I have a seven year old.
At the moment, he is preparing a project that is due on Monday. It’s a book report that involves many parts, including a presentation. He chose Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang for his report – yes, my son is awesome. He had to read the book, create a new cover for the book, write a summary, and pick 5 -10 artifacts that are important to the book and attach a cue card to each with a paragraph explaining why it was picked as important. Once all that’s done, he has to prepare to present it to the class.
Repeat after me – This is GRADE TWO.
It’s been a LONG three weeks – for both of us. Personally, I feel like it would be virtually impossible for a 7-8 year old to complete such a project without the guidance/support/help from a parent. Of course, I’m more than happy to help my guy, but I will admit that I find the whole deal very stressful. I’m not a teacher, and I haven’t done homework in YEARS – and although I am a genius, *insert loud snort here*, the whole thing has made me a total stress case.
To be clear, this isn’t the first time he’s had to do something like this. He had two presentations in Grade one (as a six year old) and he ROCKED them – he memorized the entire presentation. He did so well that he was asked to present to the other Gr. one class as an example of a good presentation. He’s also already done a presentation early this school year, again doing really well.
In terms of other homework, the only thing that comes home is a spelling list and four worksheets involving those spelling words, once a week. That’s it. Funny enough, in grade one, he had TONS of homework, most nights. Clearly, the teachers are very different in their approach.
Having experienced both sides, I have no idea what is better – tons of homework that comes home consistently or little to no homework at all? I will say that when he did have a ton of homework, I felt more aware of how he was doing. And yes, more homework meant less play time, and much more stress for everyone involved. Of course, my son prefers less homework, but what kid wouldn’t?
So what’s better? There are tons of reports out there – many of them outlining the negative effects of homework like children’s frustration, exhaustion, loss of interest in learning, and some pointing out the positive. Personally, what I wonder about is how prepared the kids will be come high school, where homework will be inevitable.
I just don’t know.
I would love to know what your experiences have been with your own children. What are your thoughts?