first let me say dd gets quite a bit of homework. it is an academically challenging public school, but not really touted as college prep. dd and i had a talk about homework in first grade. and she decided she'd rather put up with the homework than change schools. HOWEVER the teachers were all very understanding and would cut down the busy work if it got too much. one teacher warned parents and students right from the beginning that he would give a lot of extra work, but it would be fun too. he has been so far dd's favourite teacher. and she put up her protest and turned her work in late, but she did it.
i have found i like a little bit of hw because it shows me what dd can do - esp. stuff she doesnt really work on on her free time. i knew where her holes were, where her concepts were not clear.
one reason why i have liked homework is developing dd's skill about life. we had a big conversation when she was in first grade about well this is life. there is always the fun side - the teachers and friends, but usually there is also an un-fun side too. like homework. it helped dd see that ok. i will have to live with homework. so she made hw fun for her. she created an afterschool hw club. while waiting for their parents to pick them up, the kids would all sit together on the bunch and finish off their homework.
today dd does hw at home with her other friends joining her too. so i have a 5th, 6th, 7th and sometimes a 11th grader do hw together. they help each other out. it is a fun thing to do together. they exchange notes about what teh others did in 5th grade, or tell dd - wow that's a great project idea for 5th grade.
so i find my attitude towards hw before dd started school, and my attitude towards it now is a little different.
if parents want to do something fun together why not over hw. actually there is a lot of fun - perhaps too much fun over hw since 4th grade because researching in one area takes us off in another direction.
2 days a week dd gets 2 hours of hw. other days half an hour or none. sometimes over the weekend too. but some of it is work she didnt finish in class.
Please dont turn this into a debate thread. I am well aware of Alfie Kohn.