Tiffani's Boost Blog

Can homework "helpers" elevate homework assignments?

Homework is our stock in trade.

School assigned homework is the cornerstone of our Homework & School Project Assistance (HASPA) program and it also comes up a lot in one-on-one tutoring. So, we see a lot of homework assignments: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The homework wars rage in the press and the blogoshere. My position is that good homework can be an amazing learning tool. Good homework allows students to practice what they learned, outside of school, so that they can reinforce what they learned during the school day and see if they can do it on their own. Homework also takes some practice time out of the classroom, freeing teachers for more instruction and hands-on activities. I believe that homework, done well, is a win-win for everyone. However, you can't work with homework every day and not see bad homework assignments.

Why do so many math worksheets?

I read this article this morning: 

Why Johnny Can't Add Without a Calculator

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/06/math_learning_software_and_other_technology_are_hurting_education_.html

and I could not help but think that it does a better job at articulating the EdBoost philosophy than we often do.

From the kids we hear:

  • Why do I have to do so many worksheets?
  • What?  I finished my math homework and now you're giving me more?
  • Why can't we play games instead?

From teachers and afterschool programs, we hear:

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