Jamie Todd Rubin wrote an interesting piece about too much homework for his kid in 5th grade. He figures 50 minutes (10 minutes per grade level) is okay, but even there I disagree.
How many studies have we seen (heck Alex Pang wrote Rest all about this and Shorter too) that say over 50 hours a week of work we’re just terrible at anything. His kid already goes to school 7 hours a day 5-days a week for 35 hours of “work”. If we add 5 hours of homework in the week, the kid already has a 40 hour work week.
On top of that, we don’t schedule school for kids we schedule it for adults working so they don’t have to take care of kids. Then, we don’t consider school work so it doesn’t get a bunch of the protections that work does.
I’ve got a kid in public school in Canada and in grade 4 she does…almost no homework at all. Maybe practices spelling work when she wants, but that’s it.
I actually find Jamie’s “silver lining” pretty terrible too.
The silver lining to this, I suppose, is that it prepares these kids for the real world. Homework is a part of life in many jobs. Learning to find a balance between work and home life is a valuable skill. It just seems to me that fifth grade is too early to be learning this skill so abruptly.
We shouldn’t be accepting “homework” at work either. We shouldn’t be in for crazy days where we work all day, then work for hours at night.
It’s bad for us and not productive. Prepping a kid for that is terrible.