A school district in New Jersey is reconsidering its homework policy (or, it sounds like, considering formalizing a policy). They are thinking of not assigning homework over weekends or holidays and that homework should only be ten minutes per grade level (meaning for third grade it would take 30 minutes, for seventh grade it would take 70 minutes).
The money quote, in my mind:
Giaquinto said. "We want to make sure the homework we are sending home is meaningful."
The recommendations are aimed at ensuring students are not assigned busywork such as 25 math problems when five would sufficiently prove a child mastered a skill. The changes would allow students to have time for extracurricular activities and quality time with their families, officials said.
The idea that we need to create a policy to make sure homework is meaningful causes me pain. Homework seems to me to be one of those things we continue to do because it has always been done. How many teachers have taken a serious look at their homework expectations, reflected on them, and continued to do what they've been doing?
I feel even more strongly anti-homework now that I have a child in school. She is not an overly-scheduled child by any stretch. But I want her to be able to run around outside after school, play around on the piano, or just read. She's doing plenty of great learning through those activities.