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Homework Goals

As school returns to full swing, your household is probably trying to reestablish the perfect homework groove. It’s the perfect time to ask yourself, What is our goal for homework?

If your goal is to have each child turn in perfect homework each day, on time, you might want to reflect on the goal we had:

We want our children to take full responsibility for managing the timeliness and quality of their own homework as soon as possible.

Why? Very selfishly, I had no desire to relearn high school physics or precalculus at the detailed level required to be a tutor to my children. To avoid that, they needed to learn how to organize themselves, to persevere, and to seek answers elsewhere at a much earlier age.

Of course I critiqued papers and helped them reason through the proof of the quadratic formula and brainstormed science projects and made free reading suggestions. But in the next few blogs, I’ll try to provide insights into why correcting math homework, guiding children to answers, and getting too involved in editing can have unpleasant, unintended, long-term consequences—and what to do about it.

Meanwhile, you might read Alphie Kohn’s summary of research on homework and perhaps share it with your school.

By Jane Kise, Ed.D. – Educational Advisor and Consultant, 
Jane  writes an insightful post every Tuesday for Kidtelligent. Jane is an educational consultant, specializing in teambuilding, coaching, and school staff development. She is also the coauthor of more than 20 books. Jane’s website  is