Doing away with Homework Horrors (The Parent Practices Toolkit for Families)

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I was disappointed that the suggestions didn't seem to be as updated as I would have liked. I read along and agreed with many of the concerns presented about the importance of a balanced life for students, but when it came to strategies to address these concerns, the kinds of "quality" homework examples are things we've been doing at my school for years, to the point where the examples see I thought this book raised some important if not new questions about educational practice and priorities.

I read along and agreed with many of the concerns presented about the importance of a balanced life for students, but when it came to strategies to address these concerns, the kinds of "quality" homework examples are things we've been doing at my school for years, to the point where the examples seemed a little behind on quality.

Peer feedback was not a new idea, or the idea that homework and first attempts are practice and ungraded to encourage a culture where it's safe to learn and make mistakes. I was put off by a couple of things, like mentioning peer tutoring as an option for early finishers as a person with a gifted education background, I think it's a teacher's responsibility to provide growth and learning to all students, and an advanced learner isn't often equipped or even willing to be an effective tutor for a peer, nor is it fair to the advanced learner's time.

This book spurred me to reflect about my instructional practices, so it had value for that reason, although I didn't agree with all the author's conclusions or recommendations. Jul 23, Josh Luukkonen rated it really liked it. A nice quick book that brings up a lot of thoughts. As some reviewers said, it is biased, but I feel they weren't accurate in how she handled it all. She is bringing up these ideas for consideration and self-reflection, and she provides a lot for us to think about. She seems to favor one side, yes, but she offers all her ideas and complaints with a lot of caveats as well.

Does she call teachers lazy, as some have claimed? Not quite--she does say that some teachers use h A nice quick book that brings up a lot of thoughts. Not quite--she does say that some teachers use homework because they are lazy, and I don't see how that's not true. If you're a teacher, you certainly know there are lazy teachers out there. I'm not sure why some reviewers were so offended.

The book helped bring up some areas that I myself was a lazy thinker on: Why do I do homework? What do I believe about the research?

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What are my goals not just with homework but the whole of my teaching? Good things to think about. The more self-reflexive we are in our practice--pro OR anti-homework--the better teachers we all will be. And I think that was her goal with this book. I'd recommend it to any teacher willing to examine themselves or willing to listen even just a short while.

Apr 29, Dave Intlekofer rated it it was ok.


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This had a few good points, but it was just another book on why homework is bad for kids. However, the author does not pick a firm side, seeming at first to say we need to get rid of homework but toward the end seeming to only call for a revision to what we assign. One annoying tendency of the book was that it was wishy-washy.

Chapter one said that assigning homework is bad because it assumes that the parents are incapable of providing good educational lessons at home, but later in the book it s This had a few good points, but it was just another book on why homework is bad for kids.

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Chapter one said that assigning homework is bad because it assumes that the parents are incapable of providing good educational lessons at home, but later in the book it says that teachers can't assume parents can provide ANY support at all as far as homework is concerned. Also, the book vascilates between points, at times seeming very anti-homework like Kohn and at other times pro-homework revision.

Nov 08, Megan rated it it was amazing. This book was a real eye opener to me. It started with Cathy's article in Ed Leadership which brought me to this book. After reading it, I feel guilty, informed, and hopeful.

I highly recommend that every parent, teacher, and administrator reads this book. It is time to break old Puritan habits and to start looking at quality assignments that are differentiated, purposeful, and doable by students on their own. Schools should take a look at this homework bill of rights and then have a discussion This book was a real eye opener to me. Schools should take a look at this homework bill of rights and then have a discussion about their own philosophy of homework: I know I'm rethinking homework after reading this!

Jul 20, Steph rated it liked it.


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  • I have read works by Alfie Kohn and this book was not nearly as good. Kohn has a way of putting stuff right in your face and this author didn't challenge my thinking too much. But that is probably because I read Kohn before reading this book. Rethinking Homework contains many suggestions for revitalizing homework, and as a teacher it would be much more helpful than Kohn's if you were looking for ways to change assessment.

    Kohn doesn't make many explicit suggestions for teachers but he is really I have read works by Alfie Kohn and this book was not nearly as good. Kohn doesn't make many explicit suggestions for teachers but he is really good at making you think about the purpose and need for homework. Jul 01, Krystal rated it really liked it. I found this book to be quite insightful. I liked the introduction of the history of homework over the past decades. It definitely makes you re-evaluate your position on homework. It would have been nice to read this book two years ago, before I started teaching.

    Oct 01, Amanda rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , teacher-read , crp. Really cool take on homework and how we as educators can make it work for students. I know a lot of students struggle through too much homework, while others refuse to do it because it's more repetition of skills they already have. There is a trend in the US to value homework because it is homework, not for what it can and should do. I'm glad I read this book; it gave me some insight into my own instructional practices and has pushed me to rethink my own teaching policies.

    Feb 17, Marjie rated it liked it. This could have been a long article in an education journal. It was too long for a book. It had some interesting ideas, but it was pretty biased. I definitely plan to change some of my assessment practices, however. I would recommend it to educators helps broaden our view of homework and parents to help change homework practices in kids' schools. Oct 14, Nia Vestal rated it liked it.

    Some good ideas and insights about homework.

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    I would recommend the ideas in this book be discussed as a K staff. I think it would generate great conversation. Furthermore, the book provides data on how to provide meaning homework assignments for individuals- not entire classes Aug 05, Kari S rated it liked it. Really thought-provoking ideas on why we write homework and what it means to assign it. From a professional development standpoint, however, I felt some of the language and attacks were poorly worded.

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    However, it was well-researched and could be a great read for anyone who is struggling with homework in their classrooms. Sep 06, Janice rated it liked it Shelves: professional-texts.

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    This is a thought-provoking book. I don't agree with everything in it, but I do think that the author makes some legitimate points. In any event, it is worth a read for any teacher -- if nothing else, a benefit is that one has time to reflect on one's own homework practices in light of what the author presents. Jun 07, Justin rated it liked it Shelves: books-about-education.

    Vatterott explores the old paradigm of homework and then explains why it doesn't work in the current educational environment. She then provides strategies to make homework meaningful and approachable for all students so that learning isn't a punishment. I just wish that there were more concrete recommendations. I felt like this work just brushed the surface. Oct 08, Tracey rated it it was amazing Shelves: teacher-books , educational-resources , education.

    Reviews why homework has been given through the ages, and if it really is all that effective not before 5th grade, and only nominally in 5th. Provides ideas about what kind of homework tends to be more helpful than others. Apr 28, Lindsay rated it it was amazing.

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    I got a ton of great ideas from this book. Most of what I read seemed to be common sense but school's aren't doing them. This book definitely gave me a lot of ideas and processes to use in the future when I get a classroom of my own! Jan 02, Amanda rated it it was ok.