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Homework and the Love of Learning

The beginning of another school year always brings back memories of my many years as an educator and school principal. My experiences showed me that teachers teach best when their students love to learn. If I were king, I'd insist that we take a different look at the role of homework, especially for elementary-aged children, and how to inspire that love of learning.

There are many different ways to learn. Pencil and paper activities are good ways to learn, but these are only one of many possible ways. If I were king, paper and pencil worksheets would cease at the end of the school day for kids in elementary school. Other forms of learning would take over, except in cases where a child does them on a voluntary basis.

I would encourage parents to ask teachers for ideas about how kids can learn in different and fun ways with their parents. I bet the teachers would suggest all kinds of learning activities that support the work done at school. Homework might include activities such as:

  • Reading to each other

  • Games that require math skills

  • Exploring the neighborhood for examples of nature and science

  • Card games and board games

  • Measuring and weighing while cooking

  • Finding the best bargains in the grocery store

  • Spelling games

  • Calculating gas mileage, win/loss averages for favorite sports, time and distance while traveling, etc.

This list could go on and on. When parents get involved in the learning process in this way, they set a powerful example for their kids and can give parents a fun way to inspire their kids to love to learn. Let's put the joy back into learning.

Jim Fay

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