Boyd's Reviews > The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing

The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn
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Feb 24, 12

Read from February 21 to 24, 2012

This should be called "The Busywork Myth.". As a teacher I feel that Kohn might be battling straw men because his notion of "homework" (worksheets) doesn't match mine. I'm a language arts teacher, though, so maybe other disciplines do still engage in drill and kill. He doesn't seem to have an issue with meaningful assignments and home extensions, but rather with rote practice. On this we agree. I do feel like he overstated the problem at times, but as a teacher with my children starting to matriculate through public education, I think this is a dialog worth having at all schools.
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02/24/2012 page 256
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen Looks interesting (not for me but for you). Wonder what your take is on homework. I don't know if you respond to this is if I'll ever see it. Goodreads doesn't seem so dependable on the social media front. You're the only one I know who really writes in reviews and rates books, which I really like. Wish more would do that. So basically, you're my goodreads bff. :)


Boyd Jen wrote: "Looks interesting (not for me but for you). Wonder what your take is on homework. I don't know if you respond to this is if I'll ever see it. Goodreads doesn't seem so dependable on the social m..."

I'm not a huge fan of busy work in the form of nightly worksheets. Most of my students' standing assignment is to read a book of their choice for 20-30 minutes a day. They then present on these books throughout the year. Most of the mandated reading is done in class (with some exceptions). The problem is that my "homework" gets pushed to the back burner always because their other classes are piling it on (notoriously math). So it doesn't seem like English is as important or as primary in their brains as those classes who are giving them constant assignments. They've been trained to think, "We aren't doing anything in X class" if they're not taking home worksheets to complete on a nightly basis.


message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen Sounds like a frustrating situation.


message 4: by Steven (new)

Steven Well, they certainly get trained to think that worksheets == "real" work in elementary school. Oh, how we hate the worksheets.


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