I was really happy to see this piece by David Shenk, “Does Homework Work?” in the Atlantic Monthly:
School’s back, and so is Big Homework. Here’s what my 7th grade daughter has to do tonight:
1 Math review sheet,
1 Science essay,
French vocab for possible quiz,
History reading and questionaire, and
English reading and note-taking
About two hours, give or take. This is considered a pretty light load, so as to ramp up gently. Over the next few weeks, it will get up to three hours or more.
Most of us give very little thought to this long-lived combination. School and homework seem as interconnected as cars and gasoline. Kids need homework to get smarter — right? It’s supposed to be how they pick up a good work ethic.