Why I Don't Believe in Homework Anymore

As a math teacher and tutor, I cannot believe I typed those words, much less that I believe them! It is an undisputed fact that math takes practice. It is a process. I like to tell my students that they get better at their given sport or musical instrument or other activity by practicing and that math is exactly like that. It takes repetition. 

So if I don’t just believe this but I KNOW it to be true, how can I not believe in homework. Homework is a task. It is something to be completed. Parents have been asking for decades, “Is your homework done?” Homework has stopped being an effective educational tool. Students complete the task and move on. So many of my students come to their next tutoring session and remember few to none of the skills from prior homework assignments. 

I frequently have parents tell me that their students do well on their homework but struggle with quizzes and tests. This is because once the task of homework is done, it is...

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Why are my exams SO HARD?!?!?!?

Exams are stressful! I have experienced them as a student, a teacher, a tutor and a parent and they are just plain stressful! It seems exam reviews are never given out early enough. They are often collected a few days prior to the exam (so what are students supposed to use to review?) and without fail the majority of my students SWEAR up and down that they were never taught a large percentage of the material on the review guide. 

 

Why is it this true? Exam reviews contain problems from the ENTIRE semester and as if that wasn’t daunting enough, the problems are in no particular order. When you are learning skills in math class you learn them one at a time. Your homework covers the skills taught that day. You may have a quiz that covers 3 or 4 skills and you will almost always have a test that covers the chapter in your book, often 6 or 7 skills. When I receive requests for tutoring one of the most common concerns I hear is “My son/daughter’s homework...

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