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"While homework has a significant benefit at the high school level, the benefit drops off for middle…

Wow. I absolutely ADORE this article and couldn't agree more. I really feel like childhood is about PLAY and not WORK, yet for some reason elementary age kids aren't being treated like KIDS, but more like small highschool students.

This is one of the reasons why we have chosen a partial homeschool method for our kids. They do have "homework" but it is done on their "home days" and not cluttering their evening. Even in this situation, I had a serious issue with my relationship with one of my boys when he was in the 6th-8th grades because of the homework assigned. It became a battlefield at home and that is the last thing I wanted for my family. We solved this issue by enrolling him in the daily option for the same school meaning that he was still doing "homework" during the day, but under the supervision of actual teachers...and not me.

YES! I am such a huge advocate for kids learning from experiences and not just traditional schoolwork. Kids can learn so much through play especially at that age! Exploring outdoors, zoos, museums, etc are great places for "homework". It is all about balance!

I think 20 minutes a night is plenty. I see the value of it, to a point... but when it takes over family time or playtime outside, I think we need to take a step back and see what's going on. Yes, I want our kids to review their work (and I want to see it), but I want them to be well-rounded by making time to be a kid, solve problems & have fun!

This is a prime example of irresponsible science reporting. There is no description of the evidence, much less an alternate explanation for what the meta-analyses might have found. Parents: please be the smart people we know you are and question articles like this. To be clear, my point is not to disagree with the findings, but with the fact that they are presented without any explanation for why we should believe them. Again, where is the evidence?

@aeryn_thrace great point. I haven't read the book that is referenced and the origin of the study: The Battle over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents - so maybe that is where some additional proof could be found...or not found!

@BeckyMansfield yes! It is all about balance!

It's about having access to the evidence, and being able to evaluate whether you agree with the author's conclusions, in other words, science literacy. I'm a researcher (cognitive science - specialty in language). My colleagues and I are perpetually dismayed by the misrepresentation of our work in the media, and the unwillingness of many science journalists to explain the science to the general public, not just the purported conclusions. For example, Cooper conducted a meta-analysis. That's a study of many studies having something to do with the topic he was interested in. This seems like a good idea in principle, and it is, however, meta-analyses have several of drawbacks. One issue is that to be able to unambiguously compare two studies, they have to be quite similar in many different ways, and most studies are not. As you can imagine, the problem of being able to make generalizations increases with the number of studies you include in the analyses. This isn't to say that meta-analyses should be dismissed, but that they should be considered carefully. As such, a blanket statement like 'Homework is pointless for grade-school' kids is more than likely a gross simplification of what the data actually say. More details can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-analysis

Meta-analysis - Wikipedia
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