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I think parents mostly felt the same way I did: that homework was the best way to practice new skills, that it teaches responsibility and helps to develop a strong work ethic, and that it's an opportunity to reflect on new learning.
But most of all, my students' parents and I were more than a little afraid that our kids would fall behind—behind their classmates in the next classroom, behind the kids in a neighboring school, behind the kids in other countries.
It's not just that homework itself may be harmful for little kids, it's also that homework is replacing other fun, developmentally appropriate, and valuable activities—activities that help them grow into healthy, happy adults.
So, what are some of the things kids could be doing in those hours between the end of the school day and bed time?
Instead, of parents asking their overtired kids to do homework they're too young to do independently, families should spent much time talking together about their day.