Is there a compromise that can be made between parents and schools when it comes to homework?
Heather Shumaker is the author of, ‘It’s OK to Go Up the Slide’, and she joined the John McComb show to talk homework and kids.
Schumaker says they are only now realizing how age-dependent homework has become.
“There’s been lots of studies about homework. But now they are realizing how age dependent it is. So it can really help the older students, high school age but when you’re looking at the youngest kids, elementary school, especially the youngest elementary, it really does not have an impact on their academic improvement in school”
Schumaker found this in the research studies of Dr. Harris Cooper. He took 180 research studies and looked at them all as a analysis. This is what the whole 180 found out, that it can help the older kids but not the younger ones.
Basic child development
Schumaker says the reasoning for this is basic child development.
“Young children have a lot of ways that they are still growing and developing and a lot of that development happens through play. They need time to turn their attention to other parts of their lives.”
She also notes when school is out, they have focused so much time learning they need to focus on the physical part, play.
Kids need breaks too
Schumaker notes that kids come home from school, they are ready for a break but then they have homework.
“This creates a big emotional power struggle with the parents often. The kids are coming home, they are exhausted, they want some emotional support from their family and their parents instead have to become the homework cops and kind of ride them to get the homework done and so, instead of getting nurturing and support, the whole situation is turning on its head.”
Listen to the full interview here:
Parents vs Teachers
Teachers and parents might have different views on homework
“A lot of parents think they know whats best for their kid in the moment. But the parents feels they can’t buck the authority of the teacher. Now, to give the teachers a lot of credit, a lot of teachers don’t want to be giving the homework and they are feeling the pressure from the parents.”
Sleep is important
“Kids need to reboot for the next day. And if you are looking at the science and the research, what helps the most to do well on that test the next day is to get a good, long sleep.”
Instead of doing homework and studying, Schumaker says it would be better to get a great sleep. No matter what age, but really young kids, they don’t have a whole lot of time in their days and they need to focus on other things when they are not at school, not constantly focusing on school work and tests at home.