The other day I received thiis letter from a middle school teacher in England:
I have been a teacher for the past thirty years and I completely agree with you about homework. I often feel like a lone voice in the staff room. My brother’s two children (ages 9 and 12) have been completely turned off school – and the main reason is the ridiculous amount of mind-numbingly pointless tasks set for homework. Last week, my niece had to make a model of a seed (wait for it) out of cake! Their father said and I quote: “It is ruining our lives!” Every Sunday they have to devote to homework when they should be out on their bikes or practising the piano etc. I would even go so far as to say that it is a form of child abuse! As a teacher I cannot keep thinking of “useful” things to set my pupils day in and day out just to conform to the school “homework policy”. Then I have to mark it as well as all the other work they do in class. It also wastes a huge amount chasing pupils up, interrogating them when they come up with excuses etc. It fact it has a detrimental effect on staff pupil relationships. Let’s get rid of it altogether! Staff will be happier, pupils will be far happier and less stressed out and will come to school much fresher and eager to learn.