The Reckoner!

I do know that as a child, homework was a severe impediment from building the skills I needed to succeed at the profession I was destined for -- professional Sega Genesis player. And now look at me.

Should elementary school students be given homework each night from school?

There are two opposing camps in the homework debate - those who believe that homework is an important reinforcement of skills learned in the classroom - and those who believe that homework is unnecessary and that kids should spend their time at home pursuing other interests.

What do you think?

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Of course, given that my plans to be a professional Sega Genesis player have fallen through, I'm going to fall on the 'reinforcement' side of the fence.  

Becoming good at things mostly involves putting in the hours, regardless of momentary inspiration levels, so it's good to get some of that in a kid's life.  I'm not talking the juku-level cram school approach -- that's clearly counterproductive -- but an hour or two a night seems reasonable until we get into research-paper country.

My perspective on this question is as a father of two school age (elementary) kids.  I've noticed a profound increase in the homework my 4th grader has to do each night and worry its only going to get worse and slowly squeeze out other activities such as music and dance classes, recreational reading (yes kids still do that) and dare I say it - actually going outside to play with friends.

I worry that the mandates of the No Child Left Behind policy are forcing schools to teach to the test - the PSSA here in PA.  

I agree that a strong education is the backbone to our way of life but this education should involve more than rote memorization of academics.

Our kids need the Arts as well - and fresh air.

In hindsight, I should have scoped the question down even further to restrict it to only apply to elementary school kids.  With this in mind I'd vote NO, but then again I'm also in favor of extending the school day an hour or so which would be a mixed blessing for my kids.

Aha!  Yes -- specifically for elementary school kids, I can definitely see your point, especially in light of the piles of NCLB-related test-prep they're probably tackling.  Kids need to wander -- you never know what they might learn, but it'll probably be more valuable than how to use a #2 HB pencil.

I just made a quick update to the title to restrain the scope as you mentioned.  Let me know if I missed the mark. :)

The Reckoner!