Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

A conversation with a Wheelock researcher, a BU student, and a fourth-grade teacher

child doing homework

“Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives,” says Wheelock’s Janine Bempechat. “It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.” Photo by iStock/Glenn Cook Photography

Do your homework.

If only it were that simple.

Educators have debated the merits of homework since the late 19th century. In recent years, amid concerns of some parents and teachers that children are being stressed out by too much homework, things have only gotten more fraught.

“Homework is complicated,” says developmental psychologist Janine Bempechat, a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development clinical professor. The author of the essay “ The Case for (Quality) Homework—Why It Improves Learning and How Parents Can Help ” in the winter 2019 issue of Education Next , Bempechat has studied how the debate about homework is influencing teacher preparation, parent and student beliefs about learning, and school policies.

She worries especially about socioeconomically disadvantaged students from low-performing schools who, according to research by Bempechat and others, get little or no homework.

BU Today  sat down with Bempechat and Erin Bruce (Wheelock’17,’18), a new fourth-grade teacher at a suburban Boston school, and future teacher freshman Emma Ardizzone (Wheelock) to talk about what quality homework looks like, how it can help children learn, and how schools can equip teachers to design it, evaluate it, and facilitate parents’ role in it.

BU Today: Parents and educators who are against homework in elementary school say there is no research definitively linking it to academic performance for kids in the early grades. You’ve said that they’re missing the point.

Bempechat : I think teachers assign homework in elementary school as a way to help kids develop skills they’ll need when they’re older—to begin to instill a sense of responsibility and to learn planning and organizational skills. That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.

We do know that beginning in late middle school, and continuing through high school, there is a strong and positive correlation between homework completion and academic success.

That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success.

You talk about the importance of quality homework. What is that?

Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives. It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.

Janine Bempechat

What are your concerns about homework and low-income children?

The argument that some people make—that homework “punishes the poor” because lower-income parents may not be as well-equipped as affluent parents to help their children with homework—is very troubling to me. There are no parents who don’t care about their children’s learning. Parents don’t actually have to help with homework completion in order for kids to do well. They can help in other ways—by helping children organize a study space, providing snacks, being there as a support, helping children work in groups with siblings or friends.

Isn’t the discussion about getting rid of homework happening mostly in affluent communities?

Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That’s problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.

Teachers may not have as high expectations for lower-income children. Schools should bear responsibility for providing supports for kids to be able to get their homework done—after-school clubs, community support, peer group support. It does kids a disservice when our expectations are lower for them.

The conversation around homework is to some extent a social class and social justice issue. If we eliminate homework for all children because affluent children have too much, we’re really doing a disservice to low-income children. They need the challenge, and every student can rise to the challenge with enough supports in place.

What did you learn by studying how education schools are preparing future teachers to handle homework?

My colleague, Margarita Jimenez-Silva, at the University of California, Davis, School of Education, and I interviewed faculty members at education schools, as well as supervising teachers, to find out how students are being prepared. And it seemed that they weren’t. There didn’t seem to be any readings on the research, or conversations on what high-quality homework is and how to design it.

Erin, what kind of training did you get in handling homework?

Bruce : I had phenomenal professors at Wheelock, but homework just didn’t come up. I did lots of student teaching. I’ve been in classrooms where the teachers didn’t assign any homework, and I’ve been in rooms where they assigned hours of homework a night. But I never even considered homework as something that was my decision. I just thought it was something I’d pull out of a book and it’d be done.

I started giving homework on the first night of school this year. My first assignment was to go home and draw a picture of the room where you do your homework. I want to know if it’s at a table and if there are chairs around it and if mom’s cooking dinner while you’re doing homework.

The second night I asked them to talk to a grown-up about how are you going to be able to get your homework done during the week. The kids really enjoyed it. There’s a running joke that I’m teaching life skills.

Friday nights, I read all my kids’ responses to me on their homework from the week and it’s wonderful. They pour their hearts out. It’s like we’re having a conversation on my couch Friday night.

It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Bempechat : I can’t imagine that most new teachers would have the intuition Erin had in designing homework the way she did.

Ardizzone : Conversations with kids about homework, feeling you’re being listened to—that’s such a big part of wanting to do homework….I grew up in Westchester County. It was a pretty demanding school district. My junior year English teacher—I loved her—she would give us feedback, have meetings with all of us. She’d say, “If you have any questions, if you have anything you want to talk about, you can talk to me, here are my office hours.” It felt like she actually cared.

Bempechat : It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Ardizzone : But can’t it lead to parents being overbearing and too involved in their children’s lives as students?

Bempechat : There’s good help and there’s bad help. The bad help is what you’re describing—when parents hover inappropriately, when they micromanage, when they see their children confused and struggling and tell them what to do.

Good help is when parents recognize there’s a struggle going on and instead ask informative questions: “Where do you think you went wrong?” They give hints, or pointers, rather than saying, “You missed this,” or “You didn’t read that.”

Bruce : I hope something comes of this. I hope BU or Wheelock can think of some way to make this a more pressing issue. As a first-year teacher, it was not something I even thought about on the first day of school—until a kid raised his hand and said, “Do we have homework?” It would have been wonderful if I’d had a plan from day one.

Explore Related Topics:

  • Share this story

Senior Contributing Editor

Sara Rimer

Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald , Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times , where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

She can be reached at [email protected] .

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 81 comments on Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

Insightful! The values about homework in elementary schools are well aligned with my intuition as a parent.

when i finish my work i do my homework and i sometimes forget what to do because i did not get enough sleep

same omg it does not help me it is stressful and if I have it in more than one class I hate it.

Same I think my parent wants to help me but, she doesn’t care if I get bad grades so I just try my best and my grades are great.

I think that last question about Good help from parents is not know to all parents, we do as our parents did or how we best think it can be done, so maybe coaching parents or giving them resources on how to help with homework would be very beneficial for the parent on how to help and for the teacher to have consistency and improve homework results, and of course for the child. I do see how homework helps reaffirm the knowledge obtained in the classroom, I also have the ability to see progress and it is a time I share with my kids

The answer to the headline question is a no-brainer – a more pressing problem is why there is a difference in how students from different cultures succeed. Perfect example is the student population at BU – why is there a majority population of Asian students and only about 3% black students at BU? In fact at some universities there are law suits by Asians to stop discrimination and quotas against admitting Asian students because the real truth is that as a group they are demonstrating better qualifications for admittance, while at the same time there are quotas and reduced requirements for black students to boost their portion of the student population because as a group they do more poorly in meeting admissions standards – and it is not about the Benjamins. The real problem is that in our PC society no one has the gazuntas to explore this issue as it may reveal that all people are not created equal after all. Or is it just environmental cultural differences??????

I get you have a concern about the issue but that is not even what the point of this article is about. If you have an issue please take this to the site we have and only post your opinion about the actual topic

This is not at all what the article is talking about.

This literally has nothing to do with the article brought up. You should really take your opinions somewhere else before you speak about something that doesn’t make sense.

we have the same name

so they have the same name what of it?

lol you tell her

totally agree

What does that have to do with homework, that is not what the article talks about AT ALL.

Yes, I think homework plays an important role in the development of student life. Through homework, students have to face challenges on a daily basis and they try to solve them quickly.I am an intense online tutor at 24x7homeworkhelp and I give homework to my students at that level in which they handle it easily.

More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress.

You know what’s funny? I got this assignment to write an argument for homework about homework and this article was really helpful and understandable, and I also agree with this article’s point of view.

I also got the same task as you! I was looking for some good resources and I found this! I really found this article useful and easy to understand, just like you! ^^

i think that homework is the best thing that a child can have on the school because it help them with their thinking and memory.

I am a child myself and i think homework is a terrific pass time because i can’t play video games during the week. It also helps me set goals.

Homework is not harmful ,but it will if there is too much

I feel like, from a minors point of view that we shouldn’t get homework. Not only is the homework stressful, but it takes us away from relaxing and being social. For example, me and my friends was supposed to hang at the mall last week but we had to postpone it since we all had some sort of work to do. Our minds shouldn’t be focused on finishing an assignment that in realty, doesn’t matter. I completely understand that we should have homework. I have to write a paper on the unimportance of homework so thanks.

homework isn’t that bad

Are you a student? if not then i don’t really think you know how much and how severe todays homework really is

i am a student and i do not enjoy homework because i practice my sport 4 out of the five days we have school for 4 hours and that’s not even counting the commute time or the fact i still have to shower and eat dinner when i get home. its draining!

i totally agree with you. these people are such boomers

why just why

they do make a really good point, i think that there should be a limit though. hours and hours of homework can be really stressful, and the extra work isn’t making a difference to our learning, but i do believe homework should be optional and extra credit. that would make it for students to not have the leaning stress of a assignment and if you have a low grade you you can catch up.

Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research published in the High School Journal indicates that students who spent between 31 and 90 minutes each day on homework “scored about 40 points higher on the SAT-Mathematics subtest than their peers, who reported spending no time on homework each day, on average.” On both standardized tests and grades, students in classes that were assigned homework outperformed 69% of students who didn’t have homework. A majority of studies on homework’s impact – 64% in one meta-study and 72% in another – showed that take home assignments were effective at improving academic achievement. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs and higher probability of college attendance for high school boys. In fact, boys who attended college did more than three hours of additional homework per week in high school.

So how are your measuring student achievement? That’s the real question. The argument that doing homework is simply a tool for teaching responsibility isn’t enough for me. We can teach responsibility in a number of ways. Also the poor argument that parents don’t need to help with homework, and that students can do it on their own, is wishful thinking at best. It completely ignores neurodiverse students. Students in poverty aren’t magically going to find a space to do homework, a friend’s or siblings to help them do it, and snacks to eat. I feel like the author of this piece has never set foot in a classroom of students.

THIS. This article is pathetic coming from a university. So intellectually dishonest, refusing to address the havoc of capitalism and poverty plays on academic success in life. How can they in one sentence use poor kids in an argument and never once address that poor children have access to damn near 0 of the resources affluent kids have? Draw me a picture and let’s talk about feelings lmao what a joke is that gonna put food in their belly so they can have the calories to burn in order to use their brain to study? What about quiet their 7 other siblings that they share a single bedroom with for hours? Is it gonna force the single mom to magically be at home and at work at the same time to cook food while you study and be there to throw an encouraging word?

Also the “parents don’t need to be a parent and be able to guide their kid at all academically they just need to exist in the next room” is wild. Its one thing if a parent straight up is not equipped but to say kids can just figured it out is…. wow coming from an educator What’s next the teacher doesn’t need to teach cause the kid can just follow the packet and figure it out?

Well then get a tutor right? Oh wait you are poor only affluent kids can afford a tutor for their hours of homework a day were they on average have none of the worries a poor child does. Does this address that poor children are more likely to also suffer abuse and mental illness? Like mentioned what about kids that can’t learn or comprehend the forced standardized way? Just let em fail? These children regularly are not in “special education”(some of those are a joke in their own and full of neglect and abuse) programs cause most aren’t even acknowledged as having disabilities or disorders.

But yes all and all those pesky poor kids just aren’t being worked hard enough lol pretty sure poor children’s existence just in childhood is more work, stress, and responsibility alone than an affluent child’s entire life cycle. Love they never once talked about the quality of education in the classroom being so bad between the poor and affluent it can qualify as segregation, just basically blamed poor people for being lazy, good job capitalism for failing us once again!

why the hell?

you should feel bad for saying this, this article can be helpful for people who has to write a essay about it

This is more of a political rant than it is about homework

I know a teacher who has told his students their homework is to find something they are interested in, pursue it and then come share what they learn. The student responses are quite compelling. One girl taught herself German so she could talk to her grandfather. One boy did a research project on Nelson Mandela because the teacher had mentioned him in class. Another boy, a both on the autism spectrum, fixed his family’s computer. The list goes on. This is fourth grade. I think students are highly motivated to learn, when we step aside and encourage them.

The whole point of homework is to give the students a chance to use the material that they have been presented with in class. If they never have the opportunity to use that information, and discover that it is actually useful, it will be in one ear and out the other. As a science teacher, it is critical that the students are challenged to use the material they have been presented with, which gives them the opportunity to actually think about it rather than regurgitate “facts”. Well designed homework forces the student to think conceptually, as opposed to regurgitation, which is never a pretty sight

Wonderful discussion. and yes, homework helps in learning and building skills in students.

not true it just causes kids to stress

Homework can be both beneficial and unuseful, if you will. There are students who are gifted in all subjects in school and ones with disabilities. Why should the students who are gifted get the lucky break, whereas the people who have disabilities suffer? The people who were born with this “gift” go through school with ease whereas people with disabilities struggle with the work given to them. I speak from experience because I am one of those students: the ones with disabilities. Homework doesn’t benefit “us”, it only tears us down and put us in an abyss of confusion and stress and hopelessness because we can’t learn as fast as others. Or we can’t handle the amount of work given whereas the gifted students go through it with ease. It just brings us down and makes us feel lost; because no mater what, it feels like we are destined to fail. It feels like we weren’t “cut out” for success.

homework does help

here is the thing though, if a child is shoved in the face with a whole ton of homework that isn’t really even considered homework it is assignments, it’s not helpful. the teacher should make homework more of a fun learning experience rather than something that is dreaded

This article was wonderful, I am going to ask my teachers about extra, or at all giving homework.

I agree. Especially when you have homework before an exam. Which is distasteful as you’ll need that time to study. It doesn’t make any sense, nor does us doing homework really matters as It’s just facts thrown at us.

Homework is too severe and is just too much for students, schools need to decrease the amount of homework. When teachers assign homework they forget that the students have other classes that give them the same amount of homework each day. Students need to work on social skills and life skills.

I disagree.

Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue that it can have many other beneficial effects. They claim it can help students develop good study habits so they are ready to grow as their cognitive capacities mature. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can foster independent learning and responsible character traits. And it can give parents an opportunity to see what’s going on at school and let them express positive attitudes toward achievement.

Homework is helpful because homework helps us by teaching us how to learn a specific topic.

As a student myself, I can say that I have almost never gotten the full 9 hours of recommended sleep time, because of homework. (Now I’m writing an essay on it in the middle of the night D=)

I am a 10 year old kid doing a report about “Is homework good or bad” for homework before i was going to do homework is bad but the sources from this site changed my mind!

Homeowkr is god for stusenrs

I agree with hunter because homework can be so stressful especially with this whole covid thing no one has time for homework and every one just wants to get back to there normal lives it is especially stressful when you go on a 2 week vaca 3 weeks into the new school year and and then less then a week after you come back from the vaca you are out for over a month because of covid and you have no way to get the assignment done and turned in

As great as homework is said to be in the is article, I feel like the viewpoint of the students was left out. Every where I go on the internet researching about this topic it almost always has interviews from teachers, professors, and the like. However isn’t that a little biased? Of course teachers are going to be for homework, they’re not the ones that have to stay up past midnight completing the homework from not just one class, but all of them. I just feel like this site is one-sided and you should include what the students of today think of spending four hours every night completing 6-8 classes worth of work.

Are we talking about homework or practice? Those are two very different things and can result in different outcomes.

Homework is a graded assignment. I do not know of research showing the benefits of graded assignments going home.

Practice; however, can be extremely beneficial, especially if there is some sort of feedback (not a grade but feedback). That feedback can come from the teacher, another student or even an automated grading program.

As a former band director, I assigned daily practice. I never once thought it would be appropriate for me to require the students to turn in a recording of their practice for me to grade. Instead, I had in-class assignments/assessments that were graded and directly related to the practice assigned.

I would really like to read articles on “homework” that truly distinguish between the two.

oof i feel bad good luck!

thank you guys for the artical because I have to finish an assingment. yes i did cite it but just thanks

thx for the article guys.

Homework is good

I think homework is helpful AND harmful. Sometimes u can’t get sleep bc of homework but it helps u practice for school too so idk.

I agree with this Article. And does anyone know when this was published. I would like to know.

It was published FEb 19, 2019.

Studies have shown that homework improved student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college.

i think homework can help kids but at the same time not help kids

This article is so out of touch with majority of homes it would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly sad.

There is no value to homework all it does is add stress to already stressed homes. Parents or adults magically having the time or energy to shepherd kids through homework is dome sort of 1950’s fantasy.

What lala land do these teachers live in?

Homework gives noting to the kid

Homework is Bad

homework is bad.

why do kids even have homework?

Comments are closed.

Latest from Bostonia

American academy of arts & sciences welcomes five bu members, com’s newest journalism grad took her time, could boston be the next city to impose congestion pricing, alum has traveled the world to witness total solar eclipses, opening doors: rhonda harrison (eng’98,’04, grs’04), campus reacts and responds to israel-hamas war, reading list: what the pandemic revealed, remembering com’s david anable, cas’ john stone, “intellectual brilliance and brilliant kindness”, one good deed: christine kannler (cas’96, sph’00, camed’00), william fairfield warren society inducts new members, spreading art appreciation, restoring the “black angels” to medical history, in the kitchen with jacques pépin, feedback: readers weigh in on bu’s new president, com’s new expert on misinformation, and what’s really dividing the nation, the gifts of great teaching, sth’s walter fluker honored by roosevelt institute, alum’s debut book is a ramadan story for children, my big idea: covering construction sites with art, former terriers power new professional women’s hockey league.

  • About the Hub
  • Announcements
  • Faculty Experts Guide
  • Subscribe to the newsletter

Explore by Topic

  • Arts+Culture
  • Politics+Society
  • Science+Technology
  • Student Life
  • University News
  • Voices+Opinion
  • About Hub at Work
  • Gazette Archive
  • Benefits+Perks
  • Health+Well-Being
  • Current Issue
  • About the Magazine
  • Past Issues
  • Support Johns Hopkins Magazine
  • Subscribe to the Magazine

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

A daughter sits at a desk doing homework while her mom stands beside her helping

Credit: August de Richelieu

Does homework still have value? A Johns Hopkins education expert weighs in

Joyce epstein, co-director of the center on school, family, and community partnerships, discusses why homework is essential, how to maximize its benefit to learners, and what the 'no-homework' approach gets wrong.

By Vicky Hallett

The necessity of homework has been a subject of debate since at least as far back as the 1890s, according to Joyce L. Epstein , co-director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University. "It's always been the case that parents, kids—and sometimes teachers, too—wonder if this is just busy work," Epstein says.

But after decades of researching how to improve schools, the professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Education remains certain that homework is essential—as long as the teachers have done their homework, too. The National Network of Partnership Schools , which she founded in 1995 to advise schools and districts on ways to improve comprehensive programs of family engagement, has developed hundreds of improved homework ideas through its Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork program. For an English class, a student might interview a parent on popular hairstyles from their youth and write about the differences between then and now. Or for science class, a family could identify forms of matter over the dinner table, labeling foods as liquids or solids. These innovative and interactive assignments not only reinforce concepts from the classroom but also foster creativity, spark discussions, and boost student motivation.

"We're not trying to eliminate homework procedures, but expand and enrich them," says Epstein, who is packing this research into a forthcoming book on the purposes and designs of homework. In the meantime, the Hub couldn't wait to ask her some questions:

What kind of homework training do teachers typically get?

Future teachers and administrators really have little formal training on how to design homework before they assign it. This means that most just repeat what their teachers did, or they follow textbook suggestions at the end of units. For example, future teachers are well prepared to teach reading and literacy skills at each grade level, and they continue to learn to improve their teaching of reading in ongoing in-service education. By contrast, most receive little or no training on the purposes and designs of homework in reading or other subjects. It is really important for future teachers to receive systematic training to understand that they have the power, opportunity, and obligation to design homework with a purpose.

Why do students need more interactive homework?

If homework assignments are always the same—10 math problems, six sentences with spelling words—homework can get boring and some kids just stop doing their assignments, especially in the middle and high school years. When we've asked teachers what's the best homework you've ever had or designed, invariably we hear examples of talking with a parent or grandparent or peer to share ideas. To be clear, parents should never be asked to "teach" seventh grade science or any other subject. Rather, teachers set up the homework assignments so that the student is in charge. It's always the student's homework. But a good activity can engage parents in a fun, collaborative way. Our data show that with "good" assignments, more kids finish their work, more kids interact with a family partner, and more parents say, "I learned what's happening in the curriculum." It all works around what the youngsters are learning.

Is family engagement really that important?

At Hopkins, I am part of the Center for Social Organization of Schools , a research center that studies how to improve many aspects of education to help all students do their best in school. One thing my colleagues and I realized was that we needed to look deeply into family and community engagement. There were so few references to this topic when we started that we had to build the field of study. When children go to school, their families "attend" with them whether a teacher can "see" the parents or not. So, family engagement is ever-present in the life of a school.

My daughter's elementary school doesn't assign homework until third grade. What's your take on "no homework" policies?

There are some parents, writers, and commentators who have argued against homework, especially for very young children. They suggest that children should have time to play after school. This, of course is true, but many kindergarten kids are excited to have homework like their older siblings. If they give homework, most teachers of young children make assignments very short—often following an informal rule of 10 minutes per grade level. "No homework" does not guarantee that all students will spend their free time in productive and imaginative play.

Some researchers and critics have consistently misinterpreted research findings. They have argued that homework should be assigned only at the high school level where data point to a strong connection of doing assignments with higher student achievement . However, as we discussed, some students stop doing homework. This leads, statistically, to results showing that doing homework or spending more minutes on homework is linked to higher student achievement. If slow or struggling students are not doing their assignments, they contribute to—or cause—this "result."

Teachers need to design homework that even struggling students want to do because it is interesting. Just about all students at any age level react positively to good assignments and will tell you so.

Did COVID change how schools and parents view homework?

Within 24 hours of the day school doors closed in March 2020, just about every school and district in the country figured out that teachers had to talk to and work with students' parents. This was not the same as homeschooling—teachers were still working hard to provide daily lessons. But if a child was learning at home in the living room, parents were more aware of what they were doing in school. One of the silver linings of COVID was that teachers reported that they gained a better understanding of their students' families. We collected wonderfully creative examples of activities from members of the National Network of Partnership Schools. I'm thinking of one art activity where every child talked with a parent about something that made their family unique. Then they drew their finding on a snowflake and returned it to share in class. In math, students talked with a parent about something the family liked so much that they could represent it 100 times. Conversations about schoolwork at home was the point.

How did you create so many homework activities via the Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork program?

We had several projects with educators to help them design interactive assignments, not just "do the next three examples on page 38." Teachers worked in teams to create TIPS activities, and then we turned their work into a standard TIPS format in math, reading/language arts, and science for grades K-8. Any teacher can use or adapt our prototypes to match their curricula.

Overall, we know that if future teachers and practicing educators were prepared to design homework assignments to meet specific purposes—including but not limited to interactive activities—more students would benefit from the important experience of doing their homework. And more parents would, indeed, be partners in education.

Posted in Voices+Opinion

You might also like

News network.

  • Johns Hopkins Magazine
  • Get Email Updates
  • Submit an Announcement
  • Submit an Event
  • Privacy Statement
  • Accessibility

Discover JHU

  • About the University
  • Schools & Divisions
  • Academic Programs
  • Plan a Visit
  • my.JohnsHopkins.edu
  • © 2024 Johns Hopkins University . All rights reserved.
  • University Communications
  • 3910 Keswick Rd., Suite N2600, Baltimore, MD
  • X Facebook LinkedIn YouTube Instagram

Request More Info

Fill out the form below and a member of our team will reach out right away!

" * " indicates required fields

Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

homework is necessary for learning

The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

YOU’RE INVITED! Watch Free Webinar on USD’s Online MEd Program >>

Be Sure To Share This Article

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on LinkedIn

Top 11 Reasons to get Your Master of Education Degree

Free 22-page Book

homework is necessary for learning

  • Master of Education

Related Posts

homework is necessary for learning

Does homework really work?

by: Leslie Crawford | Updated: December 12, 2023

Print article

Does homework help

You know the drill. It’s 10:15 p.m., and the cardboard-and-toothpick Golden Gate Bridge is collapsing. The pages of polynomials have been abandoned. The paper on the Battle of Waterloo seems to have frozen in time with Napoleon lingering eternally over his breakfast at Le Caillou. Then come the tears and tantrums — while we parents wonder, Does the gain merit all this pain? Is this just too much homework?

However the drama unfolds night after night, year after year, most parents hold on to the hope that homework (after soccer games, dinner, flute practice, and, oh yes, that childhood pastime of yore known as playing) advances their children academically.

But what does homework really do for kids? Is the forest’s worth of book reports and math and spelling sheets the average American student completes in their 12 years of primary schooling making a difference? Or is it just busywork?

Homework haterz

Whether or not homework helps, or even hurts, depends on who you ask. If you ask my 12-year-old son, Sam, he’ll say, “Homework doesn’t help anything. It makes kids stressed-out and tired and makes them hate school more.”

Nothing more than common kid bellyaching?

Maybe, but in the fractious field of homework studies, it’s worth noting that Sam’s sentiments nicely synopsize one side of the ivory tower debate. Books like The End of Homework , The Homework Myth , and The Case Against Homework the film Race to Nowhere , and the anguished parent essay “ My Daughter’s Homework is Killing Me ” make the case that homework, by taking away precious family time and putting kids under unneeded pressure, is an ineffective way to help children become better learners and thinkers.

One Canadian couple took their homework apostasy all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. After arguing that there was no evidence that it improved academic performance, they won a ruling that exempted their two children from all homework.

So what’s the real relationship between homework and academic achievement?

How much is too much?

To answer this question, researchers have been doing their homework on homework, conducting and examining hundreds of studies. Chris Drew Ph.D., founder and editor at The Helpful Professor recently compiled multiple statistics revealing the folly of today’s after-school busy work. Does any of the data he listed below ring true for you?

• 45 percent of parents think homework is too easy for their child, primarily because it is geared to the lowest standard under the Common Core State Standards .

• 74 percent of students say homework is a source of stress , defined as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems.

• Students in high-performing high schools spend an average of 3.1 hours a night on homework , even though 1 to 2 hours is the optimal duration, according to a peer-reviewed study .

Not included in the list above is the fact many kids have to abandon activities they love — like sports and clubs — because homework deprives them of the needed time to enjoy themselves with other pursuits.

Conversely, The Helpful Professor does list a few pros of homework, noting it teaches discipline and time management, and helps parents know what’s being taught in the class.

The oft-bandied rule on homework quantity — 10 minutes a night per grade (starting from between 10 to 20 minutes in first grade) — is listed on the National Education Association’s website and the National Parent Teacher Association’s website , but few schools follow this rule.

Do you think your child is doing excessive homework? Harris Cooper Ph.D., author of a meta-study on homework , recommends talking with the teacher. “Often there is a miscommunication about the goals of homework assignments,” he says. “What appears to be problematic for kids, why they are doing an assignment, can be cleared up with a conversation.” Also, Cooper suggests taking a careful look at how your child is doing the assignments. It may seem like they’re taking two hours, but maybe your child is wandering off frequently to get a snack or getting distracted.

Less is often more

If your child is dutifully doing their work but still burning the midnight oil, it’s worth intervening to make sure your child gets enough sleep. A 2012 study of 535 high school students found that proper sleep may be far more essential to brain and body development.

For elementary school-age children, Cooper’s research at Duke University shows there is no measurable academic advantage to homework. For middle-schoolers, Cooper found there is a direct correlation between homework and achievement if assignments last between one to two hours per night. After two hours, however, achievement doesn’t improve. For high schoolers, Cooper’s research suggests that two hours per night is optimal. If teens have more than two hours of homework a night, their academic success flatlines. But less is not better. The average high school student doing homework outperformed 69 percent of the students in a class with no homework.

Many schools are starting to act on this research. A Florida superintendent abolished homework in her 42,000 student district, replacing it with 20 minutes of nightly reading. She attributed her decision to “ solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students .”

More family time

A 2020 survey by Crayola Experience reports 82 percent of children complain they don’t have enough quality time with their parents. Homework deserves much of the blame. “Kids should have a chance to just be kids and do things they enjoy, particularly after spending six hours a day in school,” says Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth . “It’s absurd to insist that children must be engaged in constructive activities right up until their heads hit the pillow.”

By far, the best replacement for homework — for both parents and children — is bonding, relaxing time together.

Homes Nearby

Homes for rent and sale near schools

Families-of-color-fighting-for-discipline

How families of color can fight for fair discipline in school

What to do when the teacher underestimates your child

Dealing with teacher bias

The most important school data families of color need to consider

The most important school data families of color need to consider

GreatSchools Logo

Yes! Sign me up for updates relevant to my child's grade.

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you for signing up!

Server Issue: Please try again later. Sorry for the inconvenience

The Cult of Homework

America’s devotion to the practice stems in part from the fact that it’s what today’s parents and teachers grew up with themselves.

homework is necessary for learning

America has long had a fickle relationship with homework. A century or so ago, progressive reformers argued that it made kids unduly stressed , which later led in some cases to district-level bans on it for all grades under seventh. This anti-homework sentiment faded, though, amid mid-century fears that the U.S. was falling behind the Soviet Union (which led to more homework), only to resurface in the 1960s and ’70s, when a more open culture came to see homework as stifling play and creativity (which led to less). But this didn’t last either: In the ’80s, government researchers blamed America’s schools for its economic troubles and recommended ramping homework up once more.

The 21st century has so far been a homework-heavy era, with American teenagers now averaging about twice as much time spent on homework each day as their predecessors did in the 1990s . Even little kids are asked to bring school home with them. A 2015 study , for instance, found that kindergarteners, who researchers tend to agree shouldn’t have any take-home work, were spending about 25 minutes a night on it.

But not without pushback. As many children, not to mention their parents and teachers, are drained by their daily workload, some schools and districts are rethinking how homework should work—and some teachers are doing away with it entirely. They’re reviewing the research on homework (which, it should be noted, is contested) and concluding that it’s time to revisit the subject.

Read: My daughter’s homework is killing me

Hillsborough, California, an affluent suburb of San Francisco, is one district that has changed its ways. The district, which includes three elementary schools and a middle school, worked with teachers and convened panels of parents in order to come up with a homework policy that would allow students more unscheduled time to spend with their families or to play. In August 2017, it rolled out an updated policy, which emphasized that homework should be “meaningful” and banned due dates that fell on the day after a weekend or a break.

“The first year was a bit bumpy,” says Louann Carlomagno, the district’s superintendent. She says the adjustment was at times hard for the teachers, some of whom had been doing their job in a similar fashion for a quarter of a century. Parents’ expectations were also an issue. Carlomagno says they took some time to “realize that it was okay not to have an hour of homework for a second grader—that was new.”

Most of the way through year two, though, the policy appears to be working more smoothly. “The students do seem to be less stressed based on conversations I’ve had with parents,” Carlomagno says. It also helps that the students performed just as well on the state standardized test last year as they have in the past.

Earlier this year, the district of Somerville, Massachusetts, also rewrote its homework policy, reducing the amount of homework its elementary and middle schoolers may receive. In grades six through eight, for example, homework is capped at an hour a night and can only be assigned two to three nights a week.

Jack Schneider, an education professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell whose daughter attends school in Somerville, is generally pleased with the new policy. But, he says, it’s part of a bigger, worrisome pattern. “The origin for this was general parental dissatisfaction, which not surprisingly was coming from a particular demographic,” Schneider says. “Middle-class white parents tend to be more vocal about concerns about homework … They feel entitled enough to voice their opinions.”

Schneider is all for revisiting taken-for-granted practices like homework, but thinks districts need to take care to be inclusive in that process. “I hear approximately zero middle-class white parents talking about how homework done best in grades K through two actually strengthens the connection between home and school for young people and their families,” he says. Because many of these parents already feel connected to their school community, this benefit of homework can seem redundant. “They don’t need it,” Schneider says, “so they’re not advocating for it.”

That doesn’t mean, necessarily, that homework is more vital in low-income districts. In fact, there are different, but just as compelling, reasons it can be burdensome in these communities as well. Allison Wienhold, who teaches high-school Spanish in the small town of Dunkerton, Iowa, has phased out homework assignments over the past three years. Her thinking: Some of her students, she says, have little time for homework because they’re working 30 hours a week or responsible for looking after younger siblings.

As educators reduce or eliminate the homework they assign, it’s worth asking what amount and what kind of homework is best for students. It turns out that there’s some disagreement about this among researchers, who tend to fall in one of two camps.

In the first camp is Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. Cooper conducted a review of the existing research on homework in the mid-2000s , and found that, up to a point, the amount of homework students reported doing correlates with their performance on in-class tests. This correlation, the review found, was stronger for older students than for younger ones.

This conclusion is generally accepted among educators, in part because it’s compatible with “the 10-minute rule,” a rule of thumb popular among teachers suggesting that the proper amount of homework is approximately 10 minutes per night, per grade level—that is, 10 minutes a night for first graders, 20 minutes a night for second graders, and so on, up to two hours a night for high schoolers.

In Cooper’s eyes, homework isn’t overly burdensome for the typical American kid. He points to a 2014 Brookings Institution report that found “little evidence that the homework load has increased for the average student”; onerous amounts of homework, it determined, are indeed out there, but relatively rare. Moreover, the report noted that most parents think their children get the right amount of homework, and that parents who are worried about under-assigning outnumber those who are worried about over-assigning. Cooper says that those latter worries tend to come from a small number of communities with “concerns about being competitive for the most selective colleges and universities.”

According to Alfie Kohn, squarely in camp two, most of the conclusions listed in the previous three paragraphs are questionable. Kohn, the author of The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing , considers homework to be a “reliable extinguisher of curiosity,” and has several complaints with the evidence that Cooper and others cite in favor of it. Kohn notes, among other things, that Cooper’s 2006 meta-analysis doesn’t establish causation, and that its central correlation is based on children’s (potentially unreliable) self-reporting of how much time they spend doing homework. (Kohn’s prolific writing on the subject alleges numerous other methodological faults.)

In fact, other correlations make a compelling case that homework doesn’t help. Some countries whose students regularly outperform American kids on standardized tests, such as Japan and Denmark, send their kids home with less schoolwork , while students from some countries with higher homework loads than the U.S., such as Thailand and Greece, fare worse on tests. (Of course, international comparisons can be fraught because so many factors, in education systems and in societies at large, might shape students’ success.)

Kohn also takes issue with the way achievement is commonly assessed. “If all you want is to cram kids’ heads with facts for tomorrow’s tests that they’re going to forget by next week, yeah, if you give them more time and make them do the cramming at night, that could raise the scores,” he says. “But if you’re interested in kids who know how to think or enjoy learning, then homework isn’t merely ineffective, but counterproductive.”

His concern is, in a way, a philosophical one. “The practice of homework assumes that only academic growth matters, to the point that having kids work on that most of the school day isn’t enough,” Kohn says. What about homework’s effect on quality time spent with family? On long-term information retention? On critical-thinking skills? On social development? On success later in life? On happiness? The research is quiet on these questions.

Another problem is that research tends to focus on homework’s quantity rather than its quality, because the former is much easier to measure than the latter. While experts generally agree that the substance of an assignment matters greatly (and that a lot of homework is uninspiring busywork), there isn’t a catchall rule for what’s best—the answer is often specific to a certain curriculum or even an individual student.

Given that homework’s benefits are so narrowly defined (and even then, contested), it’s a bit surprising that assigning so much of it is often a classroom default, and that more isn’t done to make the homework that is assigned more enriching. A number of things are preserving this state of affairs—things that have little to do with whether homework helps students learn.

Jack Schneider, the Massachusetts parent and professor, thinks it’s important to consider the generational inertia of the practice. “The vast majority of parents of public-school students themselves are graduates of the public education system,” he says. “Therefore, their views of what is legitimate have been shaped already by the system that they would ostensibly be critiquing.” In other words, many parents’ own history with homework might lead them to expect the same for their children, and anything less is often taken as an indicator that a school or a teacher isn’t rigorous enough. (This dovetails with—and complicates—the finding that most parents think their children have the right amount of homework.)

Barbara Stengel, an education professor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, brought up two developments in the educational system that might be keeping homework rote and unexciting. The first is the importance placed in the past few decades on standardized testing, which looms over many public-school classroom decisions and frequently discourages teachers from trying out more creative homework assignments. “They could do it, but they’re afraid to do it, because they’re getting pressure every day about test scores,” Stengel says.

Second, she notes that the profession of teaching, with its relatively low wages and lack of autonomy, struggles to attract and support some of the people who might reimagine homework, as well as other aspects of education. “Part of why we get less interesting homework is because some of the people who would really have pushed the limits of that are no longer in teaching,” she says.

“In general, we have no imagination when it comes to homework,” Stengel says. She wishes teachers had the time and resources to remake homework into something that actually engages students. “If we had kids reading—anything, the sports page, anything that they’re able to read—that’s the best single thing. If we had kids going to the zoo, if we had kids going to parks after school, if we had them doing all of those things, their test scores would improve. But they’re not. They’re going home and doing homework that is not expanding what they think about.”

“Exploratory” is one word Mike Simpson used when describing the types of homework he’d like his students to undertake. Simpson is the head of the Stone Independent School, a tiny private high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that opened in 2017. “We were lucky to start a school a year and a half ago,” Simpson says, “so it’s been easy to say we aren’t going to assign worksheets, we aren’t going assign regurgitative problem sets.” For instance, a half-dozen students recently built a 25-foot trebuchet on campus.

Simpson says he thinks it’s a shame that the things students have to do at home are often the least fulfilling parts of schooling: “When our students can’t make the connection between the work they’re doing at 11 o’clock at night on a Tuesday to the way they want their lives to be, I think we begin to lose the plot.”

When I talked with other teachers who did homework makeovers in their classrooms, I heard few regrets. Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher in Joshua, Texas, stopped assigning take-home packets of worksheets three years ago, and instead started asking her students to do 20 minutes of pleasure reading a night. She says she’s pleased with the results, but she’s noticed something funny. “Some kids,” she says, “really do like homework.” She’s started putting out a bucket of it for students to draw from voluntarily—whether because they want an additional challenge or something to pass the time at home.

Chris Bronke, a high-school English teacher in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, told me something similar. This school year, he eliminated homework for his class of freshmen, and now mostly lets students study on their own or in small groups during class time. It’s usually up to them what they work on each day, and Bronke has been impressed by how they’ve managed their time.

In fact, some of them willingly spend time on assignments at home, whether because they’re particularly engaged, because they prefer to do some deeper thinking outside school, or because they needed to spend time in class that day preparing for, say, a biology test the following period. “They’re making meaningful decisions about their time that I don’t think education really ever gives students the experience, nor the practice, of doing,” Bronke said.

The typical prescription offered by those overwhelmed with homework is to assign less of it—to subtract. But perhaps a more useful approach, for many classrooms, would be to create homework only when teachers and students believe it’s actually needed to further the learning that takes place in class—to start with nothing, and add as necessary.

  • Share full article

Advertisement

Supported by

Is Homework Necessary for Student Success?

Readers argue both sides, citing Finland, the value of repetition, education inequity and more.

homework is necessary for learning

To the Editor:

Re “ The Movement to End Homework Is Wrong ,” by Jay Caspian Kang (Sunday Opinion, July 31):

Finland proves that you don’t need homework for education success. Students there have hardly any homework, and it has one of the top education systems in the world. In America, there is ample time for students to do in class what is now assigned as homework.

Whether a student attends an expensive private school, an underserved public school or something in between, being burdened with hours of additional work to do after school unnecessarily robs them of time for play, introspection, creative thinking, relaxation and intellectual growth.

Mr. Kang regards the demonstration of diligence and personal responsibility as an important raison d’être of homework. He sees schools as places where students can distinguish themselves and pursue upward mobility. But ranking students on homework production favors students with quiet places to go home to, good Wi-Fi, and access to tutors and parents who can provide help. In other words, it favors students of higher socioeconomic status.

It follows that making homework an important part of a student’s evaluation perpetuates both educational inequalities and the myth of meritocracy. A first step toward improving our educational system is indeed the abolition of homework.

Dorshka Wylie Washington The writer is an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of the District of Columbia.

Homework’s value is unclear for younger students. But by high school and college, homework is absolutely essential for any student who wishes to excel. There simply isn’t time to digest Dostoyevsky if you only ever read him in class.

In both my own education and my 20-year career as an educator, I’ve observed that those students who spend the most time on homework tend to learn the most and earn the best grades. And this is no less true for athletes and musicians. Top performers have often spent far more time perfecting their crafts than their lesser competitors.

This isn’t to deny natural talent or to suggest that everybody starts from the same spot, but it is to say that what matters most is putting in the hours. As Jay Caspian Kang notes, “Kids need to learn how to practice things.”

Simone Biles became the greatest gymnast ever by training seven hours a day, six days a week . Lang Lang made it to Carnegie Hall at age 18 after practicing piano six hours a day starting when he was 5 years old. Steph Curry is the greatest shooter in N.B.A. history precisely because he puts up 300 to 500 shots every day . The recipe is surprisingly simple: Outwork others. It’s much harder than it sounds.

Justin Snider New York The writer is an assistant dean at Columbia University, where he also teaches undergraduate writing.

In my own practice as a high school mathematics teacher, I explored why students were not doing homework in certain classes and discovered that many of them were having difficulty doing the problems. When I “flipped” my classroom, I started assigning simple introductory videos for homework and doing the harder problems in class.

Students get credit for watching and doing the problems in the video. Then in class, they are better prepared to work on more difficult problems. This significantly increased the percentage of homework doers.

In other cases, I create an after-school “homework clinic” where I can guide students in how to approach the work, and how to judge if they have done enough. Sometimes groups of students come together to a homework clinic and enjoy helping one another.

I don’t think about homework as something that must be done “at home”; I think of it as an opportunity for a student to work independently, and to explore and practice new ideas.

This is one approach to improving equity without lowering cognitive demand.

Joyce Leslie Highland Park, N.J.

Telling students that “a lot of work you’re going to end up doing in your life is pointless” is an absurd justification for repetitive, mindless homework.

Allen Berger Savannah, Ga. The writer is emeritus professor of reading and writing at Miami University (Ohio).

I see why Jay Caspian Kang can’t imagine a school that could educate children well without relying on homework, ranking, sorting and other trappings of meritocracy. Most people in our society have never seen such a thing. But some schools do provide a rigorous education that strengthens personal responsibility and skill mastery without emphasizing who is better than whom — and even without homework.

To see this in action, I encourage Mr. Kang to visit any of the powerful public Montessori schools serving low-income communities across our nation. And yes, many Montessori schools take a minimal approach to homework. Instead, they make time for children to struggle with challenging concepts and independently practice new skills during the school day.

Annie Frazer Decatur, Ga. The writer is executive director of Montessori Partnerships for Georgia.

I agree with Jay Caspian Kang that one value of homework is for a student to independently practice a skill until mastery, and I recognize the issue of equity when homework is assessed for students from “disadvantaged” homes. However, there is another important benefit to homework that can bolster social mobility.

Homework gives students the opportunity to practice responsibility, which arguably is an important “soft skill” that will pay off later in the work force. In the classroom, students practice compliance: doing what the teacher says. Homework provides students with agency to practice time management (remembering to do a task and making time to do it) and materials management (taking home the right notebook and bringing it back on time).

To ensure an equal playing field, teachers can directly teach these skills by providing strategies to students who may not have adults at home to do so. Schools can further support students by providing unstructured time for students to do this homework independently with supervision (free period, study hall, after school, etc.). Learning responsibility should be the fourth R.

Barbara Richman Hawthorne, N.Y.

Is Homework Good for Kids? Here’s What the Research Says

A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day.

The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in Texas went viral last week , earning praise from parents across the country who lament the heavy workload often assigned to young students. Brandy Young told parents she would not formally assign any homework this year, asking students instead to eat dinner with their families, play outside and go to bed early.

But the question of how much work children should be doing outside of school remains controversial, and plenty of parents take issue with no-homework policies, worried their kids are losing a potential academic advantage. Here’s what you need to know:

For decades, the homework standard has been a “10-minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night. High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night. The National PTA and the National Education Association both support that guideline.

But some schools have begun to give their youngest students a break. A Massachusetts elementary school has announced a no-homework pilot program for the coming school year, lengthening the school day by two hours to provide more in-class instruction. “We really want kids to go home at 4 o’clock, tired. We want their brain to be tired,” Kelly Elementary School Principal Jackie Glasheen said in an interview with a local TV station . “We want them to enjoy their families. We want them to go to soccer practice or football practice, and we want them to go to bed. And that’s it.”

A New York City public elementary school implemented a similar policy last year, eliminating traditional homework assignments in favor of family time. The change was quickly met with outrage from some parents, though it earned support from other education leaders.

New solutions and approaches to homework differ by community, and these local debates are complicated by the fact that even education experts disagree about what’s best for kids.

The research

The most comprehensive research on homework to date comes from a 2006 meta-analysis by Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper, who found evidence of a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school. The correlation was stronger for older students—in seventh through 12th grade—than for those in younger grades, for whom there was a weak relationship between homework and performance.

Cooper’s analysis focused on how homework impacts academic achievement—test scores, for example. His report noted that homework is also thought to improve study habits, attitudes toward school, self-discipline, inquisitiveness and independent problem solving skills. On the other hand, some studies he examined showed that homework can cause physical and emotional fatigue, fuel negative attitudes about learning and limit leisure time for children. At the end of his analysis, Cooper recommended further study of such potential effects of homework.

Despite the weak correlation between homework and performance for young children, Cooper argues that a small amount of homework is useful for all students. Second-graders should not be doing two hours of homework each night, he said, but they also shouldn’t be doing no homework.

Not all education experts agree entirely with Cooper’s assessment.

Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, supports the “10-minute rule” as a maximum, but she thinks there is not sufficient proof that homework is helpful for students in elementary school.

“Correlation is not causation,” she said. “Does homework cause achievement, or do high achievers do more homework?”

Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs , thinks there should be more emphasis on improving the quality of homework tasks, and she supports efforts to eliminate homework for younger kids.

“I have no concerns about students not starting homework until fourth grade or fifth grade,” she said, noting that while the debate over homework will undoubtedly continue, she has noticed a trend toward limiting, if not eliminating, homework in elementary school.

The issue has been debated for decades. A TIME cover in 1999 read: “Too much homework! How it’s hurting our kids, and what parents should do about it.” The accompanying story noted that the launch of Sputnik in 1957 led to a push for better math and science education in the U.S. The ensuing pressure to be competitive on a global scale, plus the increasingly demanding college admissions process, fueled the practice of assigning homework.

“The complaints are cyclical, and we’re in the part of the cycle now where the concern is for too much,” Cooper said. “You can go back to the 1970s, when you’ll find there were concerns that there was too little, when we were concerned about our global competitiveness.”

Cooper acknowledged that some students really are bringing home too much homework, and their parents are right to be concerned.

“A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements,” he said. “If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.”

More Must-Reads From TIME

  • What Student Photojournalists Saw at the Campus Protests
  • How Far Trump Would Go
  • Why Maternity Care Is Underpaid
  • Saving Seconds Is Better Than Hours
  • Welcome to the Golden Age of Ryan Gosling
  • Scientists Are Finding Out Just How Toxic Your Stuff Is
  • The 100 Most Influential People of 2024
  • Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time

Write to Katie Reilly at [email protected]

Should Kids Get Homework?

Homework gives elementary students a way to practice concepts, but too much can be harmful, experts say.

Mother helping son with homework at home

Getty Images

Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful.

How much homework students should get has long been a source of debate among parents and educators. In recent years, some districts have even implemented no-homework policies, as students juggle sports, music and other activities after school.

Parents of elementary school students, in particular, have argued that after-school hours should be spent with family or playing outside rather than completing assignments. And there is little research to show that homework improves academic achievement for elementary students.

But some experts say there's value in homework, even for younger students. When done well, it can help students practice core concepts and develop study habits and time management skills. The key to effective homework, they say, is keeping assignments related to classroom learning, and tailoring the amount by age: Many experts suggest no homework for kindergartners, and little to none in first and second grade.

Value of Homework

Homework provides a chance to solidify what is being taught in the classroom that day, week or unit. Practice matters, says Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University 's Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

"There really is no other domain of human ability where anybody would say you don't need to practice," she adds. "We have children practicing piano and we have children going to sports practice several days a week after school. You name the domain of ability and practice is in there."

Homework is also the place where schools and families most frequently intersect.

"The children are bringing things from the school into the home," says Paula S. Fass, professor emerita of history at the University of California—Berkeley and the author of "The End of American Childhood." "Before the pandemic, (homework) was the only real sense that parents had to what was going on in schools."

Harris Cooper, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University and author of "The Battle Over Homework," examined more than 60 research studies on homework between 1987 and 2003 and found that — when designed properly — homework can lead to greater student success. Too much, however, is harmful. And homework has a greater positive effect on students in secondary school (grades 7-12) than those in elementary.

"Every child should be doing homework, but the amount and type that they're doing should be appropriate for their developmental level," he says. "For teachers, it's a balancing act. Doing away with homework completely is not in the best interest of children and families. But overburdening families with homework is also not in the child's or a family's best interest."

Negative Homework Assignments

Not all homework for elementary students involves completing a worksheet. Assignments can be fun, says Cooper, like having students visit educational locations, keep statistics on their favorite sports teams, read for pleasure or even help their parents grocery shop. The point is to show students that activities done outside of school can relate to subjects learned in the classroom.

But assignments that are just busy work, that force students to learn new concepts at home, or that are overly time-consuming can be counterproductive, experts say.

Homework that's just busy work.

Effective homework reinforces math, reading, writing or spelling skills, but in a way that's meaningful, experts say. Assignments that look more like busy work – projects or worksheets that don't require teacher feedback and aren't related to topics learned in the classroom – can be frustrating for students and create burdens for families.

"The mental health piece has definitely played a role here over the last couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last thing we want to do is frustrate students with busy work or homework that makes no sense," says Dave Steckler, principal of Red Trail Elementary School in Mandan, North Dakota.

Homework on material that kids haven't learned yet.

With the pressure to cover all topics on standardized tests and limited time during the school day, some teachers assign homework that has not yet been taught in the classroom.

Not only does this create stress, but it also causes equity challenges. Some parents speak languages other than English or work several jobs, and they aren't able to help teach their children new concepts.

" It just becomes agony for both parents and the kids to get through this worksheet, and the goal becomes getting to the bottom of (the) worksheet with answers filled in without any understanding of what any of it matters for," says professor Susan R. Goldman, co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois—Chicago .

Homework that's overly time-consuming.

The standard homework guideline recommended by the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association is the "10-minute rule" – 10 minutes of nightly homework per grade level. A fourth grader, for instance, would receive a total of 40 minutes of homework per night.

But this does not always happen, especially since not every student learns the same. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy found that primary school children actually received three times the recommended amount of homework — and that family stress increased along with the homework load.

Young children can only remain attentive for short periods, so large amounts of homework, especially lengthy projects, can negatively affect students' views on school. Some individual long-term projects – like having to build a replica city, for example – typically become an assignment for parents rather than students, Fass says.

"It's one thing to assign a project like that in which several kids are working on it together," she adds. "In (that) case, the kids do normally work on it. It's another to send it home to the families, where it becomes a burden and doesn't really accomplish very much."

Private vs. Public Schools

Do private schools assign more homework than public schools? There's little research on the issue, but experts say private school parents may be more accepting of homework, seeing it as a sign of academic rigor.

Of course, not all private schools are the same – some focus on college preparation and traditional academics, while others stress alternative approaches to education.

"I think in the academically oriented private schools, there's more support for homework from parents," says Gerald K. LeTendre, chair of educational administration at Pennsylvania State University—University Park . "I don't know if there's any research to show there's more homework, but it's less of a contentious issue."

How to Address Homework Overload

First, assess if the workload takes as long as it appears. Sometimes children may start working on a homework assignment, wander away and come back later, Cooper says.

"Parents don't see it, but they know that their child has started doing their homework four hours ago and still not done it," he adds. "They don't see that there are those four hours where their child was doing lots of other things. So the homework assignment itself actually is not four hours long. It's the way the child is approaching it."

But if homework is becoming stressful or workload is excessive, experts suggest parents first approach the teacher, followed by a school administrator.

"Many times, we can solve a lot of issues by having conversations," Steckler says, including by "sitting down, talking about the amount of homework, and what's appropriate and not appropriate."

Study Tips for High School Students

High angle view of young woman sitting at desk and studying at home during coronavirus lockdown

Tags: K-12 education , students , elementary school , children

2024 Best Colleges

homework is necessary for learning

Search for your perfect fit with the U.S. News rankings of colleges and universities.

Social Sciences

© 2024 Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse LLC . All rights reserved. ISSN: 2153-5760.

Disclaimer: content on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Moreover, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Inquiries Journal or Student Pulse, its owners, staff, contributors, or affiliates.

Home | Current Issue | Blog | Archives | About The Journal | Submissions Terms of Use :: Privacy Policy :: Contact

Need an Account?

Forgot password? Reset your password »

logo (1)

School Life Balance , Tips for Online Students

The Pros and Cons of Homework

Updated: December 7, 2023

Published: January 23, 2020

The-Pros-and-Cons-Should-Students-Have-Homework

Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

Photo by  energepic.com  from  Pexels

Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

Related Articles

Is Homework Necessary?

  • Share article

The Atlantic recently published a collection of short perspective pieces on “The Homework Wars,” inspired by an article by parent Karl Taro Greenberg entitled “My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me.” In one piece, English teacher Jessica Lahey expresses her internal conflicts about assigning homework. She believes the benefits of homework are “limited” at best, but worries that if she doesn’t assign it regularly, she will be “viewed as less serious or rigorous than my colleagues.” There’s also the matter of fitting everything in during class time: “I have always taught novels as a cornerstone of my English curriculum, and without reading homework, we’d be lucky to get through a novel a year,” she writes.

For advice, Lahey reached out by email to former teacher Mark Barnes, a one-time traditionalist who stopped giving homework roughly a dozen years into his career. She summarizes his response:

Contrary to my first concern, Barnes found that most parents were in favor of his doing away with homework, particularly once he outlined the research for them. He shared what he had learned with his principals, and they signed off on his efforts. "Ironically, the people who often struggled with my no-homework policy the most were colleagues. They were getting pushback from students, who argued, 'Mr. Barnes doesn't assign it, so why do you?'" he wrote. Barnes points out that a no-homework policy does not mean that his students never work outside of class; indeed, they often do, because they enjoy the learning and want it to continue outside of class.

In a separate piece, Andrea Townsend, a high school science teacher and parent, defends homework . She believes, echoing one of Lahey’s concerns, that getting rid of homework would limit her students’ learning. She prefers to use class time on hands-on activities, like labs, that are in her own words “the best way for students to learn” but not the most efficient. Homework can be beneficial for students in high school, she argues, if done correctly. “I’ve learned, while preparing my students to start college early, that study skills become much more important than they were in primary school,” she writes. “It’s also important for teachers to assign work that’s high in quality, instead of quantity.”

Where do you stand?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.

Sign Up for EdWeek Update

20 Reasons Why Homework is Good: Unlocking the Benefits

20 reasons why homework is good

  • Post author By admin
  • October 26, 2023

Explore the compelling 20 reasons why homework is good, fostering skills and knowledge that extend beyond the classroom

Ah, homework – a topic that has fueled countless debates in the world of education. Is it a valuable learning tool or a relentless academic burden?

In this article, we’re going to shift the spotlight onto the often-overlooked positive side of homework. We’ll unveil not one or two, but a whopping 20 compelling reasons why homework is genuinely good for students.

From solidifying classroom knowledge to honing critical thinking skills, homework is far more than just an academic chore. It’s an essential building block of learning. 

So, whether you’ve questioned the purpose of homework or are simply curious about its merits, join us on this journey as we explore the myriad ways homework benefits students of all ages.

Get ready to discover why homework is a treasure trove of learning opportunities!

Table of Contents

20 Reasons Why Homework is Good

Check out 20 reasons why homework is good:-

1. Reinforcement of Classroom Learning

Homework isn’t just a mundane task; it’s your secret weapon for becoming a true subject matter aficionado. It’s the place where classroom theories transform into real-world skills. 

Homework, in all its wisdom, lets you roll up your sleeves and practice what you’ve learned in class, turning those lightbulb moments into permanent knowledge fixtures.

Just like a musician perfecting a melody or an artist refining their masterpiece, homework is your training ground for excellence. So, embrace it, for every assignment is a stepping stone on your path to mastery.

2. Development of Responsibility 

Homework isn’t just about books and assignments; it’s a grooming ground for something equally important – responsibility.

It’s like a trusty mentor, teaching students to take charge, manage their time, and complete tasks independently.

It’s that early taste of adulthood, where you learn that success often depends on your own commitment and effort.

So, think of homework as your guide on the journey to becoming a responsible, self-reliant individual, armed with skills that will serve you well in all walks of life.

3. Improved Time Management Skills 

Homework is more than just assignments; it’s a boot camp for one of life’s essential skills – time management. Think of it as a mini dress rehearsal for adulthood.

Homework teaches students to allocate their time wisely, ensuring they meet deadlines and complete tasks efficiently. It’s like learning to juggle multiple balls, a skill that will serve them well in their adult lives. So, embrace homework as your friendly time-management coach, preparing you for the real world’s challenges.

4. Enhanced Critical Thinking

Homework is not just about finding answers; it’s your secret laboratory for unleashing the power of critical thinking.

It’s the arena where you get to be the detective, dissect problems, and engineer ingenious solutions. Think of it as mental gymnastics, where your cognitive muscles get a thorough workout.

The more you dive into those homework challenges, the sharper your critical thinking skills become. So, consider homework your daily brain boot camp, molding you into a savvy problem-solver with talents that extend way beyond the classroom.

5. Preparation for the Future

Homework isn’t just about cracking textbooks; it’s your sneak peek into the future. Think of it as your personal time machine, where you’re not just solving equations but honing skills that will propel you to success in higher education and the professional arena.

It’s like laying the stepping stones to your dream career. From mastering time management to sharpening critical thinking, homework is your trusted mentor, preparing you for the exciting journey ahead.

So, when you’re poring over those assignments, remember – you’re not just studying, you’re shaping a future filled with possibilities.

6. Encouragement of Self-Discipline 

Homework isn’t just about filling out worksheets; it’s the canvas on which students paint their self-discipline and self-motivation masterpieces.

It’s like training for life’s grand adventure. With homework, you’re the captain, setting sail on a sea of assignments.

Completing homework isn’t merely about meeting deadlines; it’s about cultivating skills that become your secret weapons in the real world.

So, think of homework as your personal training ground for self-discipline, sculpting you into a resilient and motivated individual who’s ready to conquer life’s challenges.

7. Review of Material

Homework isn’t just an additional task; it’s your golden opportunity to revisit and cement what you’ve learned in class.

Think of it as your personal review session, where you go through the key points and solidify your understanding. Just as an artist refines their masterpiece or a musician practices their chords, homework is your tool for perfection.

The more you review and consolidate, the stronger your grasp on the subject matter becomes. So, embrace homework as your trusted ally in mastering the art of revision, making you a confident and knowledgeable learner.

8. Practice Makes Perfect

Homework isn’t a chore; it’s your backstage pass to perfection. It’s like the endless rehearsals of a musician or the tireless drills of an athlete.

Homework is your playground for practice, where you can fine-tune your skills, ensuring you become a true master in various subjects. Just as a chef perfects a recipe through repetition, your homework is the recipe for excellence.

So, when you’re diving into those assignments, think of them as your chance to practice, practice, and practice some more, turning you into a subject maestro.

9. Teacher-Student Interaction

Homework isn’t just about cracking the books; it’s your backstage pass to building strong connections with your teachers.

It’s like sending an open invitation to ask questions and seek guidance. Homework transforms the student-teacher relationship from a formal handshake into a hearty conversation.

When you embrace homework, you’re not just solving problems; you’re forging connections that can last a lifetime.

So, think of homework as your golden opportunity for dialogue, where you can foster positive relationships with your teachers and make your educational journey all the more engaging and rewarding.

10. Parental Involvement

Homework isn’t just a student’s duty; it’s a chance for families to bond over learning. It’s like the thread that weaves the classroom and home together, allowing parents to actively participate in their child’s education.

Homework transforms the learning experience into a shared adventure where everyone can join in the fun. When parents dive into homework with their kids, it’s not just about helping with math problems.

It’s about creating moments of connection, offering support, and sharing in the educational journey. So, think of homework as the gateway to family engagement in education, making learning a joyful family affair.

11. Real-Life Application

Homework isn’t just about hitting the books; it’s your backstage pass to making knowledge practical. It’s like a secret bridge that connects the world of theory with the realm of real-life application.

Homework transforms you from a passive learner into an active doer. It’s where you take those classroom ideas and put them into action, just like a scientist testing a hypothesis or an engineer building a bridge.

So, consider homework your personal laboratory for bringing theories to life, where you turn bookish knowledge into real-world magic, making your education a thrilling adventure.

12. Different Learning Styles 

Homework isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; it’s more like a treasure map that caters to diverse learning styles. Imagine it as a chameleon, changing its colors to suit both visual and kinesthetic learners.

Homework knows that we’re all unique, with our own special ways of learning. For those who thrive on visuals, it serves up graphs and illustrations, while the hands-on learners get to dive into practical tasks.

It’s a bit like having a tailor-made suit for education. So, consider homework your personal guide, offering a learning experience that’s as unique as you are, making education a captivating and natural journey.

13. Time for Creativity 

Homework isn’t a creativity crusher; it’s your chance to let your imagination soar. Think of it as a blank canvas waiting for your ideas to paint it with vibrant colors.

Homework isn’t about rules and conformity; it’s about independent thinking and the freedom to express yourself. Whether you’re crafting an essay, brainstorming a unique solution, or designing a project, homework is your invitation to let your creativity shine.

So, consider homework your personal creative playground, where you can set your ideas free, turning learning into an exciting and imaginative adventure.

14. Enhancement of Research Skills

Homework isn’t just about checking off tasks; it’s your secret lair for honing research skills, those superpowers that will supercharge your success in both academics and the real world.

Think of it as your personal training ground where you become a detective of knowledge, learning to explore, dig deep, and unearth answers.

Whether you’re delving into the depths of the library, surfing the web, or conducting surveys, research-based homework transforms you into a skilled investigator.

So, consider homework your gateway to the world of research, where you unlock skills that will not only power your academic journey but also your lifelong adventures.

15. Test Preparation

Homework isn’t just a mundane task; it’s your secret weapon for conquering exams. Think of it as your personal exam prep coach, crafting a roadmap for success.

Homework lets you revisit, revise, and sharpen your skills, so when test day arrives, you’re ready to shine. It’s not just about finishing assignments; it’s about building your confidence for those crucial exams.

So, consider homework your trusty sidekick on the path to acing tests, making your educational journey an exciting adventure.

16. Increased Engagement

Homework isn’t a homework. It’s more like an after-class adventure that keeps the excitement of learning alive. Think of it as your personal quest, where you get to explore the subjects that genuinely pique your interest.

Homework isn’t about killing time; it’s your ticket to stay engaged with your learning journey, even when the school day ends.

So, when you’re tackling your assignments, remember you’re not just checking off tasks; you’re stoking the flames of curiosity, making education an exhilarating and never-ending journey.

17. Achievement of Learning Objectives 

Homework isn’t just a jumble of tasks; it’s your trusted guide leading you to specific educational victories. Picture it as your personal GPS, keeping you on track to reach those learning milestones.

Homework is where you make the connections, reinforce classroom knowledge, and make your education rock-solid. It’s not just about answering questions; it’s about ensuring you hit those educational bullseyes.

So, when you’re diving into your assignments, remember you’re not just ticking off tasks; you’re on a journey to academic success, turning each homework into a stepping stone toward your goals.

18. Inclusivity 

Homework isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal; it’s your versatile tool to celebrate the uniqueness of every student. Imagine it as a buffet, serving up options for both fast learners and those who want some extra practice.

Homework understands that every student is as unique as a fingerprint, each with their own pace and learning style.

For the quick learners, it offers challenges and exciting extensions, while those who prefer more practice can dive into additional exercises.

It’s like a school that dances to your rhythm, ensuring every student has a path to success. So, think of homework as your personal learning adventure, offering choices that fit your taste, making education an exciting and inclusive journey.

19. Fosters Independence

Homework isn’t about spoon-feeding answers; it’s your nurturing ground for independent thinking and decision-making.

Think of it as a playground where you get to flex your decision muscles and spread your intellectual wings. Homework is your training camp for self-reliance, where you take charge of your learning adventure.

20. Overall Academic Improvement

Homework isn’t just a stack of assignments; it’s the secret ingredient for overall academic improvement. Think of it as the magic wand that, when waved effectively, leads to better grades and educational triumphs.

Homework isn’t a mere task list; it’s your strategic ally in the journey of learning. When used wisely, it’s your key to success, a bridge to better understanding and superior educational outcomes.

So, when you’re tackling your homework, remember you’re not just ticking off tasks; you’re paving the way for academic excellence, turning each assignment into a step towards achieving your educational goals.

What are 5 benefits of homework?

Homework is more than just a list of tasks; it’s a powerhouse of benefits that can transform a student’s learning journey. Here are the top five advantages:

1. Supercharging Learning

Homework isn’t about mindless repetition; it’s your secret weapon to reinforce what you’ve learned in class. It’s like a memory boost that makes sure you remember the important stuff for the long haul.

2. Mastering Time and Study Skills

Homework teaches you real-world skills that go way beyond the textbook. It’s your personal coach for time management and setting priorities.

Plus, it’s your go-to guide for developing top-notch study habits like staying organized, taking killer notes, and acing those tests.

3. Fueling Grit and Responsibility

Homework is your training ground for building self-discipline and a sense of responsibility. It’s where you learn to motivate yourself and tackle challenges head-on, no matter how tough they seem.

4. Sparking Creativity and Critical Thinking

Homework isn’t a one-way street. It’s your canvas for thinking outside the box and analyzing what you’re learning from all angles. It’s your chance to bring your unique ideas to the table.

5. Strengthening Home-School Bonds

Homework isn’t just about you; it’s a connection point for your parents and teachers. It’s where they get a front-row seat to your education and can lend a hand when you need it.

But, remember, like any tool, homework works best when used wisely. Too much of a good thing can lead to stress, so strike that balance, and make homework your learning ally.

Who invented homework 😡?

The roots of homework can be traced back to a frustrated Italian educator, Roberto Nevilis, who lived in the 17th century.

He was perplexed by his students’ struggles to retain their classroom lessons, and so, he devised a novel solution – homework.

By assigning tasks that required students to practice and reinforce what they’d learned in class, Nevilis hoped to bridge the knowledge gap. His ingenious idea didn’t stop at the classroom door; it spread like wildfire, first across Europe and eventually finding its way to the United States.

While Nevilis is often credited with inventing homework, history leaves some room for debate. Some scholars argue that homework may have had earlier incarnations in ancient Greece and Rome, although concrete evidence is scarce.

What’s more likely is that Nevilis was among the first to formalize the concept of homework as we understand it today.

No matter its true origin, homework has become an integral part of education worldwide. It spans across the spectrum, from the youngest elementary students to those pursuing higher education.

The purpose of homework has also evolved over time. While Nevilis initially introduced homework to help students retain information, today, its role is multifaceted. It serves as a training ground for critical thinking, problem-solving, and nurturing creativity.

Whether you view homework as a boon or a bane, one thing is certain – it has a rich and varied history, and it’s likely to continue shaping the educational landscape for the foreseeable future.

Why is homework good for your brain?

Homework isn’t just about completing assignments; it’s a brain-boosting wizard. Let’s delve into the captivating reasons why homework is a mind-enhancing elixir:

Fortifying Neural Pathways

Imagine your brain as a labyrinth of pathways. When you learn something new, it’s like carving a fresh trail. Homework? It’s your trusty path-paver, helping you practice and reinforce what you’ve learned. This makes recalling information a breeze down the road.

Mastering Executive Function Skills

Executive function skills are like your brain’s personal assistants. They help you plan, organize, and manage your time effectively.

Homework transforms you into the CEO of your tasks, requiring you to set goals, juggle priorities, and work independently.

Cultivating Cognitive Flexibility

Ever wished you could tackle problems from various angles? That’s cognitive flexibility, a superpower for your brain. Homework serves as the playground where you can flex your mental muscles, applying your knowledge to novel challenges.

Boosting Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is your belief in your own success. Homework is your arena for personal victories. Achieving your homework goals and witnessing your growth over time? That’s a confidence booster like no other.

Stress Alleviation

While homework might occasionally seem like a stress-inducing monster, it’s also your coach for the stress-relief Olympics. How?

It equips you with the skills to tackle challenges and manage your time wisely, ultimately reducing stress in the long run.

But, here’s the catch: balance is key. Too much homework can tip the scales. To maximize the magical benefits, you need to find harmony between homework and other essential activities like sleep, exercise, and hanging out with friends.

In a nutshell, homework isn’t just about completing assignments; it’s your secret weapon for unlocking your brain’s potential. It boosts learning and memory, nurtures executive function skills, hones cognitive flexibility, elevates self-efficacy, and even helps you conquer stress.

As we draw the curtain on our exploration of the twenty compelling reasons that make homework a valuable asset, it’s evident that homework is more than just a to-do list. It’s a treasure trove of advantages that students can unearth on their academic journey.

From fortifying those neural pathways to nurturing independence, and from honing research skills to prepping for the challenges that await in the future, homework is a versatile tool. It’s the canvas where creativity flourishes, bridging the gap between theory and practice, and inviting parents into their child’s scholastic odyssey.

Homework doesn’t just aid in academic mastery; it’s a comprehensive roadmap for personal growth and development. It nudges you towards self-discipline, sprinkles in a dash of responsibility, and offers a slice of the sweet taste of accomplishment.

However, as in any art, balance is key. The right amount of homework, harmonized with other life activities, is the secret recipe for success.

So, as you tackle your next homework assignment, remember this: you’re not just completing tasks; you’re shaping a brighter future, one thought at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is homework always beneficial for students.

Homework can be beneficial when thoughtfully assigned, but excessive or irrelevant homework may have negative effects.

How can parents support their child’s homework routine?

Parents can provide a quiet, organized workspace, offer assistance when needed, and encourage good study habits.

How much homework is too much?

The right amount of homework varies by grade level and individual needs. It should challenge without overwhelming students.

What can teachers do to make homework more effective?

Teachers should assign purposeful, relevant homework, provide clear instructions, and offer support when necessary.

How does homework help prepare students for the future?

Homework instills responsibility, time management, and critical thinking skills, all of which are valuable in higher education and the workforce.

  • australia (2)
  • duolingo (13)
  • Education (273)
  • General (75)
  • How To (16)
  • IELTS (127)
  • Latest Updates (162)
  • Malta Visa (6)
  • Permanent residency (1)
  • Programming (31)
  • Scholarship (1)
  • Sponsored (4)
  • Study Abroad (187)
  • Technology (12)
  • work permit (8)

Recent Posts

Positive Psychology Topics

More From Forbes

Why homework doesn't seem to boost learning--and how it could.

  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

Some schools are eliminating homework, citing research showing it doesn’t do much to boost achievement. But maybe teachers just need to assign a different kind of homework.

In 2016, a second-grade teacher in Texas delighted her students—and at least some of their parents—by announcing she would no longer assign homework. “Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance,” she explained.

The following year, the superintendent of a Florida school district serving 42,000 students eliminated homework for all elementary students and replaced it with twenty minutes of nightly reading, saying she was basing her decision on “solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students.”

Many other elementary schools seem to have quietly adopted similar policies. Critics have objected that even if homework doesn’t increase grades or test scores, it has other benefits, like fostering good study habits and providing parents with a window into what kids are doing in school.

Those arguments have merit, but why doesn’t homework boost academic achievement? The research cited by educators just doesn’t seem to make sense. If a child wants to learn to play the violin, it’s obvious she needs to practice at home between lessons (at least, it’s obvious to an adult). And psychologists have identified a range of strategies that help students learn, many of which seem ideally suited for homework assignments.

For example, there’s something called “ retrieval practice ,” which means trying to recall information you’ve already learned. The optimal time to engage in retrieval practice is not immediately after you’ve acquired information but after you’ve forgotten it a bit—like, perhaps, after school. A homework assignment could require students to answer questions about what was covered in class that day without consulting their notes. Research has found that retrieval practice and similar learning strategies are far more powerful than simply rereading or reviewing material.

One possible explanation for the general lack of a boost from homework is that few teachers know about this research. And most have gotten little training in how and why to assign homework. These are things that schools of education and teacher-prep programs typically don’t teach . So it’s quite possible that much of the homework teachers assign just isn’t particularly effective for many students.

Even if teachers do manage to assign effective homework, it may not show up on the measures of achievement used by researchers—for example, standardized reading test scores. Those tests are designed to measure general reading comprehension skills, not to assess how much students have learned in specific classes. Good homework assignments might have helped a student learn a lot about, say, Ancient Egypt. But if the reading passages on a test cover topics like life in the Arctic or the habits of the dormouse, that student’s test score may well not reflect what she’s learned.

The research relied on by those who oppose homework has actually found it has a modest positive effect at the middle and high school levels—just not in elementary school. But for the most part, the studies haven’t looked at whether it matters what kind of homework is assigned or whether there are different effects for different demographic student groups. Focusing on those distinctions could be illuminating.

A study that looked specifically at math homework , for example, found it boosted achievement more in elementary school than in middle school—just the opposite of the findings on homework in general. And while one study found that parental help with homework generally doesn’t boost students’ achievement—and can even have a negative effect— another concluded that economically disadvantaged students whose parents help with homework improve their performance significantly.

That seems to run counter to another frequent objection to homework, which is that it privileges kids who are already advantaged. Well-educated parents are better able to provide help, the argument goes, and it’s easier for affluent parents to provide a quiet space for kids to work in—along with a computer and internet access . While those things may be true, not assigning homework—or assigning ineffective homework—can end up privileging advantaged students even more.

Students from less educated families are most in need of the boost that effective homework can provide, because they’re less likely to acquire academic knowledge and vocabulary at home. And homework can provide a way for lower-income parents—who often don’t have time to volunteer in class or participate in parents’ organizations—to forge connections to their children’s schools. Rather than giving up on homework because of social inequities, schools could help parents support homework in ways that don’t depend on their own knowledge—for example, by recruiting others to help, as some low-income demographic groups have been able to do . Schools could also provide quiet study areas at the end of the day, and teachers could assign homework that doesn’t rely on technology.

Another argument against homework is that it causes students to feel overburdened and stressed.  While that may be true at schools serving affluent populations, students at low-performing ones often don’t get much homework at all—even in high school. One study found that lower-income ninth-graders “consistently described receiving minimal homework—perhaps one or two worksheets or textbook pages, the occasional project, and 30 minutes of reading per night.” And if they didn’t complete assignments, there were few consequences. I discovered this myself when trying to tutor students in writing at a high-poverty high school. After I expressed surprise that none of the kids I was working with had completed a brief writing assignment, a teacher told me, “Oh yeah—I should have told you. Our students don’t really do homework.”

If and when disadvantaged students get to college, their relative lack of study skills and good homework habits can present a serious handicap. After noticing that black and Hispanic students were failing her course in disproportionate numbers, a professor at the University of North Carolina decided to make some changes , including giving homework assignments that required students to quiz themselves without consulting their notes. Performance improved across the board, but especially for students of color and the disadvantaged. The gap between black and white students was cut in half, and the gaps between Hispanic and white students—along with that between first-generation college students and others—closed completely.

There’s no reason this kind of support should wait until students get to college. To be most effective—both in terms of instilling good study habits and building students’ knowledge—homework assignments that boost learning should start in elementary school.

Some argue that young children just need time to chill after a long day at school. But the “ten-minute rule”—recommended by homework researchers—would have first graders doing ten minutes of homework, second graders twenty minutes, and so on. That leaves plenty of time for chilling, and even brief assignments could have a significant impact if they were well-designed.

But a fundamental problem with homework at the elementary level has to do with the curriculum, which—partly because of standardized testing— has narrowed to reading and math. Social studies and science have been marginalized or eliminated, especially in schools where test scores are low. Students spend hours every week practicing supposed reading comprehension skills like “making inferences” or identifying “author’s purpose”—the kinds of skills that the tests try to measure—with little or no attention paid to content.

But as research has established, the most important component in reading comprehension is knowledge of the topic you’re reading about. Classroom time—or homework time—spent on illusory comprehension “skills” would be far better spent building knowledge of the very subjects schools have eliminated. Even if teachers try to take advantage of retrieval practice—say, by asking students to recall what they’ve learned that day about “making comparisons” or “sequence of events”—it won’t have much impact.

If we want to harness the potential power of homework—particularly for disadvantaged students—we’ll need to educate teachers about what kind of assignments actually work. But first, we’ll need to start teaching kids something substantive about the world, beginning as early as possible.

Natalie Wexler

  • Editorial Standards
  • Reprints & Permissions

Is Homework Good or Bad for Students?

It's mostly good, especially for the sciences, but it also can be bad

JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images

  • Homework Tips
  • Learning Styles & Skills
  • Study Methods
  • Time Management
  • Private School
  • College Admissions
  • College Life
  • Graduate School
  • Business School
  • Distance Learning
  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College

Homework isn't fun for students to do or for teachers to grade, so why do it? Here are some reasons why homework is good and why it's bad.

Why Homework Is Good

Here are 10 reasons why homework is good, especially for the sciences, such as chemistry:

  • Doing homework teaches you how to learn on your own and work independently. You'll learn how to use resources such as texts, libraries, and the internet. No matter how well you thought you understood the material in class, there will be times when you'll get stuck doing homework. When you face the challenge, you learn how to get help, how to deal with frustration, and how to persevere.
  • Homework helps you learn beyond the scope of the class. Example problems from teachers and textbooks show you how to do an assignment. The acid test is seeing whether you truly understand the material and can do the work on your own. In science classes, homework problems are critically important. You see concepts in a whole new light, so you'll know how equations work in general, not just how they work for a particular example. In chemistry, physics, and math, homework is truly important and not just busywork.
  • It shows you what the teacher thinks is important to learn, so you'll have a better idea of what to expect on a quiz or test .
  • It's often a significant part of your grade . If you don't do it, it could cost you , no matter how well you do on exams.
  • Homework is a good opportunity to connect parents, classmates, and siblings with your education. The better your support network, the more likely you are to succeed in class.
  • Homework, however tedious it might be, teaches responsibility and accountability. For some classes, homework is an essential part of learning the subject matter.
  • Homework nips procrastination in the bud. One reason teachers give homework and attach a big part of your grade to it is to motivate you to keep up. If you fall behind, you could fail.
  • How will you get all your work done before class? Homework teaches you time management and how to prioritize tasks.
  • Homework reinforces the concepts taught in class. The more you work with them, the more likely you are to learn them. 
  • Homework can help boost self-esteem . Or, if it's not going well, it helps you identify problems before they get out of control.

Sometimes Homework Is Bad

So, homework is good because it can boost your grades , help you learn the material, and prepare you for tests. It's not always beneficial, however. Sometimes homework hurts more than it helps. Here are five ways homework can be bad:

  • You need a break from a subject so you don't burn out or lose interest. Taking a break helps you learn.
  • Too much homework can lead to copying and cheating.
  • Homework that is pointless busywork can lead to a negative impression of a subject (not to mention a teacher).
  • It takes time away from families, friends, jobs, and other ways to spend your time.
  • Homework can hurt your grades. It forces you to make time management decisions, sometimes putting you in a no-win situation. Do you take the time to do the homework or spend it studying concepts or doing work for another subject? If you don't have the time for the homework, you could hurt your grades even if you ace the tests and understand the subject.
  • Free French Worksheets
  • How are College Academics Different from High School?
  • Organic Chemistry Survival Tips
  • 5 Top Reasons Why Students Fail Chemistry
  • What to Do if You Are Failing Chemistry
  • Should You Take a GRE Review Course?
  • Study Habits That Can Improve Grades and Performance
  • 10 Ways to Impress a Teacher
  • How to Get Your Homework Done in College
  • Topics for a Lesson Plan Template
  • The Case for the Importance of Taking Notes
  • How to Change Your Habits and Improve Your Grades
  • Essential Strategies to Help You Become an Outstanding Student
  • Study Tips for Math Homework and Math Tests
  • 4 Tips for Completing Your Homework On Time
  • 20 Tips for Success in High School

IMAGES

  1. 15 Reasons Why Homework Is Important?

    homework is necessary for learning

  2. Why homework is important for student

    homework is necessary for learning

  3. Why is Homework Important: Importance of Homework in Learning Process

    homework is necessary for learning

  4. Complete Guidance on how to do your homework faster

    homework is necessary for learning

  5. 12 Reason Why Homework Is Important For Students?

    homework is necessary for learning

  6. Why is Homework Important: Importance of Homework in Learning Process

    homework is necessary for learning

VIDEO

  1. Noah’s talking time part 7: is homework necessary?

  2. Is a law to limit the amount of homework necessary? #ktrh #california #education

  3. Quiz 04

  4. How Long Should Students Study in Class and Is Homework Necessary?

  5. What is really homework for? How to do when instruction was not clear?

  6. Introduction to English Language Course. 100% Free English Language Course

COMMENTS

  1. Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

    If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills. We do know that beginning in late middle school, and continuing through high school, there is a strong and positive correlation between homework completion and academic success.

  2. Is homework a necessary evil?

    Beyond that point, kids don't absorb much useful information, Cooper says. In fact, too much homework can do more harm than good. Researchers have cited drawbacks, including boredom and burnout toward academic material, less time for family and extracurricular activities, lack of sleep and increased stress.

  3. Key Lessons: What Research Says About the Value of Homework

    Too much homework may diminish its effectiveness. While research on the optimum amount of time students should spend on homework is limited, there are indications that for high school students, 1½ to 2½ hours per night is optimum. Middle school students appear to benefit from smaller amounts (less than 1 hour per night).

  4. Does homework still have value? A Johns Hopkins education expert weighs

    The necessity of homework has been a subject of debate since at least as far back as the 1890s, according to Joyce L. Epstein, co-director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University. "It's always been the case that parents, kids—and sometimes teachers, too—wonder if this is just busy work ...

  5. Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

    Negative Effects of Homework for Students. While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. Students regularly report that homework is their primary source of stress.

  6. Why homework matters

    Homework is the perennial bogeyman of K-12 education. Any given year, you'll find people arguing that students, especially those in elementary school, should have far less homework—or none at all.I have the opposite opinion. The longer I run schools—and it has now been more than sixteen years—the more convinced I am that homework is not only necessary, but a linchpin to effective K ...

  7. Does homework really work?

    After two hours, however, achievement doesn't improve. For high schoolers, Cooper's research suggests that two hours per night is optimal. If teens have more than two hours of homework a night, their academic success flatlines. But less is not better. The average high school student doing homework outperformed 69 percent of the students in ...

  8. PDF Does Homework Really Improve Achievement? Kevin C. Costley, Ph.D ...

    again with some learning theorists claiming that homework could be detrimental to students' mental health. Since then, impassioned arguments for and against homework have continued to ... than 80 percent of teachers and parents say homework is important or very important. The study also reported that 75 percent of students stated they did at ...

  9. Should We Get Rid of Homework?

    Is homework, including the projects and writing assignments you do at home, an important part of your learning experience? Or, in your opinion, is it not a good use of time? Explain.

  10. Does Homework Work?

    Given that homework's benefits are so narrowly defined (and even then, contested), it's a bit surprising that assigning so much of it is often a classroom default, and that more isn't done ...

  11. Is Homework Necessary for Student Success?

    Re " The Movement to End Homework Is Wrong ," by Jay Caspian Kang (Sunday Opinion, July 31): Finland proves that you don't need homework for education success. Students there have hardly any ...

  12. Is Homework Good for Kids? Here's What the Research Says

    A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day.. The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in ...

  13. Why is Homework Important?

    Homework is an opportunity to learn and retain information in an environment where they feel most comfortable, which can help accelerate their development. 5. Using Learning Materials. Throughout a child's education, understanding how to use resources such as libraries and the internet is important. Homework teaches children to actively ...

  14. Homework Pros and Cons

    Homework can also help clue parents in to the existence of any learning disabilities their children may have, allowing them to get help and adjust learning strategies as needed. Duke University Professor Harris Cooper noted, "Two parents once told me they refused to believe their child had a learning disability until homework revealed it to ...

  15. Should Kids Get Homework?

    Too much, however, is harmful. And homework has a greater positive effect on students in secondary school (grades 7-12) than those in elementary. "Every child should be doing homework, but the ...

  16. The Value of Homework: Is Homework an Important Tool for Learning in

    It can be drawn from this study that some type of homework policy is necessary, as is the assignment of higher cognitive types of homework and the flexible assessment and grading of that work in order to foster and track student learning.

  17. The Pros and Cons: Should Students Have Homework?

    Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can't see it in the moment. 6. Homework Reduces Screen Time.

  18. Homework

    Evidence also suggests that how homework relates to learning during normal school time is important. In the most effective examples homework was an integral part of learning, rather than an add-on. To maximise impact, it also appears to be important that students are provided with high quality feedback on their work (see Feedback).

  19. The Pros and Cons of Homework

    Homework can alert parents to any learning difficulties that their children might have, enabling them to provide assistance and modify their child's learning approach as necessary. Parents who help their children with homework will lead to higher academic performance, better social skills and behaviour, and greater self-confidence in their ...

  20. Is Homework Necessary?

    Homework can be beneficial for students in high school, she argues, if done correctly. "I've learned, while preparing my students to start college early, that study skills become much more ...

  21. 20 Reasons Why Homework is Good: Unlocking the Benefits

    Check out 20 reasons why homework is good:-. 1. Reinforcement of Classroom Learning. Homework isn't just a mundane task; it's your secret weapon for becoming a true subject matter aficionado. It's the place where classroom theories transform into real-world skills.

  22. Why Homework Doesn't Seem To Boost Learning--And How It Could

    The research cited by educators just doesn't seem to make sense. If a child wants to learn to play the violin, it's obvious she needs to practice at home between lessons (at least, it's ...

  23. Is Homework Good or Bad for Kids?

    Homework is a good opportunity to connect parents, classmates, and siblings with your education. The better your support network, the more likely you are to succeed in class. Homework, however tedious it might be, teaches responsibility and accountability. For some classes, homework is an essential part of learning the subject matter.