. They wanted homework for their preschoolers. District officials have agreed to put out a homework calendar and establish a new homework policy.
November 5, 2014
Fariña to principals: Increase rigor, but make schools ‘stress-free zones’
Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s latest advice for principals is to relax. “I know our goal is to increase rigor and lift the level of instruction in our…
February 10, 2012
This week's teaching & learning tidbits
Obama proposes $80 million boost for math/science education - Colorado to get its NCLB waiver - Thompson School District may put moratorium on field trips - Colorado's battle over school funding - 10-year-old invents app that tracks reading homework.
January 19, 2012
Ask an Expert: My child is refusing to let me help with homework.
A child won't let his mom help him with homework yet he's struggling with getting it done. Check out what this expert has to say.
September 22, 2011
Helping your child thrive in school
Have homework battles begun in your household? Here are some great tips on how you can help your child gain ownership of schoolwork, and become more successful in school - and in life.
August 19, 2011
Ask an Expert: Making the most of homework
School has begun, which inevitably means homework. Get some tips on how to minimize daily fights over homework, and help your son or daughter get the job done.
February 24, 2011
Ask an Expert: My teen son only cares about sports.
The single most important thing you can do is stay informed about what your son should be doing in terms of homework. Many schools in Colorado are tapped into "infinite campus," which allows you to check your student's assignments online at any hour of the day or night.
January 11, 2011
Ask an Expert: How much should I help my daughter with homework?
Ever wonder how much you should help your child with homework or school projects? Here's one expert's take on the perfect balance.
January 4, 2011
Making homework more effective
We've all questioned the benefits of homework. Here are some tangible ways parents can help their kids get more out of a practice many view as daily drudgery.
November 23, 2010
Ask an Expert: Getting my child to do homework without a fight.
Here are some excellent suggestions to help you get away from the nightly battle over homework.
November 3, 2010
Helping your teen get a healthy night's sleep
Have you discovered your teen sleeping with his phone? Clearly, a kid can't get much sleep if he's texting and Facebooking all night. Here are some tips on encouraging a restful night for your teen from the Boulder Valley School District's Thrive newsletter.
November 2, 2010
Ask an Expert: Dealing with a disorganized teen.
An expert gives you advice on helping to get a teen organized. Yes, you could send him or her to a third party business, such as Sylvan Learning Center. But it may just be more effective to roll up your sleeves and train your kid yourself. For starters, create a weekly study calendar, buy a folder for all homework, work on idea webs and outlines, and prepare to give up some of your own time as well - but only for a while.
August 18, 2010
How a fifth-grader spent his summer vacation on worksheets
The workbook assigned to fifth-graders at PS 19. With summer vacation nearing its end, students citywide are sitting down to finish (or begin) summer homework assignments. Some of those assignments look a lot like test prep. A soon-to-be fifth-grader at PS 19, a dual-language school in Queens, showed me his summer homework: Nearly 100 pages of reading, writing, and math worksheets in a book called "New York Kids Learn!" The book, produced by a California company called Teacher Created Materials, resembles an extralong state math and English language arts exam. The student said his school gave him the book, which sells for $7, back in June and told him to bring it, completed, in September. Although the book is billed as a "parent-involvement resource" in the "Parents as Partners" series, he had mostly worked alone. Asked whether he had learned anything interesting, he shrugged. Having help might have made the work easier: Some of the assignments looked confusing, particularly for students whose first language is not English. Two sample pages are below. One asks students to pair antonyms ("responsible" is shown as the opposite of "untrustworthy") and the other instructs students to answer questions about a map but then doesn't actually pose any questions at all.
December 10, 2008
To email or not to email (her daughter’s homework)
Blogging at Time Out Kids, New York City mom Susan Avery wonders how to respond to this modern-day dilemma: It was 10am on a…
September 12, 2008
NPR: How much homework is too much?
Yesterday, NPR's Day to Day interviewed Harris M. Cooper, a professor at Duke University and author of The Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents. How much homework is appropriate? they asked. Cooper provided a simple rule: Essentially what the guideline boils down to is what I refer to as the 10-minute rule, which means 10 minutes per night, per grade: first graders, 10 minutes, second graders, 20 minutes, third graders, 30 minutes, and so on. We do have research that shows that when middle school kids are doing between 60 to 90 minutes of homework a night they’re doing as well as kids who claim to be doing more. If parents feel that their children are getting too much homework, Cooper says, they should begin by observing what really happens during homework time. Are the children focused solely on homework, or are distractions like text-messaging or television getting in the way? He provides tips for talking with teachers about homework, advising parents to take a non-confrontational teamwork approach. Some homework opponents would do away with it altogether. Alfie Kohn argued in The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing and in a 2006 Q&A with Philissa at Insideschools.org that homework "dampen[s] children's curiosity about the world," and that research shows no benefit to homework. One math teacher says on his blog that he doesn't assign homework because his students who need extra practice most are least likely to complete homework. But Cooper makes a case for small amounts of homework: it helps children learn to study on their own and outside the classroom, important preparation for the demands of college, where most learning happens in the dorm room, library, or coffeehouse. As a teacher, I encountered more parents worried that their children weren't doing enough homework than that they were assigned too much.
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