The Homework Disaster Triangle

Today’s blog post is going to be about the negative aspects of giving out homework to your students from first hand experience. In my previous practicum class, my teacher explained why she didn’t give out homework with a triangle diagram that looked like this:



Parents                     Teacher

The students are at the top of the diagram, with the teacher and the parents at the bottom.

  • When you give out homework that a student may not fully understand, the student is often not happy with the teacher.
  • When they ask their parents for help, the parent could end up confusing the student more by teaching them a different way than they were taught in class. The student ends up being more confused and when they come back to class with their homework wrong or incomplete, then the teacher gets angry at the student.
  • Meanwhile, the parent is angry with the teacher because their child is not fully understanding the concepts.
  • The teacher then becomes angry at the parent for teaching their student something completely different.

Overall, homework can cause a big mess, so my teacher just stuck to silent read for 30 minutes every night. She also mentioned that even when she did give out homework, it would come back to school incomplete most of the time so it was a waste of time. The students who didn’t really need to be doing the homework would do it, but the students who really did need to be doing it, didn’t do it.

4 Replies to “The Homework Disaster Triangle”

  1. I love this triangle to show how homework can effect teacher, student and parent. I know that I hated homework growing up, and this helps to show the negative reasons why. I don’t like the idea of giving pointless homework, but would you consider giving ‘practice’? As in asking students to practice their times tables, or spelling. Not work to be handed in, just personal growth goals. I am a strong believer that the written work that is required for the school should be completed during school time, because it never really benefits anyone other than reporting purposes. Thank you for providing this visual!
    – Anna

    1. I love the idea of ‘practice’! Thank you for sharing this. I am beginning to develop the opinion that I am only going to give out homework when a student has not completed their work after they have had more than enough time to complete it. However, I do think that giving out practice is awesome for those students that would like to do additional work 🙂

  2. I like the reasons behind homework, on the opposing side, having no homework has also resulted in parents being upset. Such as when students stop having math homework, or spelling test review, parents feel their students are not learning. I have found, personally, homework can be beneficial for students who learn best in quiet or isolated environments. My philosophy for homework is that assignments that I would give, or worksheets, I also offer a lot of time to complete it within class, as well as ask for help. So, as a result if it is not completed it may be due to them goofing off… just a different perspective perhaps! But I love the information provided.

    1. Yes, even in my current practicum class I have had parents asking why they aren’t getting homework every night…in grade 3! However, after my research, I think that I will only assign homework when work has not been completed after they have had more than enough time to finish. I will also give out ‘practice’. Not something that I will assign, but things that they can continually be doing at home for their own personal growth. I think that this would keep the parents happy, and I might occasionally send a few worksheets home for those who want to do additional work.

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