Homework or Play?

gtchat Homework or Play 03132015

For years teachers and parents have believed that homework was a good way to reinforce lessons learned in class, but there is mounting evidence that this simply is not true; particularly at the elementary level in it’s present form. During the early years, children learn valuable skills through play that serve them throughout their lives.

Shanna Weber, a gifted and talented teacher in New Jersey, pointed out, “Teachers confuse “rigor” with more and harder, and parents apply pressure to stay informed.” Angie French, a gifted resource teacher in Texas, added, “I think it’s associated with teachers being accountable for covering so much to met state expectations.” However, Gina Boyd, a 4th/5th grade teacher of gifted students in Indiana, reminded us that simply not doing homework does not guaranteed quality play time for all children.

Some of the negative effects of homework at the elementary level discussed included that no studies link homework to current or future academic success. Children can develop a very negative attitude toward school and learning at a young age. Jeff Shoemaker, 7/8th grade teacher of gifted students in Ohio, told us that “homework for little ones makes stress for the family and that a lot of it is useless repetition.”

The benefits that come from reducing or eliminating homework for elementary students were many. Lisa Lauffer of Creative Miracles said, “[It gives children] time to pursue what interests them. [The resulting] reduction of stress reduces anxiety and depression.” Carol Bainbridge, expert on gifted kids at About.com, added, “Kids are free to explore topics of interest in depth.” Also, The benefits of ‘down’ time cannot be overlooked. Sometimes gifted kids just need to ‘chill’!

Check out the full transcript at Storify to see some of the alternatives to homework that were proposed. How do you feel about homework? Leave us a comment below!

gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered byTAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com



Elementary School Dumps Homework and Tells Kids to Play Instead 

No-Homework Policy Improves Home Life for Younger Students at One Chicago Public School 

When the Playful Disappoints. Notes on Primary Socialization of the Young Gifted Child

The End of Homework? Why Some Schools are Banning Homework

What Happens When an Elementary School Abolishes Homework

Why More and More Parents Are Opting Their Kids Out of Homework

Homework: An Unnecessary Evil? Surprising Findings from New Research

When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating Association Between Homework & Achievement in HS Science & Math (Abstract)

Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Research, 1987-2003 (pdf)

The Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers & Parents (Amazon)

Abusing Research: The Study of Homework & Other Examples

The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing (Amazon)

My 5 Year Old Grandson Hates Homework & I Don’t Blame Him

Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers—Teenagers Need It, Too

When Schools Cannot Meet gifted Children’s Needs

Homework Guidelines Victoria (AUS) Department of Education and Training

Cybraryman’s Homework Debate Page

Play and Children’s Learning

Heavier Homework Load Linked to Lower Math, Science Performance, Study Says 

This Is Me : Article 31 and a Child’s Right to Play (YouTube)

TED Talk: Play is More Than Just Fun (video)

TED Talk: The Child-Driven Education (video)


Flickr: Photo Credit   CC 2.0 (homework)

Pixabay: Photo Credit  CC0 Public Domain (play)

Posted on March 19, 2015, in Education, gifted and talented and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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